Pruning the Garden of Your Heart

The weather is warm, the leaf buds are swollen with potential, and life is good. With only ten days till it’s officially Spring, my heart swells with garden joy! Little by little, as my frail back affords, I’ve been preparing my small urban garden for healthy abundant blooms. While raking fallen leaves and cutting out dead wood, my spirit rises knowing glorious beauty will manifest.

Similarly, separating the fallen and dead is what must occur in order for God’s kingdom to bloom in our hearts and on Earth both now and at the time of Christ’s return.

“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” Matthew 6:10

There has to be a pruning of our hearts, a raking of our fallen leaves, and cutting off the dead wood taking up real estate within our hearts and minds. Anything that is not of Christ ultimately will be pruned and burnt up….How much more glorious if we allow Him to shape us into the ever-blooming rose bush He dreamed of when we were nothing but seedlings!

People may build on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw. The day will make what each one does clearly visible because fire will reveal it. That fire will determine what kind of work each person has done.” 1 Corinthians 3:12-13 (God’s Word Translation)

The Master Gardener will prune our heart’s garden if we let Him…if we cooperate with His will being done in our hearts and homes rather than growing into a mess of an overgrown, out of control shrub! Although His pruning and preparation painfully cuts deep at times within our diseased and dying souls, His intentions are to manifest the beautiful design He dreamed for us when He planted us in His well-landscaped garden.

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Knock Out’s Sweet Drift

 

So this Spring, as you plan out, prepare, and prune a garden of your own, ask yourself: What is God, your Master Gardener, pruning in you? What needs to be cut out of your heart in order for you to manifest abundant blooms in His garden…in His kingdom? God wants to see you bloom. He wants to you to live in His ever-blooming love so that you can abundantly love others and truly live both now and forever with Him in His heavenly garden. In order to be ever-blooming though, you need to allow Him to prune the garden of your heart.

“And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.” Deuteronomy 30:6 (English Standard Version)

 

How To P.R.U.N.E.

Perhaps the simplest way to remember basic pruning principles is to memorize the acronym P.R.U.N.E.

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{photo credit: Better Homes & Garden}

P: Prepare your plant by thoroughly assessing it. Inspect your rose bush – how did it do over the winter? Any snapped canes from wild winds or heavy snow? Is it a tangled mess? Too overgrown? Damaged? Do you see any diseased canes or problem areas?

R: Remove the 3 D’s: dead, diseased, and damaged canes. Basically, you’ll need to remove any canes that can’t be trained or saved (as painful as that may be – figuratively or literally).Note: Wear welders gloves and clothes you won’t mind getting snagged. While you are discerning which canes stay and which are cut, you also want to remove any canes that are crossing or too thin (skinnier than a pencil). Watch out for canes that have rubbed along a trellis – they could become susceptible to disease so trim any potential problem laterals/canes out as well.

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{photo credit: unknown}

U: Understand your rose bush and the look you want for the plant and how it fits in the overall look of the garden.

N: Nothing left behind -Be sure to gather and evict any remaining dead leaves, canes, or other debris that may be in or around the bush. Otherwise, you will be inviting disease and an unsightly mess of things.

E: Enjoy a healthy, blooming rose bush!

Keep checking Ever-Blooming Roses’ blog for more tips

on developing an ever-blooming rose garden!

 

To Prune Or Not To Prune: That Is The ?

I don’t know about the area you reside in, but in my region of South Central Pennsylvania (zone 6b), the weather has been most bizarre! One day it will feel like Spring while the next is bitter cold. Usually, this area gets an average of 25 inches of snow the entire winter. But this winter we barely got a dusting until the Blizzard of 2016. On that historic date, 28 inches of snow fell in my yard in just one day! Prior to that, it was 65 degrees on Christmas Eve – certainly no “White Christmas” for us. In fact, my rose bushes were still blooming in January! Never in my life, or should I say zone, have I seen roses bloom in JANUARY.

Whether (no pun intended) it’s El Nino or other factors, it’s always difficult to discern when to prune and when to patiently wait. Ideally, you want to wait to till any hints of freezing temperatures in your area are no longer a threat. Pruning wakes up your sleeping beauties and encourages them to get busy blooming. If this process begins and then a freeze stuns them, your rose bushes are at risk of dying or being exposed to other issues. Although, if you have an established rose bush, it will probably recover just fine, but ones younger than a year or two in the ground, I would recommend holding off on pruning. Better safe than sorry! Personally, I find it always tempting on Spring-like days to get out there and clip away, but the lows at night, not to mention a last minute snow fall, could seriously damper the fruits of my labor.

With all that said, when is it safe to prune? Some say wait till you see bud eyes swelling or little red leafs popping out. Mine are doing that now, but snow is in the forecast for later this week, so pruning now could prove dangerous to my blooming beauties. Patience is a virtue.

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Forsythia {photo credit: unknown}

Probably the most reliable indication of when to prune your roses, at least for colder climates such as mine, is to wait on the Forsythias to bloom. When you see those sprawling bushes bursting in glorious yellow, know that it’s time to pull out the pruners!

In the meantime, since you are probably like me anxious to assist your rose darlings before Spring officially begins, you can start clearing away debris and dead leaves that may have collected in your garden beds. You can also sharpen your pruners and loppers in advance, stock up on soil, pots, fertilizer, and other gardening supplies. I also call around to see who has the best deals on mulch. Others in warmer climates, may have already been able to prune (lucky you!). As for me and my garden, nestled here in chilly Pennsylvania, we’ll wait on the Forsythia Factor!