Now is a good time to prune deciduous fruit trees. Whatever method you employ, summer pruning or standard dormant pruning, now is a good time to see the branch work and decide if you need to make any pruning cuts on your tree(s). First, cut away any, all dead growth, second, look for too dense branching or poorly placed branches and decide on either thinning those out or cutting them back. If you notice any insect eggs, clean them up. Remove all debris from the ground, remembering that good sanitation is well worth the effort of keeping your trees insect and disease free, and prevention is much better than having to deal with an infestation. Use sharp pruning tools. Winter bloomers are flowering now, or very soon and you can make pruning cuts by choosing flowering branches for the vase. Quince, wintersweet, honeysuckle bush, forsythia, osmanthus delavayi, edgeworthia are all among these seasonal winter favorites. There are many selections from which to choose among some of these groups. Dont forget about bark colors. Shrub dogwoods are flourescing brilliant tones now. And cutting them back hard will increase the new stems for next season. Don’t prune them just now, wait until just before growth starts so you can enjoy their colorful stems.
Camellias are beginning early this year. Choose from among the many thousand cvs., not just the common varieties that are around everywhere. Here you will find large and small sized flowers, Many people are pleasantly surprised when they chance on the actual size flowers of the wild types. Charming and pleasing year after year. They tend to bloom more profusely as well since they spread the energy of flower production into many buds, not just a few large flowers. All teh color and floral forms give much vareity to the group. Simple charming singles, semidoubles, anemone form doubles, rose form doubles, peony form doubles and the classic formal doubles. Color patterns are also quite variable, you can have solid colors, blotched variegates, striped or streaked variegates, picotees, and the rare genetic color patterns of one petal of a single color, and the next petal another color. Fragrance is a new thing among camellias and some of the fragrant species are the reason for this. There are many unusual camellia species, most unfamiliar to many gardeners, but here you will find lacey or arching growth and foliages. Profuse flowering in many species, AND fragrance in many species. These chracteristics have been bred into the new fragrant hybrids and gardeners everywhere will be pleased with the results to plant in their own gardens!
It is important (especially this year) to keep the plants well watered in winter, since we do not have much winter rain yet, if the plant goes dry, so will the flower buds, and you will have big bud drop and few flowers to open.
Another important thing is to keep all fallen flowers and petals picked up to prevent blossom blight. Just dispose of them in a covered container and put into the trash. Spores live on the infected flowers, so adding them to the compost pile only reinfects your garden and blights the flowers next year.
We will be moving the nursery again. I just do not know where as yet, Looking for a suitable site and no luck so far.
All corrective pruning and clean up of dead wood on all plants can be done now.
If you have a shady area and want some color, try some of the many new hellebores! We now can have singles and doubles, pendant and upward facing flowers! AND dramatic colors! deepest purples and spotted petals too!. Long lived, easy care plants for shady areas. And they bloom NOW!