Spring is a gardener’s dream. It’s exciting to feel the air get warmer
and to see plants come back to life after winter. This year, however,
it feels like we skipped spring altogether and pummeled straight into
summer. The ground is cracking, the grass is browning, and the tanks
in the nursery are frighteningly low. On a day that I wasn’t able to
be in the nursery, the temperature spiked to a sizzling 34 degrees,
resulting in burnt foliage on topiary plants that I had trimmed short
only the day before.
It is clear that we can’t count on Mother Nature to bring upon spring
growth this year; if we want to see second and third flushes of
growth, we will need to take matters into our own hands. If the air
stays warm and dry, we will need to be ritualistic about watering to
keep everything looking good and moving forward. Even citrus, which
won’t deliver fruit until autumn winter, will need to be watered in
the summer in order to produce fruit later.
The incident of my newly-trimmed plants burning will also alter the
way I trim this year. I will begin to prune a little lighter, leaving
a little fluff to protect the older leaves from burning off (a method
I normally don’t employ until later in the summer.)
As always, remember to keep your sheers clean and sharp, as dirty
sheers can tear the leaf and result in a detracting white mark along
the torn edge. Also, keep a spray bottle and steel wool handy, to help
you clean the sheers as you prune.
Hot and dry weather can quickly wreak havoc on plants, but with some
extra attention and care, we can continue to grow lush and beautiful
gardens, help our plants keep their momentum, and maintain the
pleasure that pruning provides us as gardeners.