“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: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/0,,20052326,00.html