As we trundle along into wintery June, cracked fingers start to itch for the big cut back. There is something about cold weather that makes you want to chop things back, maybe we are searching for some sun? All around gardeners are sharpening their secateurs, readying for the pruning bug to take hold and then, one morning, away they go. This may happen at any time now, though I will try and hold off until later June-early July.
The prunings make for wonderful flower arrangements and the cooler weather is the perfect time to bring the garden indoors. Both foliage and blooms will last so much longer, especially if you take a little care. Change your vase water every few days and cut back the stems a little when you do so. I see the Impatient Gardener has already started on her chrysanthemums and has a massive arrangement to show for it. Cutting them back will not only tidy them up but will also encourage new growth and the side shoots from which you may propagate more.
That is the best part of pruning season; there are so many plants that we can propagate using both semi and hardwood cuttings. Think of roses, mulberries, many of our hedging plants and grapevine to name but a few. It is also a good time to look at the shape of your trees and shrubs so you can plan where and what you will chop back. You may want to lift the skirts on some trees to let more light in underneath to improve a struggling lawn or garden bed. I find you need to stand back and have a good look as it is hard to see the wood from the trees alas when you are in and amongst it all on your hands and knees.
I see my jonquils are popping their heads through this last week and Mrs. Green’s snowdrops are away under the Mulberry tree. Always a relief when you see them shooting through, I sometimes wonder how they manage to break through the pudge here. I am also happy to report on the first tomatoes picked and unhappy to report on how many the Bower birds are eating. Oranges too, still quite green, they are very greedy birds indeed. It is netting or nothing round here.
While we are talking shop, I have sown some more brassica seeds for a winter planting, I expect they will be much slower than my earlier lot though the broccoli has popped up already. If we have a warm (hot) spring, they will bolt and be done with but sometimes you can fluke a second run out here. I will put some artichokes in soon for a late winter planting, The Impatient Gardener loves them too so demand will be high.
I am thrilled with the progress and shape of my Saltbush hedge, Atriplex nummularia and have noticed them around Quilpie of late looking fabulous as well, a triumph on the hot bore water. They laugh at the heat and I am walking around now wondering where I can plant more. I do have a few propagated however like many grey foliaged plants, they can be a bit tricky when the weather is hot, and the cuttings become a little humid in their pots. At that time of year, its either baked or steamed.
We are excited to be hosting a flower arranging class here on the 19th of July, with Sarah Slaughter of Bulloo Blooms providing expertise and superb flowers, she is going to use the Moble garden foliage as well. How lucky we have had some great autumn rain, so we can pick the paddocks as well to fill out the vases. If you are interested in joining us on the day, which will include lunch in the garden, please contact us or have a look under the Packages & Events tab linked here.
Look after those poor cracked fingers,
The Moble Gardener