What's Coming Up #217: Big hedges, raspberry crumble, old spruce hedge

What's Coming Up garden news

Janet Macunovich and Steven Nikkila help you grow

What's Coming Up Issue #217, February 27, 2016

 

Time to get moving

With late winter snow flurries comes a flurry of work: Projects to finish, tools to sharpen, design decisions to be made... If the things you're wondering about aren't in this issue be sure to post them as questions on our Forum. We're there every day sharing advice and watching the discussion to decide what topics to cover next.

 In this issue:

 

Big Hedges: 12 shrubs and trees that have all the key qualities to be a great big hedge. We commend them for good looks, density, adaptability, tolerance for continual cutting and more.

Thumbs Up and Down: To lovely witchhazels and aggravating deer. We enjoy the one and plan our campaign of deterrents for the other.

Raspberry Crumble: Raspberry bushes are persistent but here's one reason to think about replacing them every few years... and some important notes about Japanese beetle control.

You can make a big hedge to create that privacy you want.

You can make a big hedge to create that privacy you want.

Old Spruce Hedge: It's a Stumper, why the gardener fails to see that her own row of aging spruces or pines can no longer serve its intended purpose. Here's why it's probably better to start over than to plant under those trees, with plenty of photos that may help you recognize the aging spruce in your own blind spot.

Kids Views on Lawn and Collections: Smile as they remind us of lawn's biggest value and a child's need for freedom to poke about in a garden.

Hot topics now playing in the Forum

Raspberry Crumble is part of our Tip Cuttings department of topics that sprouted in the Forum and warrant summary here. In such articles we provide a link to the topic in the Forum so you can reap the benefit of continuing discussion there. Currently:

Pros and cons of using a weed burner, saving tree roots with permeable pavement, avoiding the consequences of weedy compost, and coaxing bloom from blue hydrangeas.

You can browse at will in the Forum but to propose a question or make a comment you must become a member. Membership is free, and it takes just two minutes to join. (We require membership as a defense against hackers and spammers but it is also your door to automatic notice of answers posted to your questions.)

 

Also timely: We've updated, illustrated and posted Growing Concerns #647

It's quite the collection:

• The spruce understory,
• trees for a wetland,
• fertilizing a citrus tree,
• snow-flattened ornamental grasses,
• making natural mobiles,
• removing snow from shrub- and tree branches,
• gardening careers,
• seed saving,
• stone paths,
• planting over a ground-down stump and
• hiring a tree broker.

Read any of these illustrated articles from the Growing Concerns 647 cover page.

Another chance to come prune with us

We post pictures of what we prune because pictures really are thousand-word wonders. Yet there's no substitute for being there. At our last Garden By Janet & Steven five of us circled a tree we had just pruned, congratulating ourselves on a beautiful job. Then C.S. observed, "You can look at pictures and get the idea but until you actually do it..."

So true, C.S. Pruning is a 3-D thing. So join us to Garden By Janet and Steven and learn by watching or helping.

We offer these opportunities free of charge. Just watch our calendar for tasks and towns that suit you. Then contact us as explained in each calendar listing so we can give you the specific location and keep you updated on any last minute weather changes.

 

We know pruning involves scary decisions. We've been there, wondering how much is too much to cut and when is best. We invite you out with us to give you the benefit of that experience.

We know pruning involves scary decisions. We've been there, wondering how much is too much to cut and when is best. We invite you out with us to give you the benefit of that experience.