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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