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Help for a novice please!

We have moved into a house with a beautiful lavender and sage border type hedge. It has gone mad! Its really full and bushy and taking over. Its still flowering but how do I care for it? I have read I shoikdnt cut it as far back as the wood - is this right? As soon as the flowering has finished, can I/should I cut it right back for winter?

I have the same question about tall grasses - I will try and attach some images as I have no idea what type they are but again they have gone mad and I’m unsure if I am meant to cut them right back come autumn. 

Many thanks in advance! 


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,728
     I could be wrong, but I always cut back lavender and sage and grass in the spring. That way they survive the winter’s cold and damp as intact plants and only get a rude awakening just as the growing season begins.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    I'd agree with pansy - leaving the top growth on gives a bit of protection. They can look a bit scruffy though, so you may want to take flower stems off. It depends how you feel about it, and how cold your winters are.  :)
    Grasses vary, and most people leave the flower/seedheads on at this time of year. The deciduous ones get cut down in late winter/early spring when new growth starts.
    Photos will help with those though.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thanks pansyface and fairygirl - so best plan is not to touch lavender and sage until early spring and then cut right back. Not sure how I know if grasses are deciduous or not. I thought I had attached photos - certainly uploaded some so not sure where they are! Will try again 
  • Is your garden damp?
    The greener 'grass' looks like one of the Sedges, the brown one is Soft Rush. Both thrive in moist soil and both are invasive. Even in my large,wild garden they are unwlecome!

    If you like the idea of grasses, there are far better ones to choose from. Knoll Gardens has possibly the widest selection and best information, but many are widely available, usually in the spring, as this is the best time to plant.
  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150
    Hi Vicki 😊. The one next to the lavender in photo 2 looks like rosemary to me, not sage. I think the pruning advice is the same as lavender though, don't cut too hard into old wood. 
    You could maybe give it a bit of a trim on one side though if it's blocking the path.

  • Thank you and yes you are absolutely right, it is rosemary, why I put sage down I don’t know! I will bear this in mind regarding the pruning of it and do them come spring. 
  • Buttercupdays - do you know if I am meant to cut them right back for the winter to should we just dig out the ones we don’t want and thin them out? Thanks 
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,989
    You don't need to cut those back for the winter unless they are in your way. If you don't want them (and they are not that attractive are they) just dig them out and chuck them.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Those 'grasses' are usually regarded by gardeners as invasive weeds ... if you have a garden of several acres then they'll be fine in a wildlife area and when we had a smallholding they were fine ... but if you have a 'normal-sized' garden you'll find they seed and spread themselves everywhere.  I'd hoik them out asap.  

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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