Itchy Feet, Itchy Fingers?

Now that the build up and preparations for Christmas Day are over there can be a gradual return to regular pursuits, although the habitual Boxing Day walk with Stepson and family took place this morning in sunny but nippy conditions. Every morning for the last week or so though, including yesterday, I have had to fight a strong urge to rush outside as soon as I come downstairs and inspect the species snowdrop border – itchy feet indeed! The relative mildness of December has brought them on so quickly that daily progress is often evident, and I am SO pleased that I took the time to produce the map of the border so that the tardier examples can be checked more easily. It seems unlikely that the two in bud will be open before the year is out but they will still be checked on a daily basis just in case – and further clues sought to complete the detective work on the label-less ones. Exciting times…

My fingers have not been itching too badly to get on with bits and bobs in the garden and the afternoon had been earmarked for dipping into new (mostly baking) books – until I remembered that the annual Christmas Eve prune of the wisteria had been missed. The ladders were retrieved from the plum tree (where further lopping still awaits) and I set to, cutting each stem back to around two buds. The top two pictures show before and after views of the stem trained around the side of the house (where it flowered for the first time this year) and bottom right shows the back elevation after pruning. Bottom left, though, shows how close the wisteria is to the solar panels which cover one side of the roof of our extension, and where several twiny and tangly stems had reached and had to be carefully removed. Tomorrow I shall be up the ladders again but with the loppers this time, removing the spurs that seem likely to send shoots in a roofward direction – and a thinning out of some spurs elsewhere would not go amiss either.


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9 Responses to Itchy Feet, Itchy Fingers?

  1. Christina says:

    Well,done for beginning the Wisteria pruning, I don’t usually start mine until about February but I wait for a nice warm, windless day. This year there will more to do as it has grown a lot, and I didn’t cut and tie in as much this year as the framework was there and I just wanted to let it create lots of shade.

    • Cathy says:

      Before mine flowered a colleague at the time had an elderly man come and prune hers in exchange for dinner – he pruned on midsummer and midwinter days so I started doing that, but pruning on Christmas Eve as it made it more of a ritual for me. Mine flowered after about 6 years and has flowered well since so the pruning must be OK – but I think I am going to try doing the summer prune later next year as pruning in June allows time for lots more whippy growth. I look forward to pruning mine as I know it brings results – do you enjoy pruning yours?

  2. I’m sure those snowdrops are as keen to flower are you are to see them Cathy. Good that’s you’ve not sat idling with itchy fingers and managed to get out and do something. I’m suffering with itchy fingers too – I can’t get out to erect the new rose arch Santa brought me – it’s far too windy!

    • Cathy says:

      Hope the wind drops soon, Angie – will you set the posts of your arch in concrete, or metposts, or what? Is it timber or metal? Will you be investing in some new roses for it?

  3. rusty duck says:

    It always amazes me how fast wisteria grows if you don’t keep it under control, and the crevices it manages to squeeze its way into.
    The weather has suppressed any itching for today here too, but it won’t be long!

    • Cathy says:

      It does indeed – and the whippy growth that was beginning to wrap round the solar panels is only since last summer’s pruning, so I will need to watch that in future. Hope you can get out again yourself soon and ease your itches!

  4. bittster says:

    Your wisteria is a work of art! Glad to hear the pruning is paying off. I’m envious of your snowdrops, it will be another month before mine even consider beginning to sprout…. But it’s good to have something to look forward to! (at least that’s what I tell myself)

    • Cathy says:

      The snowdrops are definitely earlier this year as we are having a mild winter in the UK (so far). My specials are always at least a month ahead of the ‘common’ ones – but I don’t have a record of flowering times before I started the blog. As you say, it’s good to have them to look forward to, whenever they come – and barring anything catastrophic that will be every year! 🙂

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