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Hardcore Pruning

Fuchsia's are beautiful and very delicate looking. I need to clear some of the old flowering plants in the front garden to make the house look lived in and to make the garden look more like it's old happy self.

The Fuchsia I mention is a giant. It is 6 feet high and 8 feet wide. It is smothering other plants such as Japanese Anemone and peonies, making them increasingly weakened by darkness and lack of soil. Despite this the Fuchsia itself hoards ivy, nettles and a small holly bush in its depths as well as several types of grass.

All of the websites I have looked at appear to indicate that this is a fuchsia suitable for hedging. You are supposed to cut it hard back, down to the ground in winter or early spring. This philosophy is fine if one has a tiny garden and one has time to do this.

As I do not live nearby I cannot get to the garden often enough to cut back everything that needs cutting back during winter and early spring because either the weather prevents me or I am busy with other things, additionally there are just too many things for me to be able to do everything within this short space of time. I therefore made a decision to cut the fuchsias back by half this year at the end of spring. I hope this will allow the plant to start new shoots a little later but within time to flower on new growth and won't stress the plant exclusively. I have got to the point of considering 'kill or cure' which was Dad's phrase. By leaving it half untouched hopefully I will cure and not kill!!! If all goes well I may be able to make a bigger impact over the year. I am hoping to be able to clear around the Fuchsia over the next year to be able to plant some ground cover plants and allow the smothered plants to recover.

I won't be able to just plant away though as no one will be there to water in. The soil is also poor after so many years. It needs organic matter to be mixed into it, then I may be able to add plants in the spring or autumn when rain might water everything and with luck nothing will die.

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