clearly the season is a changin’

so it started our a normal Thursday morning.  The to-do list for the day was running through my head – typical for a Thursday.   Bugs and I got in the car.   Backed out and headed down the drive towards the main road – when in the distance was this little man doing something with one of my favorite trees.   As we got closer, I sighed relief, he’s just dead-heading the old blooms.   But then we rounded the curve and I saw it.  I was stuped! wide eyed and gaping mouth!  No it couldn’t possibly be time already.   Today is the first chilly day we’ve had (and even that’s all relative).  No it’s not time yet.   But lo and behold, there is was, the first of many: the beheaded crape myrtle tree.   it’s branches and leaves all gone.   only the bare trunk left.    clearly the pruning season was here.

Last year was the first year I noticed the be-headed crape myrtles.   Ok, I know, it’s technically it’s pruning … but have you every looked at one — talk about drastic pruning – beheading.  And of all the gardening, of all the pruning, nothing gets me quite like the crape myrtles. 

I was at least pleased to see that the beheading is actually not carried out in actual beheading- with a big whack- style.   No it was far more gentle and slow and careful, branch by branch.    There was something loving in the way the little man was tending to the crape myrtle tree.   

Apparently I come to learn that there are several methods in pruning Crape Myrtles – they have to be pruned so drastically and dramatically because they have to bloom on new growth/new wood versus old/last year’s growth.  One method apparently is the "whacking" method: it keeps a row of myrtles uniform and about the same height.   The other method is called, "trimming," where you remove all the weak spindly branches leaving 4-8 of the stronger ones.   Who was to know there was so much to know about pruning a myrtle tree.

Regardless of the method, I find myself staring at the beheaded crape myrtles so often now because somehow in them I find hope — hope for me, hope for life —  somewhere in that bare, stripped and chopped tree is life ready to sprout.   

So God, my God, prune away (if I have any say, I’ d personally prefer the trimming vs whacking method but as always, your call) because the seasons are a changing.  And clearly it is time.  There’s life to grow.  There’s life to pursue.