Theory of Pruning

July 22nd

The master of the house is outside using his new hedge cutter and extendable saw.

Makes me cry, seeing the roses and pear tree fall to the ground. I dont mind about all the other greenery BUT my heart breaks watching flowers hit the deck

Jane,our horticultural neighbour, with the best garden in East Sussex, told me that most -plants are for animal browsing. So keeping plants at nibble length makes them grow stronger, scant comfort to a woman who hugs trees, kisses trees and fondles anything that looks and feels fondle-worthy.

Now I’ve just read the secret to a happy marriage is meeting each other half way. When the old git saw me cry he left three lilac flowers and the hibiscus bush alone. He had observed my trauma so I softened and let him cut down the rest of the lilac.

We met in the middle.

‘It’ll grow’ he said.

I think it’s an insight into my psyche – I think once cut through it will never return. I am the kind of miserable old Ashkenazy bitch who forgets that after a period of pruning and mourning life will continue, life will resume and things will grow again. I have post traumatic trimming stress, so I have decided to get a gardener and let them do the hard work until the garden is ship- shape. The algebraic theory of gardening for me now is H+A = W x G + 2YMWT = P


The lawn is brown, the hedges are sky high, the roses have deadly heads. Mary’s spiraea’s are big and bushy, the Rosemary and Mint have taken over the top quadrant. The geraniums needs watering., The Angelica has wilted.The runner beans and courgettes are trying their best to feed us and the Magnolia plot is so overgrown the dizzy daisies I put in are fighting for air. Strawberries died in the heat, the peonies planked, and my Lilies have gone the way of the blackcurrants and blueberries, sad and unlovely.
We sold our cheap swing set to a neighbour so now there’s a fucking great big hole where we used to sit.
When September arrives and we get some disposable pennies – or should I say Peonies – to throw at gardeners and second hand swing sets, we’ll start the garden rescue.

It’s 11.41 of a Saturday. one of the dawters old friends came round and we drunk cider vinegar in the garden, this evening the old git and I are going out. I mean out out. Our American friends sent us tickets for a jazz concert in Hever castle at 8 o’clock tonight. Jim has a new ( twenty year old) car which cost us £450 and goes like a dream. We are now a two old jalopy family, and tonight we’ll drive to Kent in Jim’s rusty bucket.

Now the truth is we don’t want to go, we have no enthusiasm; we are two old fuckers who have left-over mushroom soup (homemade) in the fridge and a telly full of recorded shite to catch up on.
We’ll argue on the way there. We’ll hold hands whilst Stacy Kent sings, then we’ll argue on the way back. But I bet you a pound to a penny we’ll love it. Thank You to our US buddies.

The first time I cried over a tree I was twelve. My mother and I stood by the kitchen window and watched two burley bastards saw through an ancient Oak tree opposite. It was to clear a space for the bus-stop. My mother and I held onto each other and wept as the branches fell and that ancient oak tumbled.

It’s not unlike watching The Tory Party dismantle the country. We can hold onto each other, cry and wail but we have to do more than hug and weep. Those Nimby bastards will hack away at our lives until we have nothing left but some lonely little petunias in an onion patch and a government pay out for a funeral plot.

The second time I cried over grass was when the old neighbours put up a wooden fence claiming the view was theirs, she threatened me with GBH as I guided her into our enclosed garden. Rather than take the wooden eyesores down, those unneighbourly folk singers left. The new neighbours ripped out the offending articles and we could breath again. I know it’s a relative gripe as Ukraine continues to fall and peoples homes are burning from Kviv to Bradford but comparing grief with grief is not an option. One persons’ nightmare is their nightmare however big or small.

Mother Nature is slapping us on our collective bums, and as long as those in power only care about filling their deep pockets we will watch our delicate planet grind to a halt. We have to demand those corrupt arseholes take their hands out of their pockets and stop scratching their brains.
And lest we forget mighty oaks from acorns grow, I’ve to wipe away my tears and know that the pears will ripen next year, the roses will bloom and good times will roll again.

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