Not too many days ago I was musing a bit about doing some of the January pruning, because normally there is January thaw about now. The season being what it is, we are in the throes of freezing temperatures which nip in the bud any ideas of spending time outdoors with cold steel pruning implements.
I’ve been going to the Curves place to build up my strength to work efficaciously (love that word!) in the garden this year, and pruning the trees demands a bit of flexibility and strength. Of course, as I was planning my attack, I decided my usual manner of climbing into the tree would not work for me this year. I think I will get the ladders out and prune from something easier on my aging body. There are numerous water sprouts around the crab apples that need to be grubbed out, but will have to wait for the ground to thaw a little, first. I used to simply use the shovel for those, but I think I will use the spud bar this year. I’m tired of such quick regrowth.
This month is very backwards, but if we have a thaw in February I will still get some of the pruning out of the way. The apple types of trees always need to be cleaned up- they grow so many crossing branches. The Harry Lauder tree out front has water sprouts from last year, and I can’t let them get away with another year. The stiff straight growing sprouts from the grafted roots would soon obliterate the beauty of the curling branches that make this tree such a fine winter feature.
We have snow, but it is a pathetic thin sheet that gets blown bare in more spots than it covers. It is, however, teeth-chatteringly cold. I’m even cold inside with the radiant heat from the wood burning stove. I remember reading about how pioneers had to try to keep warm by their hearths which was too hot in the side facing the fire and too cold on the backside. Now that I have that sort of heat I know exactly how that works. Even with thick socks I just can’t keep my feet warm!
But when it is conducive to pruning, I will work on the fruit and ornamental trees, and maybe the clematis, too. Most of the shrubs around here are spring blooming, and you are supposed to wait until after they bloom for pruning them. But the lilac out front has some deadwood and I will likely tackle that. The more I can make myself do before the season starts in earnest, the better. It is always too busy in the growing season for all the things that need to get done.
If I’m good, or disciplined is the better word, I might actually have a pretty garden once again; but that is in the spring that I am talking about… and we are a long time from that point at this juncture in fast frozen January. So, while it is so frigid here, I have been doing the horribly tedious work of cleaning up and restructuring all my old html pages on my garden site. It makes me want to scream, especially when the connection becomes slow. I sure hope getting the garden back in order is not so frustrating as the internet garden has been!