Hilltop Gardening Club with Jon Mason, director at Highfield Garden World at Whitminster

EVEN the hardiest of gardeners might think twice about venturing out on a dark December evening to listen to a talk on pruning.

Having stepped into Eastcombe Village Hall one might think that a nice cosy chair by the fire should have been a bigger pull when faced with an array of drooping plants and shrubs well past their best.

But you would be wrong.

Pruning can be fun especially when watching an entertaining demonstration by Jon Mason, director at Highfield Garden World at Whitminster.

Jon’s hands on demonstration of pruning could be said to bring tears to some gardeners’ eyes as he chopped away at perennials and shrubs taking many of them back to an inch or so above the soil.

Some plants and shrubs when not pruned became too leggy with a lot of bare stem and leaves and flowers only at the top.

Jon stressed the need to look at the labels which now included pruning information as well as soils and sun.

Jon included some tips on fruit pruning before winding up his demonstration with a discussion on the best tools for the job from topiary shears to large loppers.

He gave us two good tips.

He never cleans or oils his cutters, just sprays them with WD40.

And you should not skimp on price.

Most of his tools were well over twenty years old but were still sharp and looking good.

Jon put a couple of his pruned plants in the Club raffle with the proviso that those who won them should bring them to Highfield in the summer to show how good they were looking.

Members of Hilltop Gardening Club left the Hall that evening feeling glad that they had ventured out.

For information on the Hilltop Gardening Club please look at our website hilltopgardeningclub.org.uk or contact Ruth Fraser, Tel 01452 770535.