|Three Ladders Needed|
The first full week at work has been a busy one for the team from turning the leaf pits; aerating the large lawns; cutting down ornamental grasses; removing ivy from trees; strimming down stinging nettles; raking up the last of the autumn leaf fall to pruning the many climbers that adorn the walls at the rear of the 13th century cottages.
Starting with the large wisteria at the top end of the herbaceous border, three ladders of different shapes and sizes are needed to access this awkward giant that, over many years, has climbed around windows and an arch. Once pruned the next climber to be tackled was the rather scruffy, somewhat unruly, climbing rose.
|A Unruly Climbing Rose|
|A Lot Of Top Growth|
For many years this rose has caused a problem and, not wanting to prune it too hard, the team have given it time to behave. In the past new wires have been added to allow it to climb up and along the wall, pruned lightly and pruned semi hard but still the top half insists on exploding and filling the corner with top growth and very little flower.
|Pruning The Climbing Rose|
The decision was made to renovate this rose and prune it hard. The oldest, woody stems were selected, cut down and, following them through the rose and along the wires, were carefully removed. Next the dead was cut out and then the remaining vigorous, young stems were untied from the wires, untangled and then retied along the wires. Any side shoots along the newly tied in stems were then shortened and the lengths of the stems reduced by cutting of the tips to encourage branching. Pleased with the resultant shape created by the hard pruning it is now a case of just waiting to see if the rose behaves itself and stays tidy and flowers well.
|Wisteria and Climbing Roses Pruned|
Working their way along the back of the cottages, another three wisteria and three roses were pruned before reaching another wall with a campsis and yet another wisteria that need pruning. These wisteria underwent a hard prune a few years ago so now the strongest, young growth, produced in response to this hard prune, are tied in to the wires and shortened to create new flowering spurs as well as cutting back the older flowering spurs to two to three buds.
After four days all these climbers had been pruned and, next week, the pruning will continue with the largest wisteria that inhabits the long black railings at the far end of the quad.
|Pruning Another Wisteria|