Tuesday, 2 April 2013

If Monty Don says it, then it must be right ...

Right at the bottom of the garden are about 25 red Cornus (Dogwood), planted in a horseshoe shape, to provide an inner band of planting around the boundary, to give interest and privacy. They are just starting their third season, but have had a poor start due to dry conditions, and more shade than I initially thought there would be.  Because of this I have left them to their own devices - until yesterday !  I cruelly pruned them all hard back - why ? because Monty Don said so ! And whatever Monty says is right as far as I am concerned ! Pruning hard back should make for stronger, branched growth this season. I have also cut back overhanging branches over the winter, to reduce the shade.

So, there I was , with an armful of prunings and what did I do ? What Monty Don suggested, that's what ! He said to just push the prunings into the ground in the likelihood that they will root. Job jobbed !

I still had a (smaller) armful so I potted up smaller prunings in pots of about 8 and put them in the greenhouse, to take their chance. I potted them up in general potting compost, dipping them in Hormone rooting gel first. If I am unsure of what to do, I always use my mum's mantra, which is  "They have 2 chances - live or die, so let them take it !" I won't have lost anything if they fail to root so it is always worth a try.

I still had an (even smaller) armful of prunings left, so I put them all in a vase in the house and they look so lovely. So there was nothing left from my pruning to go on the compost heap!


  1. That must have been so satisfying - reusing all your prunings!

  2. Hi Lyn - nothing wasted at all ! Fingers crossed that a percentage of them will root ! They are said to root easily but I have not had the opportunity to try them before . Is it something you have tried ?

    1. No, I've never grown red Cornus. I know it's common in the UK, but almost unheard of here, except in a few cool, damp, mountain areas. Mostly it's too hot and dry in summer for this plant. I do love those red stems, though.

  3. They look great ! I had one growing here in South Australia quite well, but after a very dry summer it died :(


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