Friday 12 February 2016

Gardening with ME: a gentle start to the year with Cornus pruning

Cornus alba 'Elegantissima' each end, with the darker Cornus alba 'Kesselringii' in the middle

I am making a gentle start to the gardening year with pruning my Cornus (dogwood). Noticing yesterday that the new leaves on my Cornus was already unfurling, I realised that it was time for me to prune the shrubs back so that I would be able to enjoy the colours (above) next winter.

For those not in the know, Cornus is often planted for it's beautifully coloured stems which are a highlight of winter in the garden. You only get the coloured stems on new growth, so an end of winter prune is necessary to continue to get the colourful stems year after year.

Leaves already unfurling on Cornus alba 'Elegantissima'

Pruned back, with the bed a little tidier too

Whilst they look a little cut back in their prime, I can assure you they will be just as in the first photo next year, only with even more stems. Plus, I'll have this to look forward to in the Autumn,

Autumn leaf colour

Being stricter with pacing is important when gardening with ME, and you should stop when you are still feeling good, else you risk just making yourself worse. This is known as post-exertional malaise, and you get pay back in exhaustion and pain way out of proportion compared to the task (exertion) you undertook. I stopped after that I finished pruning, not pushing myself to do more. So I'm pleased with the pruning and my pacing.

Today just happened to coincide with me feeling up to a little gardening, when the sun also happened to be out. A simple pruning task was a nice way to gently get me/ME into the gardening year.

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I welcome your thoughts and comments. And if you blog about gardening with ME/a chronic illness, do link to this post in your blog and leave a comment below with a link to your post, so we can all find each other.

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Recent Gardening with ME posts...
  Gardening with ME: facing some hard facts
  Gardening with ME: a review of 2015