March . . . you never know whether you'll find a lion-kind-of-a-day, like today, or a lamb-kind-of-a-day with sunshine and soft fragrant breezes. Either way, it's time to venture into the outdoors, to rake, to prune . . . and to plan.
Our yard needs a lot of work in the pruning department. Overgrown lilac bushes, unnamed foliage, and budding rhododendron have merged into each other, making it too unmanageable for me to care for. Thankfully, I found an expert to help me.
He brought his blades, cutters, and even an electric chainsaw and set to work, stopping now and again to patiently explain his recommendations. He pointed out dead branches and the places where insect borers made a perfectly round hole into the wood to get inside and cause damage. I looked on, fascinated. Needless to say, when he finished the row of lilacs, the bushes looked pretty sparse." They'll grow back healthy," he assured me. I would never have had the nerve or know-how to make those cuts, yet they will prove necessary for the long-term beauty of the plants.
As I bundled up some of the fallen branches, I couldn't help but remember the words of Jesus in John 15:
I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and . . . prunes, that it may bear more fruit. . . . Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me (verses 1, 2, 4).I've been thinking about what dead wood needs to be pruned from my life. About where the borers of faulty thinking have caused damage. How important to allow the Master Gardener to do His work. Can you relate?
So, whether the next few weeks mimic a lion or a lamb, I hope we'll both appreciate the value of a little spring pruning and remember the importance of shedding the "suckers" that hold us back from becoming fruitful and healthy.
Photos from google images