Cut Away

On a recent drive I noticed an eager landscape team busy at work on a long stretch of beautifully flowering hedges. They were using what looked like a 3 foot long serrated power saw to put a nice curved shape into said hedgerow.

Lovely. But why, oh why, as spring is about to burst upon the world, were they doing this shaping work that removed the dainty periwinkle colored flowers in the process? Sad as it was the end result of a restored symmetry was indeed, as a consolation, a thing of beauty to behold. If I hadn’t seen this seemingly harsh before and after with my own two eyes I would’ve wondered, “Where have all the flowers gone?”

The location was in a manicured development of homes and not in some backwoods Green Acres or overgrown Sleepy Hollow where wild things grow. In the wild, living things are left to grow on their own and as such will follow their own path. There is little manipulated uniformity to be found there. No evidence of meticulous manicuring and yet there is beauty. Incredible beauty.

Related sidebar: A nearby neighbor’s gardener gave no advance notice that today was the day his rose garden would be cut back. Lovely garden roses in pinks and reds, yellow, white, and peach were mercilessly cut back to near bare root stage. My neighbor was in shock at the results, realizing that even the slightest mention would have allowed him some level of emotional preparedness for the devastating results that ensued.

But what the experienced gardener knows is that this type of cutting back will inevitably lead to fresh new blooms abundant in riotous color and fragrance. We the untrained garden enthusiasts view our own gardens through a more emotional lens. And when we go through a personal season in life that involves pruning of one sort or another its often easy to lose sight that some of the things we consider our brightest blooms may have faded. A master gardener always knows best and in time new blossoms and new fruit will appear in our garden as well as in our soul.

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