Extreme Fall Pruning Suprises and Tips


Fall…it’s a time for changes, pumpkins, leaves falling, and pruning! Yup, pruning  is right! One of the best months to prune your plants is in October when temperatures are falling. Eric and I had talked about some big pruning plans and lo and behold when I came home from vacation last week Eric had surprised me with this…

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Whew! Look at that pile of trees bushes.

Those are the holly bushes that had previously flanked either side of the house. Please, just go with me on the before pictures since I am using ones from other photo shoots since this was a surprise pruning to me.

www.rappsodyinrooms.com

www.rappsodyinrooms.com

www.rappsodyinrooms.com

Spoiler alert: we are having some major tree work done soon (fingers crossed since we’ve been on their list for months), and we thought we would ask them to grind these up when they do the work on the trees. Therefore, they are just hanging out in the front while we wait for the tree guys.

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Back to the holly bushes. They were beautiful, especially in the winter with their bright red berries (remember when I used them for table settings?) but the thing is, these boys were just too big for their britches. They had outgrown their welcome…okay now I’m all out of clichés for now. Actually, we were really concerned on how tree-like they were becoming and didn’t want their roots to mess with our foundation. So down they came.

how-to-prune-for-fall

how-to-prune-for-fall

how-to-prune-for-fall

At first I was scared of how it would look. They were so beautiful and green all year round. I was surprised. I LOVE the look. It is so bright and airy now without those heavy weights of bushes. I think they really open up the house and just make it even more welcoming. I’m a huge fan of this change.

how-to-prune-for-fall

how-to-prune-for-fall

It did open up a few more problem areas, like that moldy brick that was previously hidden and the propane tank that was previously hidden.

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how-to-prune-for-fall

There will be some cleaning and replanting of smaller plants but for now we are just enjoying these wide open spaces.

Now, for the much anticipated before and after segment:

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how-to-prune-for-fall

spray-painting-front-lights

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Those bushes coming down definitely got me in the pruning mood. I went around and pruned back all of our other bushes (not much to show, just more shape and less scraggle). [Also, am I the only person who feels like they’ve unleashed their inner hairstylist while pruning?] I love it. With that done it’s feeling so much tidier. Well, it will once the big pile in the front is gone. Now it’s just fun to wonder what the neighbors are saying. [Insert evil laugh here.]

In case you are picking up your pruning shears this month, I thought I would pass along some falling pruning tips and tricks that I have learned along the way:

  • If plants are looking dead or diseased, it’s time to just bite the bullet and take them out. They’re not going to make the winter. This gives you time to replant now (October has ideal temperatures and moisture levels for planting bushes) or plan for the spring.
  • I like to prune down plants as much as I am comfortable with. I think it just gives it a cleaner look. So go for it – cut away.
  • Invest in a good pair of shears – and don’t forget that electric tools are handy too! My arms are always killing me after a good day of pruning. There’s no way that regular shears could have handled the holly bushes. Chain saw action all the way! Electric shears are great for shaping bigger bushes.
  • Use Google if you aren’t sure. Have a specific plant that you need to know if you should prune and when? Just Google it. A lot of plants say they have specific times they should be pruned. However, I am an uneducated, lazy, low-maintenance gardener doing the best I can and learning as I go – so I mainly do one good pruning in the fall. It works for my house and my life.

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