Saturday, February 26, 2022

GardenDC Podcast Episode 93: Pruning Tips

 In this episode, we talk with horticulturist and garden podcaster Leslie Harris about pruning. The plant profile is on Snapdragons and I share what I picked up at our Seed Exchange as well as some upcoming events.

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Show Notes:

1:04 Meet horticulturist and garden podcaster Leslie Harris! 2:33 “Definitely was not born with chlorophyll in my veins.” — Leslie talks about how she became a certified horticulturist 3:50 “We were not landscapers. We were gardeners.” — Leslie describes what made her old pruning service unique. 6:12 “Wow, now I wish I could have hired you.” — Kathy 6:51 How Leslie’s garden differs from her those of her clients 11:17 “I just started enjoying it” — Leslie talks about becoming a podcaster 12:09 Leslie describes what she’s pruning in her own garden during late winter 13:37 “I will lift your load…” — Leslie 13:55 Leslie’s favorite tools 15:00 Leslie and Kathy discuss handheld power saws! 16:50 “I’m one of those nerdy nerds…” — Leslie says she carries her pruners in a holster 19:53 Leslie talks about dealing with boxwood blight in 2018 20:28 “More information leads to better ways to deal with it.” — Leslie suggests cleaning your tools between each shrub 21:06 Leslie’s first decisions for pruning 22:11 “You gotta cut away the crazy bits.” — Leslie 26:04 Leslie and Kathy define “espalier” 28:35 Leslie and Kathy discuss pruning hydrangeas 32:02 “All I’m going to offer to your listeners is solace…” — Leslie talks about the difficulty of pruning clematis 35:49 “You want to prune to make a plant happy, but you also want to make yourself happy.” — Leslie 37:40 Leslie and Kathy discuss thinning and pruning for air circulation 40:59 Pruning vs. Shearing — Leslie says it’s not a good time to shear 45:57 Leslie’s alternative to removing a plant too big for a space 49:26 “Sometimes, we don’t need to prune.” — Kathy 51:03 How to get in touch with Leslie 52:10 Learn about the snapdragon in this week’s Plant Profile! 54:05 What’s new in the garden: The Washington Gardener Seed Exchange, new plants to grow, and the February edition of Washington Gardener Magazine 55:42 Upcoming events: Ikebana International Chapter No.1 luncheon, Silver Spring Garden Club meeting 56:36 Look forward to The Urban Garden: 101 Ways to Grow Food and Beauty in the City by Teri Speight and Kathy 57:30 Celebrate spring at the National Garden Bureau online book party

After listening to this episode, you might want to listen to this episode about Garden Maintenance:
GardenDC Podcast Episode 72: Low-Maintenance Gardening

The episode is posted at:
We welcome your questions and comments! You can leave a voice mail message for us at: Note that we may use these messages on a future episode.

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Episode Credits:
Host and Producer: Kathy Jentz
Editing and Show Notes: Dorvall Bedford



  1. I have to refresh my hydrangea pruning techniques every year (except for the panicles types). I love them, so it's worth the effort.

    1. Yes, a little pruning now is so rewarding later.

  2. I'm hoping to espalier a tree that I grafted two different Asian pears. Not sure if that will work out!


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