26 Mar

Well things are definitely changing here in Wettenbostel.  The birds are back and … possibly taking over.  Here it is 8:04pm and the loudest sound I hear is the birds singing.  So sweet… it is almost silly.  We recently had a time change so rather than the early darkness of winter, dark outside by 5pm… the day is now stretched and light still remains in the sky as I am writing.

I had some time on my own today to do a little work.  I am practicing my digging skills, creating an edge around the many garden beds here and giving them some shape.  My host refers to this as an English method of gardening.  Gardening in general is one of the areas where you could say I…have room for growth.  But I am willing to learn and find that I really love being outside and being in the dirt and connected to the plants, creatures and flowers.  During the process of learning and discerning in the garden I find I need to have some patience with myself.

It was late afternoon/early evening when my host arrived to do a little gardening himself.  Master gardener that he is, the garden is truly his universe.  As he was immersed in his fervent gardening, I sheepishly asked… are there any other little projects you might like me to do?  Perhaps something I could do today and continue this week?  “Why yes” he said with an enthusiasm in his body and his eyes that can be… almost daunting.   And we headed towards… the roses.

Now the roses here in Wettenbostel pre-spring don’t look all that rosy just yet.  Mostly they are greenish and brownish looking nubs most distinctly identified by their thorny limbs.  The task of the hour?  Pruning the roses.  A new thing for me, I must admit.

What is most new to me in gardening is being aware of myself and the impact I have on all of the little living creatures in the garden.  One false step and I have knocked out the potential life of some unassuming plant or flower.  In its current state it may look like nothing more than a little stem with a green leaf, but one false move and… gone!  I was cautiously warned by my host once, no twice… to “look out!  look out for that!…”  I empathized with him imagining it seemed as if I was carelessly swinging a bat through his china store.  I did my best to listen and… pay attention.

So once I got clear that I was not stepping on his favorite plant, he showed me a thing or two about pruning roses.  Pruning them, as it turns out, gives the roses strength and helps them grow.  I was to clip the brown or black branches all the way down to their base or where the green or “life” began.  The healthier branches still needed a little trimming for best growth.  So those I cut back to a place where there was a bud already growing to promote the growth of that bud… about a half inch above it.  It took me a few times to get the knack of it.  I took a few rounds with my host to get clear what he wanted while I was pruning.  I received a few more reminders not to trample on his garden.  Yes, I kept forgetting about that.  Pay attention.  But in the end it was… fun.  And, a beginning.  I pruned one bed of many beds in the garden of Wettenbostel.  So more pruning to do!

My host encouraged me to keep the beds clean as I was pruning…. don’t leave the clippings behind but instead toss them into the center of the bed that is the general space for “compost”.  I had to laugh as nearly every time I tossed a branch or clipping towards the center it would get caught or hung up on a limb or tree or something… dangling, taunting me.  But it was… a good effort.

The experience of pruning the roses required that I have a more delicate touch and sensitivity.  At dinner tonight as I began to peel the onions to chop for the meal, I couldn’t help but notice how the soft peelings of the onions skins felt new and delicate in my hands.  A different sensation since pruning the roses.

I thought perhaps we all could use some pruning in our lives.  Some things cut back or cut off to make room for new growth….and sometimes we get some things clipped that perhaps we were attached to but ultimately makes us stronger.

The pruning of the day is done and all that is left is the cool evening air and the light that has now diminished to dark.  There is a beautiful bright crescent moon in the night sky and near-bye what looks like a bright shining planet.  It is stunning.  I imagine tomorrow will be another day in the garden enjoying the newness of the warm sun.  Hanging out with the roses… doing my best not to step on other living creatures…and doing a little pruning.

One Response to “Pruning”

  1. Paul 03/26/2012 at 21:49 #

    Beautiful post, Nancie.

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