THE TRUTH ABOUT...Pruning
Sunday 05 April 1998
There is, however, a very good reason why how-to-prune guides are so rarely depicted with photographs. This is because bushes are not well behaved and do not grow neatly. They sprout madly in all directions, and trying (a) to locate the Main Stem or the Secondary Growth, and (b) fighting one's way into the greenery to chop it off is an extremely fraught process, unfit to appear in the pages of nice, sensible gardening books. This is particularly true if prickles are involved. (The time spent remembering where the gardening gloves were last seen, and unearthing them from the back of the cupboard under the sink where they were last used to grip hot pipes in a plumbing disaster, or the cellar where they proved a useful anti-splinter device while chopping logs for the fire may seem like a waste, but it really isn't. Really. It is more than cancelled out by the time not spent searching out the tweezers and Dettol.)
A sharp and shiny pair of secateurs is a fearsome-looking weapon, as is a pruning knife; a small pair of blunt nail scissors simply won't hack it (in any sense). Likewise the kitchen scissors and the Sabatier carving knife are unsuitable and will never be the same again if used on branches.
Having looked at the diagrams and failed to connect any part of them to the actual growing thing in front of one, a good starting-point is to chop off anything that is obviously dead (brown, withered, dry. etc). A good continuing-point is to chop off anything that is in the way (blocking the way into the back door. etc). A good finishing-point is to chop off anything that is too big. Do it at the wrong time and the plant will bleed to death (the horror, the horror). And, erm, that's it for pruning. Alan Titchmarsh on Gardener's World recently said, "Pruning! The very sound of it can make strong men tremble." And if it makes strong men tremble, what chance do the rest of us have?
Life & Style blogs
DNA hope on schizophrenia: Research breakthrough points at over 100 genes
Husband creates spreadsheet detailing wife's 'excuses' for turning down sex
Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
Xiaomi Mi4: 'Apple of China' launches flagship mobile to challenge the iPhone
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
- 1 Husband creates spreadsheet detailing wife's 'excuses' for turning down sex
- 2 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 3 Saneie Masilela, 9, marries Helen Shabangu, 53 years his senior, for the second time
- 4 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 5 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...
Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...
£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...
£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire