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Mountain West Regional Reports

Wrap Up the Spring Garden and Get Ready for Summer | Mountain West Regional Report

Prune lilac bushes after they bloom, and remove deadwood. Photo: Mary Ann Newcomer

Weather in the Mountain States can be unpredictable. Okay, maybe that is downplaying it. Let’s call it what it is: weather whiplash. We wear layers to deal with this weather, and we can apply layers of plants and layers of interest to our gardens.

Here’s a quick run through of the things that need our attention this time of year.

Prune spring blooming shrubs after they put on their big show. Lilac (Syringa spp. and cvs., Zones 3–8), forsythia (Forsythia spp. and cvs., Zones 3–9), kerria (Kerria japonica, Zones 4–9), and deutzia (Deutzia spp. and cvs., Zones 5–8) can all be shaped, and deadwood removed. If you are so inclined, removing the spent blossom clusters from lilacs can increase the number and size of blossoms next year. It is not necessary, but for some obsessive gardening types, it is the kind of chore we relish.

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