Are you pruning early this year?

The advice I have been given is to prune roses at the beginning of winter to reduce damage by wind.
Hydrangea flower heads should be left on until after the last frost and should be covered if a frost is expected after new buds have appeared.
Buddleia is indestructible and can be cut down to about 50 cm from now onwards to encourage new shoots.
But this advice applies to UK and Northern France. If you live anywhere else, ask the locals.

Thanks for the advice. Mike since my roses continue to flower up until Christmas I’d be most reluctant to do any pruning at the beginning of winter. Jane I know what you mean, but this year is so mild, I wonder whether it really will get cold again. You can tell me “I told you so” in a few weeks. :slight_smile:
I think I will do the hydrangeas. They are in pots on the terrace and not exposed. Castelmoron did theirs days ago. And I’ll attack the buddleias - they are such thugs.

You really need to cut those buddleias right back if you want to see butterflies at eye level. Important if you want to get good photos!

5 Likes

So pretty, great picture :heart:

Thanks! But the truth is that I had to take a lot of rubbish pics to get one good one.

There usually is a cold snap here! The other year it was freezing wind blown snow, caught everyone out, carnage.
Roses and hydrangea can be pruned autumn or spring, it is preference. As a gardener I always check with the owner. Wind rock or continued flowering are factors as mentioned. The buds on the hydrangea may be at risk from autumn cutback unless they have some shelter.
Buddleia grows like a weed, it loves being cut back, I used to work on housing estates where the builders had planted it everywhere without thought, and it blocked paths and windows, cut it to almost nothing and it is back with reinforcements very rapidly.
I have a few acres of bramble to prune this week, anyone want to help?

Don’t let yourself be hoodwinked, Sue. It’s a sure bet there will be a sharp frost before the end of February.

Here in Basse Normandie the ‘window of opportunity’ for Jack Frost’s last painful pinch is 11-23 février. Usually preceded by a week or so of deceptive balmy days and nights.

Of course, frost depends a lot on the local topography. Some gardens round here are in frost bowls, others seem immune.

It is only afterwards that you notice the tattered wings and realize how hard life is for these fragile creatures.

Here people stick to nothing being safe before les saints de glace (11|13 may) and so far they are right…

1 Like

That’s normal for me, still waiting to get the shot. :smile:

1 Like

I cut everything back in Oct/ nov for me and clients and I see that some of the roses are actually flowering,
Primroses and the dwarf daffodils are flowering in my garden too.
Global warming again, hot summers and very wet mind winters.

Thanks for the extra thoughts everyone. Bumble and carpenter bees have been going crazy in the hyacinths - almost like they are drunk!

1 Like

Yeah, buddleia is pretty much indestructible here in the Auvergne too :wink:

We’ve a winter-flowering clematis… which is buzzing like mad :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

Somebody asked me how to propagate it. Just stick a branch in the ground and stand back!

Our little piece of Basse Normandie must be a frost pocket. I was caught out as late as June 1st one year!
But everything has gone crazy, and today the grass is growing fast in the waterlogged ground and it could be a long time before it is possible to put a mower on it.

1 Like

Same here, with all that mild and wet weather. Wasn’t someone looking for a home for her goats on SF the other day? :goat:
One of them would do the trick ( although I would like to keep my flower beds intact) :grin:

This is the norm it seems, I am learning, Mike! :thinking::roll_eyes::slightly_frowning_face:

The up-side seems to be the resilience of the flora.

We have an ancient and decrepit cerisier which suffered what looked like terminal frostbite last year, and some gnarled, wizzened and moss-encrusted branches snapped and hung by a thread to the trunk.

I tied them up pathetically with nylon rope, they looked painful! But it went on to produce a huge crop of juicy cherries even on the damaged boughs, and the birds left the fruit alone.

Some gardening wonders defy yooman explanation, c’est comme ça.:hugs:

When in UK I generally pruned late autumn/ early winter to get the garden ‘tidy’ for the winter. I applied that same rule when I first came to France (Charente) about 15 years ago and lost several plants to the cold winters.
However, the climate is changing and the very cold winters (-12+) seem to have gone for the time being.
Although I am still cautious I feel slightly happier to prune hard in early winter again
I have just spent a week pruning everything I missed in the autumn due to other commitments and notice that everything is bursting into bud. I think we must be a good two weeks early this year.
PS: Noticed loads of grues/ cranes going north yesterday afternoon . A good sign of warm weather arriving.

Oh my goodness me Jane. Your posting on Feb 3rd was so prescient. Les Saint de Glace Monday, through Wednesday this coming week. And what are we getting? A blast of cold air from the north. :cold_face: Time to cover the small tomato plants I put in a couple of weeks ago.

1 Like