Now, I'll grant you that "Pruning, Pruning" does not have the same musical quality as "Wassail, Wassail" or "Caroling, Caroling," which is probably why the phrase hasn't been set to music...yet. But pruning is a noble and necessary undertaking and one in which I have been engaged for the past couple of days.
We decided to have the siding replaced on our 43-year-old house and that meant I needed to cut back the giant holly trees and the overgrown pyracantha that hadn't been pruned for about five years. Now, I'm not much on horticulture, but I do know how to prune. I used to help an elderly neighbor with her rose garden and she taught me how to prune roses. My mother came over to my house once a year for the express purpose of telling me what needed to be cut back and how, and somehow the lesson stuck. It's a miracle. I learned, for example, that pyracantha needed to be pruned severely each year. Mine was flopped over its restraining cable. So, I cut it back. Here's what it looks like now:
Then I worked on two hollies yesterday. Here is a picture of one of four hollies "before":
Pretty shaggy, huh? Well, no more. Here's an "after" picture (the mostly pruned bush is the rightmost of the two):
There's a difference. The interior is cleaned up and the bush has more of a symmetric shape. I use some basic principles of pruning, such as cut any branches that cross so they don't cross any more, cut branches so they are away from the house and shape up the bush.
If you're interested and don't know anything about pruning, here are some basic tools. I use hand tools because I don't want to cut my arms off.Although I have come close with hand tools.
Coming up: some more pruning pictures as I get to it.Stay tuned.