As you can see, autumn in the garden is the perfect time for pruning those boisterous evergreen climbers, shrubs and perennials. Perhaps the pruning (scalping) job by The Kenman of the Chinese Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) in this photo may seem extreme, but I assure you they will recover. This is not the the first scalping they have received at the hands of The Kenman.
I had originally overplanted the star jasmine along our fence (6 plants) a number of years ago and since then have removed 2 and this year will remove another 2, leaving 2 mature plants, which will be enough to provide the look I want but not too many that the pruning becomes a chore. Don’t worry about the ones I am digging up, they are going to be recycled into friends’ gardens. So, if you are planning on putting in some of these gorgeous hardy climbers, remember that for the first year they don’t do much except settle their root system and that may be when you are tempted to plant more of them, but in subsequent years they take off at a good pace. They provide lovely glossy green leaves all the way from the base to the top and then deliciously perfumed star-shaped flowers in spring and another smaller flush in early autumn.
Once they stop flowering I will also cut back my collection of Salvias, although many of them are still flowering profusely, even at this late stage in April. The Camellias will also need a trim in a couple of weeks, following flowering.
The mild weather and warm soil temperatures make it perfect to do the last of the planting and transplanting of evergreens before winter. It’s also a good time to divide plants to increase stock.