“I am the vine–my Daddy is the vine-trimmer.” ~~John 15:1

This struck me last year in such a bizarre, unnerving way . . .

Every branch gets cut.  No exceptions.

Some get tossed into the heap and burned.  Some–the ones producing delicious fruit–get . . . whacked back.  Excuse me?!

Why?  So that they can begin to explode with branches out of branches out of branches.  To go from being a pretty stick-on-the-branch to being a gorgeous bush-on-the-branch.

Isn’t the thought of being sawn back to a nub Because You’ve Been Doing the Right Thing more than a little strange?  Yes–unless you’ve worked with plants.

Exhibit A–rose bush before pruning.  Lovely.  But sparse.   A stalk with two pretty flowers.

Exhibit B–rose bush that’s bounced back from the pruning.

Uh . . . wow.

Imagine the fragrance coming from the roses in this second picture.

There’s nothing about being cut back that appeals to a healthy mind. This is why it requires the kind of trust in the gardener that includes a long view of things.

So, when (not ‘if’) you are trimmed back:  1) Let it not be because you’re fruitless; and 2) let it be an event full of promise, a weird kind of “Well done, kid, and hang on–you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”

P.S.  No extra charge for a This Old House 5-minute video on pruning & training roses.  Brutal moments at 1:10 and 1:50–not for the squeamish:,,20052326,00.html

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