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I ran away from teaching to the country to grow veggies. There are also some chooks and a pair of troublesome goats who were so much trouble they had to go! My simple green life isn't always as simple or as green as I'd like...but I keep trying!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Winter Wednesday #11

 Winter is the only time some garden chores can be done.
So I have broken out the secateurs and the pruning saw
and attended to one of these chores.

I am probably about to tell grandma how to suck eggs,
but here are my directions for pruning a hydrangea

Hydrangea flower on one year old wood.
The pruning job, therefore is to remove the stems
that flowered last year.

The classic 'before' photo.

Firstly, remove all the stems with spent flowers on them.
Cut these down low to the base next to a pair of buds
(choose the first or second pair of buds)

Use sharp secateurs and make diagonal cuts 

Then step back and have a good look at the bush.
You will probably have a number
of dead or weak stems.

You can clearly see the weak stems in this photo.

Work through the plant again, removing these
right down at the base. 

 Ta da!....the 'after-photo'.

After looking at this photo, 
I am going to go back out and trim the length
on some of those long canes, 
just to provide a sturdier frame for the flowers
and a more even plant. 

If you have an old hydrangea or one that hasn't been
pruned for a few years, a good prune of all the stems
back to the base promotes healthy growth.
You may not have flowers this summer,
but the plant will repay you for it in the long run.

Go on...think hard 
and write a post about
the joys of Winter.
Leave a comment on this post 
and I will put a link 
to your contribution.
Everybody is welcome,
even if you haven't 
participated before.

You could be just like
these bloggers...


  1. Hey Hazel, I finally managed to link up to your Winter Wednesdays today.
    I have a hydrangea that I've hacked into to try and get rid of but of course it keeps coming back all the stronger. Not sure why but hydrangeas brings back an unpleasant, uneasy feeling associated with childhood...perhaps I need therapy to sort out that one out.

  2. Hi Hazel,you wouldn't beleive it todays job(paid one) is to spend 4 hrs giving a garden a "haircut" including 2 large hydrangeas!
    Enjoy your day! Joining today!!

  3. Ah I almost forgot I have one task need to add this month as well~pruning.

  4. Are you striking cuttings with your prunings Hazel?

    Here's my addition for WW. A pretty little star for a cool morning...

  5. hydrangeas are my all time favourite I have fond childhood memories of my grandparents place and they had a yard full of them..i hvae my tiny little hydrangea stubs in the greenhouse,they are doing really well..i'll plant them out into bigger pots in the spring time and put them on the porch..i appreciate your tute on pruning i would of just slashed at them

  6. Another contribution from me.

  7. Thank you Ms Hazel, I believe I'll draw The Gardener's attention to this post.

  8. We are water logged over here Hazel..

  9. My Grandma used to grow lots of hydrangeas, and I'm sure she would have used the technique you describe. She used to bury lots of rusty (iron?) nails in the soil nearby, which she reckoned would give them a better colour - presumably red.

  10. Hi Hazel - Thanks for the prompt. I must go out and prune those hydrangeas. I have a very old hydrangea that is a cutting from our mothers - grandmother's old type hydrangea (smaller flowers and a quite muted colour) and I think I prefer this type to the showy colourful modern ones. HDW

  11. Excellent work there Hazel! The leafless stems/branches make a good winter interest in the garden. But judging by all those fat buds it's already raring to get going soon.

  12. nice one Hazel, part of the fun of winter wednesday is finding out what the link is that you have come up with for us each week...

  13. Hmmm hydrangeas hey... are they red?

    Oh I am funny... I must admit though, your pruning is impressive, you really do know what you are doing! I studied for weeks before I pruned one of my apple trees, and I still don't think I have got a grasp on it.

    Hazel you should be a guest on Gardening Australia!!

  14. Oh, you've reminded me that I wanted to take cuttings from my mother-in-law's hydrangeas! Must get onto that...

    Sneaking in to Winter Wednesday at the eleventh hour again:

  15. Planning to do mine this weekend.

  16. That is some pruning job Hazel! Looking forward to seeing the blooms! Blue or pink?
    I couldn't even get organised enough to join in winter Wednesday's this week :( let alone sort out the pruning in my garden..,boooo...

  17. *chuckle* this grandma has never sucked an egg...thanks for this post!!


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