Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Perfect Pruning with Judith Ogden

On Saturday, April 11, 2015, I tagged along with my friend and gardener, Jane, to Ogden's Nursery in St. James, Long Island. 
 Judith Ogden was giving an outdoor, hands on seminar on pruning, at Nissequogue Farm.  She is an award winning Landscape designer.
 Ogden's Design & Plantings, Inc. isn't a retail nursery, but rather by appointment only, for landscaping projects, but open to the public monthly at seminars from April to September.
 Nissaquogue Farm is meticulously laid out and tended by Ms. Ogden.
There was a wonderful old shed which sheltered large landscaping pots and iron trellises.
 When we got there she was ready with pruning tools of every sort.

 She explained the different types of pruning shears. These were useful for snipping off
 spent blossoms on certain white hydrangeas.
She expertly gave us instructions regarding where to cut the hydrangea canes.
 What I liked about Judith Ogden's seminar was her authenticity.  She is the gardener!  In her world, a perfect landscape happens over time and with considerable work.

 Then we took turns cutting the hydrangeas back.
 One of the ladies compared completely dead branches to live ones.  Stems with green still showing could be used to propagate new plants by putting them into wet soil, and keeping them wet for the season.

 Pruning rejuvenates the hydrangeas and reduces the chance of disease by eliminating dead material.  With regards to Hydrangeas, only these white ones which make buds on new growth, not the blue ones which make buds on last year's stems, should be pruned. 
 Here she is topping off a tall variety.
 Judith Ogden tackled a huge Callicarpa, one of my favorite shrubs, otherwise known as Beauty Bush or as I call it the purple berry bush.
She reduced its size with the long shears, by snipping off the tips of the branches.  This will result in many more berries for the birds to feast on in January.
 Rose of Sharon
 Butterfly bushes
 Spriea

 Rose bushes, were all on her list to prune that day.
 And so we did too,
strengthening the plants.
 I started pruning my shrubs late in March.  This is one of my Knockout Rose bushes.
 You can see that it is already pushing out new strong growth.
 A Spirea which I severely trimmed back is now covered with new leaves.

 White Hydrangeas are putting out many new leaves.
These shoots are coming off of stems that I just pushed into moist soil in a plastic pot and kept them  in the shade and wet last summer.
 Another white hydrangea that is coming back after pruning
 This is an Oak Leaf hydrangea that I cut way back
 because it was covering up a clump of white Bleeding Hearts.
During the winter I go outside and clip sleeping branches of Japonica and Forsythia to force bloom.  This month,  I brought them outside hoping to see roots develop later on in the summer.  Then I will plant them directly in the soil.

Nissequogue Farm (Ogden's Nursery) is located at
 650 North Country Road, St. James, NY  (631) 473-5064,

Visit her website: www.ogdens.com/calendar for future seminar dates.