Let’s be real, pruning isn’t always fun and easy. Especially when you have to do it several times a year to maintain a nice looking flower bed. So what can you do to prevent this? First thing to do is to make sure you’ve chosen the right plants for the right places. For example, you wouldn’t want to use a fast growing hedge shrub like a holly in front of your living room picture window. This is an example of bad placement of a good shrub that changes your low maintenance flower bed border into a headache. If this is what you have, it might be a good idea to invest in a new set of plants, or get a designer to take a look and see what can be done.
If you’re the kind of person to do it yourself, then it’s time to break out the right tool for the job. Loppers are usually for lopping a tree branch of 1-3″ wide. Loppers are great for larger branches, but you wouldn’t want to prune a rose bush with them. Due to them being large and slightly unwieldly, they should be saved for the thickest of branches. Here’s a guide on lopping trees.
Next is to prune the plants in a more natural manner. To do this, you need to prune at various heights. Now, don’t panic. What I’m suggesting will actually reduce your garden maintenance time. Shrubs have a tendency to grow new branches where existing ones have been cut off. Therefore if you cut all of your branches at the same height, it’s only going to take a few days or so for these plants to produce shoots which make your plants look unmanicured. This can be frustrating, and certainly won’t contribute to your low maintenance flower bed border. However, pruning your plants at various heights will produce different results. Sort of like thinning hair, this will make your shrub look like it’s growing normally while staying manicured. Pruning like this reduces your pruning time from four times a year to around two.