Monday, March 27, 2017

The Gardener Must Prune

Hydrangea Arborescens


Have you been smitten by the Hydrangea-Love that seems to be overtaking many gardeners? I know I have, but living here in a cold hilly pocket close to Wisconsin lakes, it takes a gamble to risk most varieties. I wrote about my sweet neighbor and the hydrangeas in her Secret Garden here,
and the summer that was their rescue.


Here in my own garden I grow the native variety,
listed here at the Wisconsin Edu Extension site.
This Hydrangea will be covered in blooms,
every summer,
with only one requirement:
It requires pruning in the spring, because it blooms on
NEW WOOD. 



So, naturally, my thoughts have been 
floating around that word "pruning." 
Will I find a day
with sufficient strength
to be able to prune my hydrangeas this year?


And even more importantly, will I allow
the gentle hand of my Master Gardener
to take his tools
and prune away the parts of my life
that He knows need grooming?



The Gardener Must Prune

Early spring sun glows

Time to prune dead wood, purge, clean

Open space for fresh

--Bettie Gilbert



Sometimes when I am trimming my plants,
I imagine I can hear their whimpers
as I cut away the old,
and strip out the broken branches.
Other times I think I can hear 
a sigh
as I remove an errant branch
that was causing the whole plant
to be misshapen.



What does my Lord hear
from me
as He removes, and shapes,
and prunes my life?
A cry . . .
A whimper . . . 
Or a sigh of acceptance
as a way is cleared
for the new to come.



 "He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."
John 15:2 NIV 




This #Haiku #Poetry is part of the challenge offered by Ronovan Hester at his siteRonovan Writes,
where the prompts given this week are "Spring&Fresh."
Pop over for a visit to read so many great Haiku this week!     



Join me also, where I'm linking with:
Meg Weyerbacher, #TeaAndWordTuesday   
Jennifer Dukes Lee, #TellHisStory  
    

    

31 comments:

  1. I pray God gives you the strength to prune your hydrangeas, Bettie. Isn't it something how when some plants are pruned or the dead flowers removed, they produce even more beautiful flowers? You cause me to search my heart. I'm afraid when God takes His pruning shears to me, I'm resistant and protesting. Even though I ask Him to do that very same thing when I pray I may become more like Him. May He give us grace to give that "sigh of acceptance as a way is cleared for the new to come." Love and hugs to you!

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    1. Dear Trudy,
      Thank you for your prayers! I am grateful that we can be praying for each other to be more receptive to those tools of the pruner. I know that I have been so resistant too often also! And, yes, those plants are such good object lessons to us aren't they? Love and Hugs to you too!

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  2. WOW I did not prune my Hydrangea, and it is sprouting new leaves - - and I can only hope it will bloom. Next winter, I will cut it way back with the hedge trimmers.
    Thank you for your visit and your comment.

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    1. Hi Hazel!
      On the years that I wasn't able to prune my bushes, they just didn't have as many blooms, or as big either. But they still had a few. Also, there are other varieties that need pruning at different times of the year, so that's always tricky too! :-) Happy Gardening! And thank you for visiting here also!

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  3. Great post. My word this year is yield and pruning is part of that. Your haiku certainly speaks to the need for yielding. Excellent.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Patricia! Oh, that is a beautiful word for the year, and it certainly does require a yielding on our part to let the Master do His work of pruning. But what a blessing He brings to us when the new growth begins! --Blessings to you!

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  4. The pruning process God performs on us isn't easy but oh so necessary. Great analogy with the pruning of your hydrangeas. I hope you do find the strength to do that even if you break it up over a few days a little at a time. :) May we be open to God's pruning and trust in Him as we grow and shine His light to others!

    Blessings to you my dear friend/poet/sister! xoxo

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    1. Dear Gayl, Thank you for your suggestion--I just might try the "little at a time" method this year. I think that's part of my personal pruning: not to try to do the huge chunks like I used to do! I am so thankful that we can encourage each other to allow God to do His work in us! Blessings to you too, my dear sister/poet/friend! xoxo

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  5. Such a good meditation on pruning. And so often the cuts that we think are going to KILL US are the shears doing the needful thing for that beautiful bloom. May God give us eyes to see His working.

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    1. Dear Michele,
      Oh, you are so right! It's those hardest cuts that are sometimes the most necessary! And, yes, Lord may we have those open eyes. Blessings to you!

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  6. The necessary pruning of our lives can feel painful, can't it? Especially when we have a tendency to hang on to the dead wood, thinking it must still have a bit of life in it! Yet we actually hinder our fruitfulness by doing just that, though accurately assessing the correct season for releasing, sowing, planting, pruning or harvesting can be tricky indeed. And it would be impossible without Holy Spirit's input and help. But oh how glad we are to have yielded when we see renewed life and beautiful new blooms appearing! Bettie, I love how you've drawn such a beautiful analogy, and created a gorgeous haiku, from your intended gardening project. May you have energy enough to pace yourself for the task, and assistance to see it through, if necessary. Blessings and love to you, dear friend! xoxo

