The new year is here and the garden is very quiet. But if you look closely, there is some fine-tuning you can do now. Assuming you feel motivated to go out into your garden in January. Let’s take a look at some of my work.
Black eyed Susans
I’m not a fan of stubs. On trees they die and create a pathway for diseases to enter. On perennials like Rudbeckias, they create homes for bugs to move into and sharp sticks for gardeners to get stabbed with.
I hate this look. If you must cutback your Rudbeckias early, use hand snips and enjoy the work. Remove the entire flower stalk so only the basal leaves remain. It will look much better. These long stubs look weird.
Clean up tree damage
If you don’t manage to knock off snow from your trees before damage occurs, then just make sure the break points are cleaned up. I found one small evergreen with a broken top so I cut it to make it look decent. Always use sharp hand saws.
Rubbing branches on trees should also be eliminated. See the white arrow.
January is a good time for perennial cutback but it’s not critical. Just get it done before spring hits. Personally, when I see the bed below, I don’t want to wait any longer.
Once Hellebores start pushing out new foliage, you can clip back the old leaves. Flowers follow. I don’t like to rush this. The old leaves at least give us something green to look at.
Take a good look at your winter garden to see if you can fine-tune it a little bit before spring. There is always something to do.