Pruning a euonymous to imagine underplanting

Today’s sunshine—after the frost had cleared—meant that I could enjoy a long day out in the garden. It was great!

Because we’re planning to eventually redesign of most of the fixed elements of the back garden, I’ve been loath to do too much pruning in this our first year living in the house. No point pruning what might be removed anyway!

But while it’s nice to have a long-term plan, it’s also always important to focus on the next square metre, and here’s a particular square metre of our garden currently occupied by a vast euonymous:


Wait, make that three distinct euonymice:


(One above and two below.)

The long-term plan is to underplant something with ferns here, so while it’s unlikely we’ll keep the euonymization in the long run, but right now we really want to try to visualize how things might look when we come to changing things over.

I therefore removed the lower two euonymates entirely, and then pruned the upper one. I tried to prune every third branch back to its central tangle, rather than trim it like topiary; I also tried to lift the canopy by entirely pruning out lower wood, to get a feel for it being a taller plant. When I was done, I added a few more stones to the wall, to level it off a bit (especially now there’s fewer roots there to bind it all together.)

The result looks pretty good:


From above, up on the decking:


Even if we end up with a different plant, the structure is here now. I can just imagine this or something like it, underplanted with maybe some Dryopteris erythrosora and Athyrium niponicum ‘Pictum’, maybe some Hosta or Heuchera types, some Cyclamen and Erythronium for winter and spring colour….


  1. Julieanne · April 10, 2016

    Funniest blogpost on Euonymous ever. Euonymice….

    Seriously though, I love the idea, that’s a very clever way of envisaging future plans. It looks quite neat now too and appears more manageable. Definitely a technique I’m noting for future reference.



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