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  7. The necessary pruning of our lives can feel painful, can't it? Especially when we have a tendency to hang on to the dead wood, thinking it must still have a bit of life in it! Yet we actually hinder our fruitfulness by doing just that, though accurately assessing the correct season for releasing, sowing, planting, pruning or harvesting can be tricky indeed. And it would be impossible without Holy Spirit's input and help. But oh how glad we are to have yielded when we see renewed life and beautiful new blooms appearing! Bettie, I love how you've drawn such a beautiful analogy, and created a gorgeous haiku, from your intended gardening project. May you have energy enough to pace yourself for the task, and assistance to see it through, if necessary. Blessings and love to you, dear friend! xoxo

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    1. Dear Joy,
      Ah yes, I know what you mean about the "hanging onto dead wood." I've been just as guilty of that with my plants as I've been with my own life. We have been so blessed to have the Holy Spirit's care in our lives, haven't we? He is so gentle when the time is necessary for that shearing away! Thank you for your kind words--I may need to ask for some more assistance in the garden this year, and learn even more about pacing myself in these tasks. Hugs and Love to you my friend also! xoxo

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  8. On new wood? Ours are never to be pruned. I used to write under the moniker "A Pruned Branch" and my very first book of devotions? Is titles A PRUNED BRANCH! Yes, Lord!

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    1. Yes, Susan, it's amazing to me how the different varieties of plants need different kinds of pruning! Now I want to go look for that book of yours!

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    2. Bettie, it's definitely available on Amazon! It is like the story of my life, up to 2005. It is a devotional/journal, actually has journaling space on every single page!

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    3. Yes, I did find it, and bought it, and already God has touched my heart in the reading of it! Thank you Susan!

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  9. Bettie - ok - wow I am not a gardener - I did not get my grandma's green thumb and while I love hydrangea's I have never had them in my own yard, until recently when we bought a new home and I was so excited... but I just learned I am suppose to prune them in the spring - ahhhh! lol also, I love your poetry and I love your thoughts and the question - I can't help but wondering what my Lord hears when He prunes me... oh boy, I read that line and I immediately thought - He probably has heard loud cries and not sighs.. Such a good reminder that pruning is a necessity to growth and that I need to change my thinking and check my attitude. your neighbor today at #TeaAndWord

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    1. Hi Debbie,
      Oh, if you can find a gardener nearby who can let you know which variety of hydrangea you have there, it might be helpful, because not every variety actually needs pruning! I have the old-fashion native variety here. But, yes, those pruning shears do remind us about having a willing heart attitude, don't they? I'm so grateful that our Lord is such a gentle gardener with us! Blessings to you!

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  10. Such a thought-provoking idea. Thanks for sharing this beautiful concept!

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    1. Yes, isn't it amazing the way that God brings His thoughts to us through His world and nature! Thanks for your kind words! Blessings to you!

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  11. Hi Bettie,
    You have the heart of a gardener! I love how you sympathize with the branches you are pruning and related it to God, the gardener of our souls -- beautiful! I really do love hydrangeas but they do not grow in Florida and the farthest south I've seen them is Atlanta. I think they're one of my favorite flowers -- along with peonies -- which also do not grow in our climate! :) xo

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    1. Dear Valerie,
      Yes, God certainly speaks to me as I am in the garden! He has such a wonderful way of bringing His truth home to us, doesn't He? I wish I could send you some of our Northern hydrangeas and peonies--they're some of my favorites also! Love and Hugs to you! xo

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  12. Oh, my, what a soul-searching thought! I am afraid He hears way too much grumbling, and "why, me, Lord?" and questions like that from me. The pruning is painful, that's all there is to it, and I don't suffer very patiently, I'm ashamed to say. God help me to yield to the pruning, as I know, in the long run, it will cause me to produce more spiritual fruit. Thank you for always blessing and encouraging and challenging me in my walk with the Lord! You are such a dear blessing to me!

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    1. Dear Cheryl,
      Yes I know that I surely lean toward the grumbling side also, it's much too easy to find that side, isn't it? I am so thankful that He doesn't give in to our whining, but continues to bring conviction and grace to us! I am blessed that you find encouragement here, you are an encouragement to me also, Dear Sister! Hugs and Blessings to you!

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  13. I think gardening is a gift which some people have and others, like me, don't. I just can't get anything to grow properly. No matter how I try we don't get much fruit - like figs, or cherries, although we have managed a good crop of apples and a few pears last year. We have a few flowers but I doubt I can name any of them; apart from the lavender.

    God bless.

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    1. Wow, that's wonderful that you had apples and pears! And, I know some people who wouldn't even recognize a lavendar plant--so I would say you must have a small bit of "gardener" there within you! :-) Thanks for stopping by here, Victor! Blessings to you!

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    1. Thanks for your encouraging words! It's nice to see you today! Have a wonderful weekend!

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  15. I love Hydrangeas so much we had them in our wedding!! They are still one of my favorite. The colors and the bushel/bunched togetherness is what I love. Your poem is so lovely! I was all about some pruning last year and I am praying God softens my heart to be open to His trimmings even still. Thanks for sharing this friend!

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    1. Dear Meg,
      Aren't those hydrangeas awesome? There can never be enough of those! :-) Yes, may our hearts stay open for His grooming. Hugs and Blessings to you my friend!

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