The garden designer and her partner, the hort-abler, returned one evening late this past week to survey the back yard and discuss “what next” in my garden design process.
“What next” included a suggestion to prune one of the viburnums, Viburnum prunifolium, so that it would be more like a small tree instead of a massive shrub. I was delighted to take on that little assignment. I love to prune things. I don’t know that I do a great job pruning, but I love to do it anyway.
I headed out to the garden this morning with pruning tools of various sorts, a pair of heavy gloves, and safety goggles…
… then I sized up the viburnum…
And commenced with sawing, pruning, and cutting back until I ended up with…
A small tree.
Already, I can see why she asked me to do this. It turned a massive wall of shrubs into something a little more defined. Suddenly there is a place to plant some little shade loving plants, or something, under there. And guess what, according to MOBOT, this viburnum is usually grown as a small tree, anyway.
I think those other viburnums in that massive wall of green could use a little pruning, too, not to turn them into small multi-trunk trees but to control their size a little more. I’ll tend to that later, realizing, of course, that these are spring flowering shrubs and so any pruning I do now will reduce the amount of bloom next spring. “Later” might actually be next spring after they bloom.
While she was here, the garden designer also gave each area of the garden a name to refer to so that when she comes back with the design, she can refer to those areas by their names. I think that helps contribute to that design element I’m looking for called “placeness“.
The design will include some specific suggestions for plants along with some generalities for me to fill in on my own and in my own time.
I’m going to refine those garden names this weekend to suit myself, because I do love giving my own names to things.
She also brought some reading material for me, including the book, Bringing Nature Home by Douglas W. Tallamy. I already had it but haven’t had a chance to read it, so I’ll move that to the top of my reading pile. I’ll also be studying some pamphlets she left me on native plants for my area. I’m supposed to let her know which ones I like. Apparently “all of them” is too many for my garden.
Now that it is the height of summer, we’ll hold off on any more planting until early fall. In the meantime, there is plenty for me to do besides read books and pamphlets and dream of native plants.
I need to order bulbs, find pictures of gates I like so we can finalize the design of a gate into the vegetable garden, study native plants, finish forming the path through the woodland garden and maybe find some stones to pave it with, buy some seating for the garden, admire my beautiful new patio, look for a fountain to put on it, and of course, tend to all that has been planted so far.
That should keep me busy and off the streets for awhile.