Lessons learned in the garden

What pruning can teach us about life


Every now and then, I have one of those moments that people who garden experience.  Suddenly, I discover that I absolutely detest some aspect of the garden. Yesterday afternoon, after a full day in the office, I got out the pruning shears and started cutting away errant branches on several very dull  bushes on our property. They were entangled with kudzu vines, making them really unpleasant. Pruning more and more aggressively, I concluded that these bushes had to go. (Someone else would like them, I hoped.) I scanned the other side of the path the bushes fronted and saw that there was a potentially lovely crepe myrtle being blocked. I worked my shears and freed the crepe myrtle to face the sun. I could almost feel the tree reaching for the sun.

This experience got me thinking. There was no question that getting the vines out of the way would save the bushes (for someone else). And I am confident that the crepe myrtle will perk up without that weed-tree blocking its sun. Sometimes, we have to take things away to allow something else to grow. The garden is a good teacher, and although I’m hardly a master gardener, I’ve learned some things over the years. I try to educate myself about various plants and then take an experimental approach. If something doesn’t do well in one place, I’ll move it around and see if different conditions improve the outcome.

Spring comes to the SPH
Spring comes to the SPH

I’m not talking about people but about the tendency to add without any subtraction. If we merely continue to add programs, activities or any such things without stopping some things, then, here, too, we crowd out the sun. The garden got me thinking.

Happy Monday. Barbara


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