How gardening makes you happy. Step 3. Complicated matters.

Dear garden girls,
This month we are first fertilizing the garden. Next we are pruning roses. That turns out to be a complicated matter. But I will try to keep it simple.


Maybe you own a HORSE, or know a cow FARMER. If so manure is easy accessible. But…. If you would like to use this manure for your garden it has to be well rotted for at least one season. Because if the manure is too fresh, it will burn your plants. So girls, now is the time to prepare a HEAP for next autumn!

For all the other gardeners there is no alternative other than to buy ready manure at your local garden centre. These stores have so many different types of manure. That makes choosing rather complex. What is best? It is almost as difficult as choosing mister right! In your example garden I always use dried cow manure pellets. Maybe you can start working with these. Even your local HARDWARE store will have those (Mr right too?).

HOW much do I have to use Hetty? The package itself will prescribe 10 kg for 100m2. I have to admit I NEVER weighed these pellets. I trust my gut feeling. So gloves on girls and scatter it all over the plot!

Your example garden


Rose before pruning
Rose after pruning

People will tell you pruning roses is complicated. Many books have been written about it. These will tell you about 'outward buds' for instance........What!! But DO NOT WORRY about those rose buds just BE HAPPY and grab your shears!

Gloves! -No roses without thorns-
Cut out all the brown parts. -These are already dead!-
Cut out all the thin branches. -That is nothing so they can go-
Cut back the thick branches to about 25 cm above the soil. -By doing so you get a lot of good flowers-
Give the rose a handful of (bio) rose fertilizer. -"Thank you," sais the rose, "I'm going to do my best"-

Just do not bother too much about pruning. Do what your HEART tells you to do. And remember just like your hair it will grow back again. After all gardening is about making you HAPPY and not frustrated!

And how to prune all the other shrubs Hetty? Just a simple old pruning tip:

Let it be a mantra for your future garden career!

Let me explain. Suppose you have a lilac. This shrub flowers in late April. If you were to prune the lilac now, you will cut off all the stems it needs to flower on. That won’t make you happy! Wait until after flowering and then prune the shrub into shape.

So PRUNE AFTER BLOOM and remember doing nothing is an option too. Who cares!

FINALLY I show you some pictures I received from the young enthusiastic balcony garden girl M.

Just seeing this makes me HAPPY.  Thanks M.

How gardening makes you happy step 1 
How gardening makes you happy step 2.

Next blog "Gardening makes you happy Step 4" will be on April 3th.

SHARE your gardening activities with your friends on FACEBOOK or twitter and let me know how you are doing!!



  1. Yesterday I pruned my roses too!

  2. I'm in rose pruning rose too Hetty and a general spring garden tidy. Lovely cat in your final photo :)

  3. Pfff wat ben ik blij met jou berichtje. Al die ingewikkelde artikelen over hoe rozen te snoeien wordt ik een beetje moe van. Ik ga dit jaar ook maar eens radicaal snoeien en niet meer bij nadenken hoe dat te doen.
    Heerlijke dag gewenst Hetty.


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