View your garden from a distance.
Every garden is a work of natural wonder. Is your garden manicured
to near perfection, or is it overgrown and wild? Realize the beauty
of its present state. Realize too, that as you view it is changing.
©2002 - Botany For
Kids - all rights reserved.
The art of pruning gives you a relationship with nature that defines
your garden. Develop the skill with confidence. Gather information,
acquire the tools, employ intuition, be creative.
Developing the skill requires confidence. Initially, prune lightly.
If you don't obtain a perfect shape, remember, nature provides
ample opportunity. Be comfortable in the decision process of pruning.
Sometimes it is good to move quickly and freely, at times you
may need to think out every deliberate cut.
Knowing the characteristics of your plant is important. Read about
them. If you have questions ask a neighbor, local nursery person,
or a master gardener at the U.C. Cooperative Extension Office.
Tools are important. Hand pruners, lopping shears, hedge clippers
and a pruning saw will take care of most plants. For larger trees
you may need a pole pruner/saw and a chain saw. Check over your
tools. If they are dull I recommend that you learn the skill of
sharpening, or have them sharpened professionally. Fingers work
well for cleaning dried leaves and snapping little branches.
Use your intuition. If you need to walk through your garden you
would naturally clear a path. Prune so that your garden is comfortable
for working and relaxation. Let instinct guide you. Be creative.
Plants can be pruned for a natural appearance or shaped to create
ground covers, shrubs, hedges, trees, trellises, espaliers and
topiaries. Experiment and see what nature can do.