This is the time of year - flu is rampant - How about going to work in the garden when it's 17 and giving the plants a new lease on life? Not to worry about ailments - just moving fast enough to keep warm. Someone has to do it - maybe it can be a must, so that you don't have to sit in a hospital or receive shots or stay in bed.
The plants have gone through a banner year - they gave a bundle of fruit, the flowers were outstanding. And all we did was admire them. Now is the time to prune, to set up the pattern for beauty and bearing. Pruning like many things takes a little practice.
There are several schools of authority on the right method. At the top of the list, we have the speed freaks. The group that uses electrical tools and race about so they can go to the neighbor and race about there. The plant goes from natural beauty and character to the look of a lollipop.
The second group is the traditional method. Pruning has been passed down from hamster to hamster. If it was going for the forefathers in 10 B.C. it must work in the present. Special warrior classes are going on in the near east, far east, and no east. Every branch and root is examined. A 15 minute task becomes a 2 day career class. Result: a stiff plant with no personality.
The third group is the modern warrior - the slant of shears, the time of the day, or rising moon, no moon, or just forget it. Training is self inflicted and professional. Result: a slanted plant and hands on result.
The fourth group is the laissez faire - the group that I am proud of. I have been trained by the historical masters and some of the modern ones.
Where are the lady landscapers in history - always men - curious.
I trained in the hair salon, cutting the locks of beautiful ladies, from vidal sassion to French masters. I went on to bolts of fabric. I cut the 36" x 4 yds of cloth and assembled the pieces into a dress. I sewed them.
I reached an endpoint - I walked outside and looked at the forest. I walked closer and saw there were trees - individual trees - mother nature gave me a large group of individuals to study.
Mother nature was my teacher. She didn't worry about crossing branches, broken branches, plants leaning or not leaning. Everything was individual and had its own beauty.
The school of laissez faire was born