currently in Austin


Get set, prune, sort of + free design templates

Sharpen those pruners! But the Chrysanthemum pacificum gets a reprieve for now.

chrysanthemum pacificum
The Butterpat and Country Girl mums finally got a trim the day after Christmas to reduce their urban sprawl and entice their December buds to give it a tentative shot. Here’s Butterpat, sunbathing in late December sun, only slightly daunted by this week’s cold, either.

Butterpat chrysanthemum

I showed no mercy for some of the long stragglers, though, and clipped them to their rosettes.  Someone’s already having lunch.

Chrysanthemum rosette

I’m itching to prune. I hope to nab a few hours this weekend to cut the asters to their rosettes and give the Salvia greggiis a good haircut. I always wiggle the branches to pull out rotted ones. I’ll chop to the ground the woody canes of flame acanthus and the Hamelia patens.

cutting back dormant hamelia patens
I won’t touch the evergreens until mid to late February (depending on weather). I’ll wait to shape the abutilons and my gray-leafed buddleja until we’re past the last frost.

Buddleja 'Butterfly Heaven' winter gray leaves
Since pruning is on our minds, this week Daphne answers our question about pruning paint. Yuck, it’s so ugly, and on most trees, it really isn’t necessary. Let the wound heal naturally.

On the other hand, red oaks and live oaks need pruning paint. Even though it may be safe to prune them between June and February, when the nitidulid beetles that carry the disease are dormant, we can’t predict weather or them!  Find out more about oak wilt.

For super pruning tips in general, check out this guide by Doug Welsh, A&M professor & Extension Horticulturist.

Since design is also on our minds, too, this week on CTG, Tom meets with Grow Green coordinator Denise Delaney on fabulous garden design templates and the plants that go with them.

Low maintenance shade garden design template Grow Green

Get templates for low maintenance shade, deer resistant, child-friendly, contemporary gardens and more at local nurseries and online, along with lots of other great tips from Grow Green.

And, don’t miss the FREE Green Garden Festival on Feb. 27 from noon to 4 p.m. for talks and tips to create a garden that is attractive, earth-friendly, and saves money!

Don’t forget CTG’s event calendar for fabulous free events coming up, like the Master Gardener’s Spring Vegetable primer on Feb. 12.

Homegrown mashed potatoes, anyone? Trisha demonstrates how to grow potatoes, even in containers!

On tour, designers Adams Kirkpatrick and Russell Womack renovate an Austin garden with Green techniques for This Old House.

Until next week, Linda