This weekly column is being reproduced with the permission of Steve Smith, The Whistling Gardener, and owner of Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville.
I have mentioned in past columns that July is an excellent month to prune our gardens. I am not talking about major slash and burn type pruning (which should be done first thing in the spring if at all) but rather the nip and tuck, clip and snip, make a little room for your neighbor type of pruning.
This kind of gardening is what I like to call tweaking and while it is a twelve month a year task it seems like July is when it really becomes obvious that I planted things too close together or that one shrub is shading out another or that the enormous clump of Rudbeckia should have been thinned out this last spring.
July is the month to guide our gardens into their glorious summer climax or to put it another way, it is the month to help make everything fit into the space we allotted for it.
Stuff grows after all, that is the whole idea in the first place. The problem of course is that stuff doesn’t stop growing and we all reach a time when we need to make some hard decisions.
This is nothing to fear or dread but rather an opportunity to take a closer look at how our vision of paradise is progressing.
Many of you may remember my analysis of how gardens develop. The first year they sleep, the second year they creep and the third year they leap. Usually by the fourth year all hell breaks loose and it is time for some tweaking.
Even professional architects recognize this progression and realize that their creations are not static but rather need constant fine tuning to help them mature as envisioned.
Depending on the intensity of our gardens, this fine tuning can be minimal or constant. Either way it is this nurturing that turns our yards into gardens.
So fear not! Boldly go forth into your garden with clippers in hand and tweak away knowing that your gentle guidance is what will make the difference between chaos and order.
And if perchance you do manage to kill something I just happen to know a very good nursery where you could probably find a nice replacement.
Coming up this month: the Snohomish Garden Club Garden Tour. July 27th is the date for this granddaddy of garden tours and it is always a fun outing. Tickets will be available here at the nursery as well as other locations. Check out their website for more information.
Leaf Sculpture classes: here at the nursery on both Saturday and Sunday, August 2nd and 3rd we will be doing a “make and take” class on casting leaves. Prepayment is required for this class due to its popularity. Check out our website for more info.
Marysville Home Grown Festival: August 8th -10th. We will be there with a booth of incredible sedum and succulent creations from our ever so creative greenhouse genius Mary Stole.
Steve Smith is owner of Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville and can be reached online at firstname.lastname@example.org