Saturday, March 14, 2015


Yesterday was deliciously puttery. The air was warm and forgiving and even the wind lacked bite. The boss and Alan sold a little hay, and then Alan and I set out to clear the area in front of the wood stove and get a better fire going so the evening would be warm and cozy.

While we worked I heard a sort of guttural croaky sound, and thought, ah, a blackbird. I looked up and sure enough a pair of Common Grackles flew over. Like the Cowbirds the other day, by midsummer they will not be favorites, but the first ones are always welcome.

For some reason we walked up where the guys took out that old apple tree and Al glanced at my little Ida Red and his Grandma's old dwarf Red Delicious.

The Ida Red had never been pruned and needed her leading branch lopped out and some grapevines sheared off. The other tree had been pruned by me...maybe twenty years ago or so...and it was planted too deep so suckers had come up from the graft. It looked like a witch's broom on a bad hair day. He cut and cut.....

"Enough," he said....I looked and pointed. Onward and pruneward! More, more, more.

There is much less tree left now, but the big sucker the size of the main trunk is gone, some of the top has become bunny food....and lo, it looks like an apple tree again.

Then this morning I discovered some more pruning. Just for fun I partake of what might be called torturary.....topiary being far too tame a word. The little Honey Locust trees that spring from the seeds of the big one get twisted, tangled, tied, and knotted into interesting shapes each summer. Thus they stay small and don't have to be ripped out of the flower beds by the back door, where big trees can't be allowed.

 My favorite looks like an old fashioned carpet beater.

Anyhoo.....over the winter they were under the snow right up to their chins. Down underneath the bunnies had been busy...snip snip here. Snip snip there....they don't exactly look like they did last fall.

But no big deal. They grow like weeds and there will be plenty of new twigs to turn and tame once the weather warms up. Maybe I will train the two of them together into a bower or something....


Cathy said...

With you and Alan! I celebrate the growing, the returning, the assessing and the pruning and the timeless going out in the spring to reclaim to land!

joated said...

"torturary" Love that term!

Terry and Linda said...

Torturary...perfect term, I need to remember it. :)

Linda ★★