Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Attack on the Orange

The weekend was too beautiful to stay inside, so on Sunday I got out the pruners and visciously attacked my mexican mock orange.

I thought about waiting until after it bloomed, but I started to shear the fern hiding under it and couldn't help myself.

Could barely tell there was a fern there.

I started to just prune off a few of the lower branches near the fern, but realized that when the stalks of the plant touch the ground they start growing roots. And trust me, this guy didn't need any more roots.

Here's the before picture.

It's not just a trick of the light, you really can't tell where the orange stops and the rhodie to the left of it starts. (YES, there IS a rhodie there!)

This guy was a monster. No regular maintenance had been done and the branches were weaving in and out of each other. I've had a bit of a hard time finding care on "Mexican mock orange" as opposed to just "mock orange", but I have come to the conclusion that you need to hack away at branches a the base, like a forsythia. The basis for that? Lots of spots where it looked like someone had cut the end off and it had grown eight more branches. Kind of like a hydra, only times eight.

Between two ferns, the orange, and a wee bit of pruning on the low branches on the rhodie, we managed to fill both yard waste bins in about two hours. Sigh. So much waste.

It may not be pretty this year, but I think the plant really needed the hair cut and will be happier in the long run. Well, maybe it won't be happier, since it was freaking covered in flower buds, but I will be.

My hydrangea is looking better than last year. I don't think I quite gave it the 1/3 cutting I should have. May have to work on it again this weekend.

And you see that green shrub behind it? IT'S ANOTHER MEXICAN ORANGE. Seriously? Were they free or something? No way there is enough space for that back in the corner. It will definitely be getting a transplant at some point.

I was examining the rhubarb patch after the perennial edibles class last week and couldn't find any sprouts. I wasn't sure if they were supposed to die all the way back to the ground in the winter, but the class assured me they were. But they said I should have little pink heads sticking out of the ground... And I didn't. But that was last week.

There are TWO tiny stalks coming out of this rhubarb. And this is the one that DIED last year! I planted the stalks and this group wilted away to nothing and didn't produce any more leaves. Look at it now!

This one produced only a few small leaves last year, but I have faith that this year it will return with vigor! Rhubarb for everyone!!

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