Landscape Thursday : Rorschach Eating Habits

Red Bud leaf

Rorschach Ink Blot

First impression – was the leaf folded when whatever ate it?
Second impression – why can’t whatever is doing this, do its’ eating during the day when I could get a picture of it?
Third impression – It’s obvious to second impression for the eater would become the eaten – eating in the light of day

Landscape Thursday: View Scape

Before  - Taken 9/10/06

Many times when we think to landscape, we’re working with plants and trees that are of a certain size and not much thought is given to what they will grow to be. The maple trees that were planted in this court yard were small , maybe 10 ft. tall without much width.

But give them 10 years or more of growth, they start to become what a tree will be, large with a big spread and only will grow larger. Many of the other plants in the court yard started to decline for what once was a sunny location, now was pretty much shaded most of the time.

New homes were built on the hill (where this picture was taken from) and this was their view scape of the Great Bay, where the Lamprey river flows in.
There was much discussion about the problem and finally the trees were removed. New trees were installed, ones that would never get as big as the ones that were removed (could be no higher than the height of the roof) and the other plants that had survive had a better chance to thrive.

So the moral is when we are planting trees and some large shrubs is consider what they are going grow into rather than what size they are as you plant it. For in the long run are you going to lose a pleasant view as you look out your window?

After - Taken 9/15/06

Thursday Landscape- Hand Pruning and Growth Cycles: Part 1


The other day we were at a home of a possible client, and she had planted an evergreen which she like the look and size and was wondering if we could keep that way. I had to explain something I had done many times before when I worked at a nursery. Woody plants whether trees or shrubs need to grow to survive and you can control some of its’ growth thru pruning, but you can never keep it one size, never to grow. All woody plants grow, if they’re not it usually means they are in a state of decline.

So I went on to explain to her about growth cycles and why we hand prune. I thought about it and figured I post some my thoughts here, for it is a big part of my life and why not share some of my experiences about it.

Most plants we have in our gardens were planted there for a reason, whether its’ texture, its’ structure but mostly for it flowers.


One general rule to know is when the flower buds are set.

Plants that flower from the beginning of spring to the beginning of summer usually set their flower buds in the fall. Plants that flower from summer to fall usually set their flower buds during that growing season. Which is important as to when you prune the plant.


We usually prune 3 to 4 times a year, in early spring we prune summer flowering shrubs such as roses, spireas, butterfly bushes and so on for they will set flower buds on new wood.


After the spring woody plants have bloomed, they usually will put out new growth. so depending on what you are trying to achieve with pruning such as reducing size, prune opening in the plant or tree so new growth comes from the inside or just trying to keep appearance balanced, we might prune before or after new growth.


Evergreens sort of have their own rules for pruning for new growth which usually happens here in NH around June, but if you prune them to soon after, they sometimes put a second-growth so it better to wait until later in the summer to do them.


Remember by August, spring flowering shrubs and trees are already setting the buds for next year, so with exceptions such as forsythia (which will grow ever time you turn around) it better to wait for a new spring flower show to come.