I never think to do before and after photos until it's too late. But then, I so rarely expect "after" to be so different from "before." Today, I hired Lisa Nowak, Young Adult writer, independent publisher, and gardener to come over and prune my rosebushes. I have a black thumb, and my husband's favorite garden tool is the flame thrower, so the roses have sort of gone feral. Well Lisa whipped them back into shape and taught them a lesson they will not soon forget. She even moved one that was starting to lie down to get into the sunlight. Then, after dealing with the four that I had in mind, she took me around front and got to work on a climbing old rose that has been growing through the chain link fence for so long that one big cane has completely enveloped a section of wire. This whole pruning thing is magic to me. She eyes the rose bush, then goes for it scientifically, whacking off pounds of canes, branches and twigs. I know that the bushes wil be happier, but I'm always afraid I'll cut the wrong things, or cut too deep and kill the poor plant. I know, rationally,that roses are hard to kill, especially in this climate, but as soon as I get those clippers in my hand, my heart fails me.
Lisa filled two yard debris cans with chopped up rose canes, and left another can's worth of Japanese quince suckers and dead daphne bushes for me to load up for next garbage day. She even let me help espalier another rose against the front fence. I got to put a rosebush in bondage. It's gonna be gorgeous when it blooms!
There is a great deal of pleasure to be had in watching a competent professional go about a job. There is even more pleasure to be had when that professional is a friend with whom you share many interests. And if you need to pay to get a thing done right, isn't wonderful to be able to give the money to someone you like? all in all, a most satisfactory morning!