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Just in from a day of working in the garden (you know: “working”) and I got to wondering, is pruning the new planting?

Nothing will ever compare to the thrill of an open expanse of soil and corresponding trip to the nursery, but there’s a joy to be had in having planted something that’s grown up big and tall. Something that can benefit from a little helping hand to sculpt it into the best version of itself. Plus as my garden matures there will be less planting, more pruning – I might as well frame that positively…

It has a long way to go before it’s a showpiece, but the bottom of this Feijoa sellowiana was looking a little frazzled. A few snips and it’s better.
Feijoa sellowiana

Although I’m now questioning that branch jutting out on the bottom right – I’ve discovered nothing highlights what you’ve missed quite like taking a picture and looking at it on your computer screen.

95% of why I grow Arctostaphylos is because of the shiny mahogany colored bark.
Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Harmony' 1

Time spent pruning the Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Harmony’ to reveal more of that bark is a delight…
Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Harmony' 2

This branch I removed from my Arctostaphylos x densiflora ‘Sentinel’ is twice the size of the plant itself when I brought it home just a few years ago!
Arctostaphylos x densiflora 'Sentinel' branch

I hated to cut it,  but with its crazy curvy trunk that branch was adding weight on the side that doesn’t need it, bending it closer and closer to the ground…
Arctostaphylos x densiflora 'Sentinel'

My Arctostaphylos x ‘Austin Griffiths’ has a great growth habit, its upright stature makes seeing those sexy branches easier. Of course all the darn sunshine we’ve been having (best spring ever!) makes photo taking a challenge.
Arctostaphylos x 'Austin Griffiths'

Does removing the lower leaves on a Yucca rostrata qualify as pruning?
Yucca rostrata 1

It’s very rewarding work, especially when the beginnings of a trunk are revealed…
Yucca rostrata 2

I do think pruning could become addicting, which is why I’m always careful to take a step back, a deep breath, and make sure I really want to make that next cut. Pruning is also how I’ve been able to rationalize planting too many things that will get large too close together.
Yucca rostrata 3

Not the smartest way to garden but it works for me, and besides…I get plenty of material to bring indoors and fill my vase collection!