Pruning is one of the scariest tasks in any garden. Most of us fly blind and do terrible things to our plants, shrubs, and trees.
But as Lee Reich explains in The Pruning Book (Taunton Press, $21.95), proper pruning is critical. It keeps plants healthy, prevents them from growing too large, enhances their beauty, and improves the quality and quantity of their flowers, leaves and fruits.
Not only that, but pruning can be fun, he says.
The oblivious among us know that nothing feels better than to whack away at an overgrown anything, but that's not the kind of fun Reich is talking about. He means that when done correctly, pruning produces happy plants that we can fully enjoy; pruning also lets us experience our own creativity. (See fish topiary on Page 11.)