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Pruning Q + Plant suitability

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Question from Kathryn Layard

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I live in a new build, builder planted front border, North facing heavy clay with euonymous silver queen, Prunus laurocerasus 'Otto Luyken' Photinia x fraseri 'Red Robin' . It is a very small garden is there any way I can prune any of these to keep them small or should I dig them and if I do what do you suggest. I did a lot of looking at gardening books / websites last year but didn't really come up with anything very much that would work, evergreen, interesting, clay and north.

  • Views: 861
  • Replies: 4
  • Posted: Sat. 26th March 2011 20:13

Re: Pruning Q + Plant suitability

Reply from Kathy C

Hi, Kathryn,
P. laurocerasus 'Otto Luyken' has a max spread of 1.5m so won't get overly large - and it can give a nice, evergreen structure to your front garden. P x fraserii 'Red Robin' will outgrow the space - you could replace it with 'Little Red Robin'.
Personally, I am not a fan of Euonymous (overused if you ask me) so what you might want to do is run an advanced search here on Shoot, putting in the conditions of your garden. You'll get a great list to peruse, matched to what you have in your garden. Happy hunting and please let me know what you decide to do. By the way, any chance you could post a photo?
Kathy C

  • Posted: Mon. 28th March 2011 22:07

Re: Re: Pruning Q + Plant suitability

Reply from Kathryn Layard

Hi thanks for posting, struggling a bit . Rightly or wrongly in front of this border I have planted Rudbeckia fulgida Goldstrum, North facing clay not ideal but they gave a nice display last year.Peppered the planting of Rudbekia with Cranesbills Blue long flowering which did well , this year have added two herbaceous clematis's into the mix never grown these before . Only been here a year, last year I spent hours looking at the front trying to work out what to do. Trying to get a sense of what the landscape gardener was ultimately trying to see in the planting of tall shrubs and a sea of euonymous. Mahonia was about the only shrub that kept showing up, our garden on the plan was supposed to have mahonia not photinia but in my experience Mahonia's can look lovely whilst flowering and quite sick the rest of the year. This has been my experience of Photinia but I use to work with sand not clay. I looked up 'Little Red Robin' on shoot, noticed it at the garden centre at the weekend (never seen it before) but it does say it can be frost tender and this is North facing heavy clay. So as I say, I spent a long time trying to think about sorting the structure of this plot but couldn't really come up with anything to replace the Photinia that would like the conditions which is why I wondered if I could just keep heavily pruning them. In an ideal world I would probably have the whole lot up and re-think, but I would struggle with North facing clay to know to do. I have also put Digitalis Grandiflora's in amongst the planting and the yellow welsh poppy and I was thinking of planting more Cranesbills this year in amonst the euonymous thinking they may just climb up through them and add some interest. So how about pruning these shrubs to keep them within bounds? As you say though, the Photinia has to go a 4 meter shrub cannot be kept small enough for my patch

  • Posted: Tue. 29th March 2011 09:57

Re: Pruning Q + Plant suitability

Reply from Kathryn Layard

Just added photos.

Re: Pruning Q + Plant suitability  (29/03/2011)Re: Pruning Q + Plant suitability  (29/03/2011)Re: Pruning Q + Plant suitability  (29/03/2011)

Click image to enlarge

  • Posted: Tue. 29th March 2011 09:40

Re: Re: Pruning Q + Plant suitability

Reply from Linda Regel

Hi Kathryn, I wouldn't worry too much about the what the landscaper was planning when he planted your garden. From my experience, this is a typical builder planting of any old shrubs to fill the space.
I would look at the planting and try and decide on what sort of theme you want first. Your choice of plants so far sounds quite cottagey so maybe this theme? Or maybe stick within a range of colours. You seem to have quite a lot of evergreen shrubs so I would look at adding or replacing a few of them with some deciduous shrubs for seasonal interest. Maybe one strongly architectural plant to add as a focal point and bulbs for spring. I have an article on my website which gives more information on planning a new border - http://www.greengardendesign.co.uk/articles
Have fun choosing your plants
Regards
Linda

  • Posted: Thu. 31st March 2011 08:57