Just before Christmas I noticed that many of my blueberry bushes (that have beautiful red twigs in the winter) had been neatly cut down. And on the diagonal like most gardeners would do when pruning.
So my first thought went to someone who wanted the twigs for a holiday decoration. But it was still puzzling that someone would come up into my yard to do such a thing. Turns out that it was a neighbor, but instead of ones with clippers, it was a tall, four-legged one!!
At a recent meeting of the EAGC, I learned some interesting information. It turns out that although deer do not have top teeth they have a dental pad that is hard. Their teeth slope at an angle and so, yes indeed – the twigs are cut on the diagonal!
If you are seeing the same kind of “pruning” to your blueberry bushes, euonymus, arborvitae, or whatever, it is time to look into deer away methods!
The Boston Globe reported last week that thieves were stealing burls right off the trees in various public places. Brazen vandals have been using chain saws to mutilate these beautiful trees. Apparently a good quality burl can fetch a fair amount of money. This kind of tree damage is not immediately lethal to the tree, but it can make it susceptible to disease and an early death, not to mention ruining its looks.
“The Well-Tended Perennial Garden” by Tracy DiSabato-Aust is a wonderful book if you are a perennial lover like me. I found out about it last year at a talk about making plant divisions that was given by Becky. She highly recommended it and said that it is a must have. I asked Santa for it and he came through!
Most of the heavy lifting in the garden is finished by now, so June is the time for tweaks & a little grooming.
Lovely Blue Nepeta or Catmint
WhenNepetafinishes blooming this month, take a deep breath — and cut plants back hard, so they are only a few inches tall. It seems drastic, but this haircut will give you compact, non-floppy plants that will rebloom without taking over the entire neighborhood. Try it once, and it will become an annual habit for you, because the plants look so much better. This technique is also very effective for making thrifty specimens of mature Alchemilla (Lady’s Mantle),Cranesbill Geraniums, Aquilegia (Columbine) and Heucheras (Coral Bells).