After a couple really blustery cold days, we stepped outside to a still, damp, balmy morning; it must have been 60 degrees. In all but the worst weather Gidget, our German Shepherd Dog, and I take an early pass around the garden. We’ve missed a few days lately, but today we made the full circuit. On this morning walk I take note of blooms, tasks that need doing, scout for problems and so on. With her hungry nose, Gidget takes note of squirrels, burrowing animal tunnels, and a thousand other things I’ll never know.
Today I noticed how much I haven’t done. Over the years I’ve learned to enjoy more and stress less about the garden. But really, I was looking at some serious neglect. Leaves still unraked everywhere, the fish pond also full of leaves, Hostas looking like mush, and Heath, starting to bloom, also full of leaves … ugh.
The topper is the Viburnum Hedge. Burkwood Viburnum is a terrific shrub (click here to see the Plant View). April flowers purfume the garden, twiggy branches provide habitat for birds, and the fall show is a wonder of garnet leaves. Being a spring bloomer, its bud set is on old wood. Correct pruning is just after flowering. I’ve never gotten this pruning task done on time; the latest having been October. And still I got a hedge full of flowers the following spring.
But not this year. The orchard ladder is standing in the Courtyard as if I’m actually going to get to this. This morning I stared at the ladder and then at the hedge and had to admit to myself that I just didn’t want to do the job. I could give myself a dozen good reasons why, but what I did instead is forgive myself for not getting to it. After all, it’s a hedge. It will need pruning again next year and no doubt next year I’ll get after it in better time. I think I’ll put the ladder away and have a cup of tea.