I had a great time at Crufts last weekend and it was great to meet so many dog owning garden lovers.   It is crazy how much one day can take out of you.  Your feet really ache after all that walking around the halls and standing watching breed judging or just looking at trade stands.  It’s not just the day itself that takes its toll though, it is all the preparation, getting dogs ready, making sure that you have everything you need and then ofcourse the insanely early start. 

Miscanthus - Before

I always feel that Crufts is the start of the gardening year.  I know that many people argue that the autumn is the start as that is usually the best time to plant, and I have been known to argue that too.  But when you see all those green (and some red and black) shoots coming up out of the ground, it really is a magical time.  The days are getting longer and warmer – you can almost feel the plants’ alarm clock telling them it is time to wake up from their long sleep.  As with humans, some plants are early risers and some refuse to wake up until they absolutely have to. 

Miscanthus - After

What can be surprising is that some green shoots are hiding.  Before I trimmed my miscanthus, you would never have guessed that there was new growth hidden in all the straw-like leaves and delicate seeds.  In previous years, I have to admit that I tended to be lazy and just take the whole plant down to the same level.  This year I decided to be a bit more delicate about the job and prune out individual stems as necessary.  It took quite a bit more time, but hopefully I will see the benefit later in the year.