Friday, July 29, 2016

Making the Cut

While it's not necessary to be cruel to be kind, sometimes your plants need you to make a number of decisive and judicious cuts throughout the season. Faced with just such a task the other week, I dreaded the process of pruning away some extremely dry blooms and scraggly stems that had needed my attention for a while. But now it really had to be done - the forecast was calling for even hotter weather than we'd had already, and I didn't want excess baggage drawing moisture and energy away from my plants. Thankfully, I realized I didn't need heavy equipment to get the job done. The old pair of scissors (relegated to the outdoor gardening basket long ago) and a ball of leftover cotton yarn would be enough for my needs:

And then I decided to make it more of an aesthetic project - the cuttings from the yarrow would make an outdoor bouquet, perfect in an all-weather tomato can. The yarn would be strong but gentle enough to help hold together the wayward stalks of some of the more tender herbs. I could even tie the yarn in a bow. In all, it was starting to be more of a jaunt than a chore, and I've had something lovely on my front porch ever since:

As is usually the case with things you dread doing, the whole project only took a short time. I targeted specific plants, cutting away just enough to ensure their health and keep their shape. Of course, there is plenty more that needs doing in the yard - tasks that genuinely deserve to be dreaded! But in the meantime, I can enjoy the tidy results of my trimming party, a reminder that a little effort can go a very long way:


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