Anyhow, back to my bush. Or hydrangea. When we moved in, it was at the beginning of fall and the flowers were turning dark purple and were ready to call it a day and fall off. It was a pretty big bush and I could tell it needed some help but I have no previous landscaping experience. I let it do its thing for awhile and researched the care and maintenance of hydrangeas and ran into a lot of conflicting information. From what I could tell, I should have pruned it by the time I realized that it needed help but I was still hesitant to mess with it. I turned to my friends and family who were knowledgeable. My mom worked in a nursery for about 4 or 5 years. My best friend had also worked in a nursery for about 4 years. My grandparents had owned many properties and handled all manner of landscaping for the houses. The lady we sublet to downstairs has a sister who is a plant expert somehow. They all said one thing. Prune the living hell out of that thing. Prune it back to the very closest bud near the roots. Ok, I just needed some pruners and I was golden. I told my husband (Aaron). He had also been reading about hydrangeas and told me not to mess with it. Apparently an "expert" said not to mess with it until sometime during the spring. I was not happy with this information. My mom had taken a look at it when she came up at the very beginning of spring and said to hurry up and take care of it so I told Aaron that I needed some pruners. He told me that it was too soon. This went on for a few weeks. Eventually I was seething. I finally had enough. Who were these experts??? What made them so damned smart about MY bush when they hadn't even seen it yet? What part of the world were they from, even? I told him that just because my family and friends didn't have their own websites with a bazillion hits, it doesn't mean they don't know a thing or two about how to deal with my unruly bush!!! The war had begun. It was going to be a battle to the death. Hand to hand combat right here, on my lawn. Then it happened... pruners were now available at Costco. Magical Costco. Aaron came home with pruners. I couldn't hide my excitement! Now I could take care of the bush!!! Again, I was reminded that this was not the best idea. Wait, he said. I mentioned pruning a few more times and he became annoyed.
Aaron, "fine, if we end up with a dead bush in our yard, it's your fault".
Then one day he went to the grocery store. It was now or never. I took the little boy out back with me and he played while the hacking began. It was glorious. The branches were lanky and growing over the fence and into my neighbor's yard. I imagined him showering me with gifts and thank-u's.
Neighbor, "oh, thank you Delilah... If it weren't for you fixing this hydrangea, it would have taken over my yard! Now I can see my shed!"
I could hear the loud opera music in my head as I pruned feverishly. Then Aaron came home. The look on his face was priceless. He asked what happened to all the branches. I told him that I pruned it the way I was told to. He put on his "I'm pissed at Delilah" sourpuss face, turned around and walked into the house. We did not speak of the hydrangea for weeks.
Then one day, my mom was visiting. She walked around the backyard and when she came back in, she mentioned how beautiful it was. Bear in mind that I couldn't really see it from any of the windows because of the angle it is situated. I went to have a look and nearly cried. It was gorgeous!!
Now it is summertime and I can finally see it peeking out from around the trees. It has become the big, lush, beautiful bush that I had envisioned.
Aaron saw it and we wept and made love in front of it... Not really but wouldn't that have been a funny way to end the story? He IS happy with my bush now. It's no longer causing us marital discord.
The moral of the story here is to never ever let ANYBODY get you down about your bush. Not even your husband.
|Delilah's Amazing Bush|