prune in June… sometimes


When we got down to Tupelo and Emily was showing us around her lovelies. I stopped suddenly.

“They waited for you, honey,”

I paused and smiled at the memory. A week ago, before Em’s trip to see her brother, she was worried that her peonies would bloom without her. “Oh my.. their smell, it’s heavenly.”

Dave’s the gardener; Em’s his daughter. I’m just the recipient of mounds of color, usually through July. He’s inherited it from his dad, the joy of digging in the dirt and watching for slug penetration.

Yesterday, I went out to see what he was up to. Yep, a new bed was created, tender greenery, and a new layer of dark mulch. “I see you’re finishing up the last of the 2nd yard here.”

“Yep, keeps down the weeds.”

“I do recall you mentioning that about a million times.” I snark. ” I was thinking about your dad today; I had just talked to the Post Office. Dave’s dad was the friendliest mail- carrier in all of the Midwest, I think.”

Dave smiled, remembering too. “I know he’s still wondering up in heaven why I always plant the perennials when all he worried about was his vegetable garden.”

“Yep, we can’t eat flowers,” I laugh. “Remember that beautiful line-up of peony bushes down the side of the house?”

” I do— ours are just starting. I wish they’d hurry up a bit because I like to prune in June.”

“Nice rhyme,” I mutter. “Don’t tell me that. I would like them to keep blooming until we get back from Kelly’s.”

“A bit touchy, aren’t you?”

“Well, you and your dad have that chain-saw mentality in common—remember the lilacs— we haven’t haven’t had lilacs for three whole years, you know?”

“I know what I did wrong, now. I didn’t prune in June.”

It turns out that pruning is essential information for gardeners. I’m running out now to look at my peony bush before it’s too late!

Later I show Dave the picture; he gets happy when I enjoy the flowers. I ask if I can cut a few stems.

“Nope, don’t touch them. Research says that Fall is better for pruning peonies. Besides, I like my flowers in the ground; you know that.”

Yep. I do. I have never gotten cut flowers for any occasion, maybe a new tree or bush. And I’ve grown to love the wonder of the returning plants lifting their faces to the sun and our prayers for a gentle rain to soothe and nourish their souls. 

PS He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful— John 15:2


About Nanc

lifelong teacher who is semi-retired (does this sound better?) who loves God, family and laughing... who hates social injustice... who wants to write every day... who needs to exercise every day... who blog hops... who wants to live her everyday life led by her savior, Jesus Christ!

5 responses »

  1. I love peonies, too! When I was growing up we had a line of peonies down the fence in the backyard so I planted some as an adult, for the memories. But here, the peonies only bloom for a short time in May and early June. Once and done. If it rains, they usually droop and are gone sooner. So I do cut them and bring them into the house to enjoy their sweet fragrance.

  2. I love peonies although I do not have any myself. The water droplets you captured are certainly nourishing their soul – and mine too!

  3. Our peonies have just started blooming. Since I’m headed out of town next week, I’m going out now to cut some for inside joy! Prune in June, interesting rhyme, must be something to it since we talked to someone about some work and he put us off until almost the end of June. Love how you used dialogue to put us right in the middle of this scenario.

  4. The peonies are so beautiful this year. I’ll have to remember the “prune in June” advice–I’m terrible at gardening, and my husband is worse. My dad tries to keep us together on what we ought to be doing!

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