Category Archives: Seasonal Maintenance

Air layering hydrangeas and seasonal pruning.

The Oakleaf hydrangeas I purchased as twigs in the clearance plant area of a local garden center years ago have grown so large! A few lower limbs are on the ground and over the brick boarder. I will use this opportunity to take cuttings or air layer root the limbs.

Sometimes the limbs will root on their own when they are in contact with the ground. This limb has a small root. I will pot it up and keep it moist and it should grow more roots throughout our warm Winter and by Spring be nicely rooted.

20130822-143126.jpgAir layering is easy in this situation. All you have to do is to dig a trench and bury the limbs leaving the limb attached to the plant and the leaf end exposed. By the end of the season they should be rooted.

The oak shaped leaves become a beautiful red and orange in the Fall. Very similar to maple leaves. The white blooms in the Spring are long and pointed. The plants grow very large as these are about 5 feet tall and 10 feet wide.

I removed the limbs which were hanging out of the bed and covering the brick edging. I will root these the old-fashioned way as cuttings.


Last year I buried a low limb on the Soutbern Magnolia in an effort to air layer it. It has grown fast and is firmly rooted so I will move it next Spring!


The old fashioned hydrangeas near the Basjoo bananas were trimmed today, too. They bloom on second year wood so the old wood that bloomed this year was removed and the new, green limbs were left to bloom next year. This also allows room for the Spring blooming bulbs when their season arrives next year.


I saved many cuttings to root. By next Fall these will be nicely rooted and beautiful small plants.


The Autumn clematis on the light post have gone crazy! They have grown over the lights. I had pulled them down earlier in the season but I will wait until they complete their blooming cycle before their annual Fall trim. Theses on the lamp post in front of the house are in partial shade so they peak a few weeks after the one on the mailbox. It grows faster in the full sun out by the street.


Autumn clematis blooms on new wood so an aggressive trim in the Spring keeps them clean and promotes a very heavy bloom. They are so fragrant you can smell the sweet scent about ten feet away! After blooming, a fluffy silver seed head forms. The freely seed through out the garden.



Filed under Plants, Seasonal Maintenance

Early morning work in the garden.

The hot and humid summers in the Mid-Atlantic states require garden work to be performed either early in the morning or later on in the evening. Temperatures have been in the 90s with humidity just as high.

Gus usually wakes me up about 5:30 to 6:00 am to go out and do his business so sometimes I take advantage of that time to do some cleaning and other garden chores.

The Basjoo bananas are suckering profusely this year. I have removed several suckers and relocated them to other areas of the garden.


The rhizomes are large on this little pup! There are two kinds of suckers on bananas. One is called a sword put and have leaves when very short, and generally, but not always, are less vigorous and poor growers. The other is watersprout sucker. They have narrow leaves and large rhizomes. They grow 2-3′ before growing regular leaves.


This is a watersprout.


So this pup was moved out near the curb garden. He should do well out there as its hot but the ground is moist.


I am always finding objects when I dig in the yard of this 50 year old house. Many bricks and bottles and I think Ruby, the former lady of the house, either put a brick or a pipe next to every shrub or tree she planted!


The mother clump.




Filed under Seasonal Maintenance

The pine and oak pollen season is coming to an end!

For those of us with pollen allergies this is our most anticipated time of the spring season!

The pine and oak pollen cones are falling and it’s windy today with a chance of rain showers this afternoon! This means the pollen may be gone very soon!


The male cones of the pine are called microstrobus and the female cones are called megastrobus. This makes sense considering their size in relation to each other!


The oak pollen catkins are falling, too. Their pollen can be almost as bad as the pines. It just depends how many are in you neighborhood.

Once all the pollen is out of the air it’s time for a thorough Spring cleaning, especially the window sills and storm windows!


Filed under Plants, Seasonal Maintenance