I was just trying to get your attention, pruning doesn’t scare me. Pruning is a necessary evil in the garden. I find that most people are intimidated by pruning. Maybe it’s just simply the chore of it. While it is work, pruning can make or break the production of a fruit tree, the blooming cycle of a plant or the shape of a tree. In my experience, I think most people overthink pruning. It’s not hard, it’s like riding a bike.

I was drawn out into the garden a few weeks back. It was the first sunny day that we had had in a long time where I actually felt the warmth of the sun on my face. Coming home, I thought “why not walk the garden”? With my Beats on my head and my clippers in hand, I went to work. It was not my intention to prune 35 roses, 32 fruit trees, 8 shrubs, and remove one dead Ceanothus. You could say I was in a mood. Cutting along at a fast pace, there were trimmings strewn everywhere. I’d been pruning for a long time, I’m pretty proficient at it. I get in a zone. So much so that when I looked down at my hand, I realized that my fingers were the same color as the handles of my Corona clippers. I consider myself a fairly intelligent person – obviously not intelligent enough to put on a pair of gloves when going to war with the roses.

Does pruning stress you out? Does pruning freak you out? Are you afraid that if you make one wrong cut, it’s all ruined?

Fear not.

Join me Saturday, February 22nd at 10:30am for a free pruning class. I’m going to teach you my tips and tricks to pruning. It’s not difficult, I have a different approach that has served me well over the years. I’ll talk a little about conifers, the cause and effect of pruning shrubs, the simplicity of pruning a rose, and yes we’ll talk about pruning Japanese maples. Reserve your seat by clicking here. We’ll see you soon.

With the coming of spring and the chore of pruning also comes potting up thousands of plants at High-Hand. Take a sneak peak into the future of new plants in the green house. I never get tired of walking the green house this time of year.

There’s something about the fresh smell of dirt. It’s akin to an ocean breeze or the smell of fresh pine needles in the forest. If you haven’t had a chance to walk our green house, I suggest you do. Experience it for yourself.

One of the standouts this time of year in the nursery is the Hellebore. You may know it as a Lenten Rose. There are different types of Hellebores. A multitude of colors and flower patterns, there are early bloomers and late bloomers. This plant amazes me, I’ve seen it bloom with ice hanging from its flowers.

It has an incredibly long lasting bloom that I’ve seen last for more than a month. It’s a shade plants. Don’t plant it in the sun. It has a robust leaf that would make you think it’s sun tolerant but it’s not. However, it is very drought tolerant. So one out of two isn’t bad.

This is cool – no the picture below is not Photoshopped. I’ve been waiting for a year to get this succulent. It is not very often that a Sempervivum catches my eye.

If you are a collector of Semps, its a must have. Its been a long time since the succulent world has produced something with this amazing of a color. Being in the trade that I am, I get to see a lot of different plants. This one I really like. Come check it out for yourself.

Leaving the cafe the other night I was stopped in my tracks. Staring at a beautiful sunset, I chuckled at what appeared to be a giant falcon sitting on the roof of the Wood Mill next door.

Ok, it’s a metal grain silo but can’t we use our imagination for a moment? I stared at it for awhile, it looked like a falcon to me. Call me crazy. I also saw a cloud shaped like a whale the other day, so I understand if you don’t see the falcon. Do you want to see falcons, eagles and owls? Join us for our annual Wings & Wine event.

Join us Saturday, March 14th at 5:30pm to 8pm. Wine, appetizers and stunning birds of prey. Mingle with the owls, hawks, falcons and of course one big beautiful eagle. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by clicking here. Wings & Wine sells out every year, don’t hesitate, I hope to see you there.

With Spring around the corner. This is a good time to make sure your irrigation systems are working properly. Its a great time to clean up any excess clutter left over from mother natures winter. At Maple Rock, we are busy running around fertilizing roses and any emerging plants, hostas, peonies, you get the picture. If pruning still intimidates you, no worries. I hope you signed up for our class February 22nd at 10:30am. The class usually runs an hour, that depends on you because I will talk forever. Please join me, it’ll be nice to see you. I promise to not talk about politics.

See you at High-Hand,


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