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Pruning and cutting back

Last post 02-03-2012 1:15 PM by Kazziecon. 3 replies.

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  • 17/02/2012 09:51 AM
    • Kazziecon
    • Hampshire
    • 15 May 2011
    • 28
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    Hi Everyone

    Well, here we are - one year in our new house today and, because we have done lots of building work inside, I still haven't completely sorted out the very well established and previously well-kept garden!!  I can almost imagine the neighbours looking at it and thinking how unkempt it must look now!!!  I now want to put my own stamp on it but would still like to keep the nicer plants.  I also want to make it child-proof for my now-toddling grandson and get him interested in helping Nanna!

    Having had a year to identify most plants, I now need to ascertain how to care for them so here goes ....

    Philadelphus ...  I have one of these which was beautiful last year.  It is now extrememely overgrown both within and upwards (about 7 ft high).  When is the best time to sort this out?

    Ceanothus ... very bushy - do I prune this after it has flowered?  If so how much do I take off (hubby managed to kill the one at my last house so he is not getting near it!)

    Winter Jasmine ... I think I have one of these!  It had only a few flowers but the fragrance was divine.  No more flowers so should I cut this back?

    Berberis darwinni ... am I right in thinking that this just needs shaping after the flowers have died back?

     Standard Roses ... I have 4 very well established Standard Roses.  I am a spring rose-pruner (inherited this from my late father) but have never had a standard rose.  How much do I take off?  Do I prune as I do for Hybrid roses and go back to about 4 inches from the main stem?

    So many questions but I am determined to concentrate on the garden now whilst we save for a new kitchen!!!  LOL

    Thanks for any help you can offer me!  Smile

    In my garden, plants have two choices ... hopefully they will make the right choice!
  • 18/02/2012 03:55 PM
    • miranda
    • Oxfordshire
    • 17 Nov 2004
    • 4,160
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    Hello Kazziecon, how nice to have a new garden, especially one that already has some good plants in it. 

    With the Philadelphus, it's usual to prune immediately after flowering so you'd be better to wait for that. The RHS advice is to cut out about 20% of older stems back to the base each year and, after flowering, to cut back the stems to new growth further down the stem that hasn't flowered.

    For Ceanothus, it depends on which type you've got but there is some good advice here:

    Berberis is another one to be pruned straight after flowering so you're right there, but there is a page here with more detail: 

    As far as I know, winter jasmine doesn't have a scent, so I'm wondering what you've got there. Any chance of a picture so we can ID it? 

    Now is the time to get your roses pruned, when they're awake but before they start growing a lot. Without knowing whether you've got floribundas or hybrid-tea, it's difficult to say, so here is the RHS guide to both of them:

    Have fun - it sounds like you've got a lovely selection of plants to start you off! 


  • 21/02/2012 05:41 PM
    • sky fencer
    • Hounslow
    • 11 Jun 2009
    • 12
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    The other forum member has been helpful enough I feel on pruning issues but I just wondered about that 'winter jasmine' - if it smelt divine this might be a one of the summer jasmines, or even daphne which flowers a bit early and looks like some of the smaller flowered jasmines?  There are a few plants that might be called jasmines because of similiarities in appearance as indicated by having 'jasminoides' in the name.  Winter jasmine is yellow and comes out in January/February. The flower colour, shape (like a star maybe?) and time it flowered would be a clue if you can't upload a photo. Generally whatever it is pruning would be done after flowering although I don't think daphnes require pruning.


  • 02/03/2012 01:15 PM
    • Kazziecon
    • Hampshire
    • 15 May 2011
    • 28
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    Thanks for your advice - much appreciated and will be busy this weekend if the weather holds.

    Sorry for misleading you - it was told it is a winter jasmine and no, it doesn't have a fragrance ... obviously had a senior moment and was smelling things when they aint there!!! Sorry!!  Photo below (hopefully):


    In my garden, plants have two choices ... hopefully they will make the right choice!