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lalennoxa

For better or worse, what garden "rules" do you ignore?


I will start. As a newbie gardener when I first moved into my house I was eager to learn all I could about my newfound adventure. In the backyard, there was a large clematis over an arbour. So I said to myself, "Self, you had better learn all there is to know about growing clematis." And one of the first thing I learned is that there are different groups of clematis, with different pruning recommendations for each group. And after mulling over that one for a bit, I said to myself, "Self, you know you will never do this!" So, basically, I do absolutely no pruning with any of my clematises; they all have the hands off approach unless I am training them up a support. And I kid you not - every clematis has grown consistently full and strong without me taking any pruning shears to it. To me, it always seems that the clematis knows what it wants to do. If it wants to grow on old wood, it leaves the old stems for it to grow out of. If if wants to grow from new growth, those old stems just die off and blow away anyway, without me getting involved. I now have about 15 different varieties in my backyard and they are all full and happy as larks doing their thing. I don't prune, I don't fertilize. I am the epitome of tough love. They are lucky I kicked them into the ground. Meanwhile, one of my local experienced garden friends struggles endlessly trying to keep even one clematis alive. It's the strangest thing.

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