My garden is a beastly thing in Spring. The roses, especially, transform into stretch-armed monsters that terrorize small children on their way to preschool(sorry about that, Ashli). I’ve always been more of an English gardener than a French one– graceful natural beds intrigue me more than orderly rows of annuals– but even chaos needs some order.
Pruning roses is my job. They are my loves, my pretties; I call them by name and I know the cuts that ensure a green strong bush and the brightest blooms. It pains me to sever those long branches already leaved out and fighting for buds. But the bushes will grow weak and subject to disease without pruning; as will I.
Thorns gouge my arms into a grid of red welts, one catches me on the forehead and leaves a garish bloody stream into my hairline.
Soon it’s a party– 13 boys bouncing and rolling in my backyard; admiring the chickens and soaking in Spring sunshine.
I drop my clippers for the camera and admire my life pruned down to all that matters.