Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Handy gift for gardeners with pruning phobia

For my birthday I got several gardening-related gifts, including this very handy boxed set of pruning instructions (in German).

The box contains 32 laminated reference cards on flowering shrubs and 8 cards on fruit trees and bushes, covering just about everything I have in my garden. Each card has general care and pruning instructions and clear illustrations. It also includes a neck strap to attach the cards to for ready reference, or alternatively a strap for (I presume) hanging them on a nearby twig while pruning. An accompanying booklet contains handy calendars, tables and other general information on pruning and pruning tools.
I don't know about the rest of you gardeners, but pruning has always intimidated me. Armed with these clear and explicit instructions I will now face my trees and bushes with more confidence - although my septuagenarian neighbors in the garden colony will probably be amused. 

The set's in German and geared towards what grows in a typical German garden, and I recommend it. I'd love to hear any tips for other easy reference books on pruning.


  1. Never mind the pruning, I am blown away by the handwritten 'signature' on your photos!

  2. Well gee, guess I'll make the signature a little bigger so it shows up better! Thanks.

  3. My problem is I never know when to stop pruning. It's like I get into some wierd pruning groove and forget to take a moment and check that I haven't lopped off too much. I love the American Horticultural Society's "Pruning and Training" Encyclopedia. It's my go-to source for finding out where, when, and how to prune just about any tree, shrub, or vine.

    Christine in Alaska

  4. Happy "belated" Birthday, Barbara. I have taken a couple of pruning courses, the two pieces of advice that really stuck with me was, prune directly after flowering and take the older wood right off at the ground, no tip pruning into a ball, unless that is what you want of course.

  5. Barbara, like you, I still find it a bit confusing. Not so much how to prune, but when to prune. So I keep a couple of old reference books nearby to remind me. Your birthday present seems like a great guide. Happy pruning. And a belated Happy Birthday.

  6. Great Birthday present..
    I wish I could be close and help you with your pruning chores!!
    Good Luck!!
    Thank you for all your wonderful posts.
    Please continue 2010!!
    At this Christmas Season we remember and honour those who are no longer with us and cherish those who are.

    Peace On Earth and best wishes throughout the New Year


  7. Hi Christine, I have that problem too. After reading my new pruning card on clematis, I think I've been overdoing it year for year!

    Deborah, that is easy advice to remember, thanks for the tip.

    Hank, I've discovered that there is no consensus among gardeners or even gardening books on the topic of when to prune. At my birthday party there was a lively discussion between proponents of pruning roses right now, and pruning them in February.

    Hi Gisela, Thanks for your words of peace. I wish you the same, and would be delighted if you could come over and help me prune.

  8. Barbara,
    I use Picasa from Google to create my collages you liked so much!!
    Just download Picasa at no charge and have fun!!
    - Cheers Gisela

  9. Babara, I am so happy for you. The presents are a gardener's dream. Happy New Year 2010!

  10. I have been trying to find out what bush my family brought to the US 120 years ago from Germany, and it has flowers like on this cover. Can you tell me what bush this is?