I Cut Back Some Shrubs

There is something about this spring... In addition to widening my perennial bed along the back of the house, I've decided to cut these Spiraeas way back.They came out "poorly" last spring and I knew they needed something to rejuvenate them. Did you know that cutting back some shrubs like Spiraea rejuvenates them?

Here's the after picture. How did I do?
Yes, the shrubs are still there, cut all the way back to ground level.

But here's the question. Do I really want them to grow back? I think planting them along the walkway like I did was poor design. They hid what was behind there, which isn't much as you can see, other than a few tulips and daffodils. But I think that could really be a nice garden area without the shrubs hiding everything planted there.

Now I need to decide if I really want the Spiraea to grow back. If I don't, I need to dig out the stumps before they have a chance to send up new growth. Because once they have new growth, I probably will not have the heart to take them out.

Decisions! Decisions! That's what spring gardening seems to be about. What lived? What died? What stays? What goes? How much to spend this year on the garden?

By the way, the answer to the last question is "we don't count how much we spend on the garden". Or if we do, we hide it in other budget categories... vegetable gardens go under "food", flower gardens are really "therapy", lawn mowers go under "exercise club", along with hoes, because hoeing can be hard work!

Feel free to weigh in on whether I should let the Spiraea grow back (I assume they will!) or proceed with removing the stumps. These were, are Spiraea x bumalda 'Limemound'.


  1. Take 'em out. Maybe move a few to the back corner of that bed, but leave the front more open so you can make a garden out of that space. How about a welcoming bench in there under the tree, and a stepping stone path to lead you over to it? Flowers and ornamental grasses all around, with a background of evergreen and perennial shrubs. Doesn't that sound lovely? I look forward to seeing what you make of it.

  2. Move or remove some, but not all, of them.

    That path is a great viewing area. But you don't want to reveal everything at once. Keep some mystery. Where along there would you want people to stop and admire the garden? Remove the shrubs from there. Maybe somewhere in the middle of the path?

    You could swap with some things planted further back. Something with a more open growth habit could still be planted toward the path, while allowing views through it into the garden. Some tall grasses, perhaps?

  3. I have no advice... but I must say that I love your method of budgeting. I am going to have to start borrowing from the grocery fund for my veggie seeds. ;)

  4. I think you should remove them. they kind of overpower the walk. You could make that a really pretty area. But then again, they kind of hid your porch. Do you want the porch area hidden still? You could put some boxwood there and keep it trimed down all the time.
    Kathy, the older sister

    P.S. I won't tell you that we mowed for the first time this season today, seeing how you are mower-less at the moment.

  5. Another vote for move/remove. And I agree with relocation into the back of the area if possible. Or if you have a difficult spot in another place, you could move them there - aren't they pretty maintenance free?

    My only recs on what to put there instead has to do with scent. I love it when I am standing at someone's front door and I can smell something lovely growing nearby.

  6. I'd definitely move them - they'd probably look fabulous somewhere else, not at the front of a border. I love 'em.

  7. I'd move them too - or give them to a gardening friend or neighbor. I really like them - but that space could be filled up with so many fun things!

  8. All plants need a little "tough love" so I am sure these will all come back much better for their experience.

    I agree with the other commenters in that I would move them back closer to the house to allow for lower growing plants to line the walk.

    Now that you have so many ideas, we just increased your workload by about 100%, I am sure.


  9. Another vote to move 'em. Spirea looks better in the background IMHO. It blooms early and then it's just another green mass.

    prairie point

  10. Wow! When you said 'pruning' you meant it!

    Great decision to wrestle with though, Carol. Is it possible to transplant them at the back of the bed, against the wall?

    BTW - I'm with Kim on your budgeting ideas. Isn't that called creative accounting?

  11. I've been after you for years to remove them. But, I think you should put a little pond in there.


Post a Comment

Comments are to a blog what flowers are to a garden. Sow your thoughts here and may all your comments multiply as blooms in your garden.

Though there is never enough time to respond to each comment individually these days, please know that I do read and love each one and will try to reciprocate on your blog.

By the way, if you are leaving a comment just so you can include a link to your business site, the garden fairies will find it and compost it!