Wisterias do profit from being pruned twice a 12 months. By midsummer, wholesome crops produce lengthy, wispy stems.

These are routinely shortened to about 25cm. For higher high quality flowers you’ll be able to shorten these stumps now, leaving two or three buds on every.

This second lower is non-compulsory however ends in bigger flower racemes and a much bigger, higher spring show.

Winter can be the time for structural pruning. Wisteria is a fast-growing thug.

If uncared for it turns into a nuisance, obscuring home windows, scrambling underneath roof tiles or turning into dense and overcrowded.

Nigel Colborn says wisterias do benefit from being pruned twice a year and by midsummer, healthy plants produce long, wispy stems

Nigel Colborn says wisterias do profit from being pruned twice a 12 months and by midsummer, wholesome crops produce lengthy, wispy stems

The winter stems are leafless, making them simpler to see or unravel.

You may prune to weed out tangles, take away undesirable branches and skinny out a big bulk of undesirable development.

A part of the wisteria’s attraction is the best way the mature stems develop. They are often artistically gnarled and convoluted, with stubby side-shoots and brief spurs which is able to carry clusters of blossom.

As you prune, look fastidiously for suckers. These are shoots which have grown up from the rootstock, beneath the purpose the place the range was grafted. When eradicating suckers, lower them flush with the bottom.

Higher nonetheless, observe them to the place they’re connected to the rootstock beneath the graft. That is often slightly below the floor of the soil.   


Leaving perennials to face by means of autumn and into winter is sweet observe. The seeds present meals to birds equivalent to goldfinches and harbour small invertebrates, which feed wrens, bluetits and robins.

By now, nevertheless, many perennials have develop into a soggy mess. Reducing these to floor stage will admit extra daylight to the bottom, the place winter bulbs are already stirring.

Nigel's plant of the week is  the Corkscrew Hazel, Corylus Avellana Quirky shrub 'Harry Lauder's Walking Stick', or the corkscrew hazel, discovered by 19th century clergymangardener Canon Ellacombe

Nigel’s plant of the week is  the Corkscrew Hazel, Corylus Avellana Quirky shrub ‘Harry Lauder’s Strolling Stick’, or the corkscrew hazel, found by nineteenth century clergymangardener Canon Ellacombe

The vegetation you narrow away will compost shortly, particularly in the event you lower all stems to brief lengths. I pile them within the wheelbarrow and assault the load with hedging shears. Quickly the wheelbarrow contents are straightforward to deal with chopped perennials and are midway to turning into backyard compost.


Winter pansies and violas are powerful little crops. Impervious to frost, gales or winter fog, they flower on valiantly every time there is a shiny spell. If allowed to set seed, flowering will cut back.

So to maintain them budding, take away all spent or partially useless blooms. Nip every flower stalk near the purpose the place it joins the viola’s leafy stem.

Optimistically referred to as ‘winter pansies’ or ‘winter violas’, they’re extra hesitant within the darker months.

Maintain deadheading, they are going to produce modest flushes after each delicate spell. 


Quirky shrub ‘Harry Lauder’s Strolling Stick’, or the corkscrew hazel, was found by nineteenth century clergymangardener Canon Ellacombe.

Hormones which management plant development trigger its stems to twist and convolute into grotesque shapes. It is placing after which lambs’ tails catkins mature and hold from the twisted stems.

My aged plant bears good harvests of hazelnuts, which the squirrels often seize first.

Hazels develop nearly wherever and may develop into giant, however they reply properly to pruning.


Why do not my Christmas roses flower at Christmas? They give the impression of being higher for Easter however by no means flower in December or earlier than.

Mrs H. Davis.

‘Christmas Rose’ is a deceptive title for Helleborus niger.

Some varieties handle to flower for Christmas. However most that I’ve grown are prone to bloom from late January.

Many look higher for Easter than in mid-winter.

There are varieties which do reside as much as the colloquial title. Hellebore guru Graham Rice is a fan of ‘Praecox’.

It apparently blooms from September onwards.

One other glorious selection, ‘Potter’s Wheel’, has giant, white symmetrical flowers. It grows pretty properly from seed. The RHS lists six suppliers on its web site (rhs.org.uk).