Saturday, August 5, had been marked on my calendar for weeks. A lot of rosarians prune their roses 55 – 60 days before fall rose shows and as I counted back from the date of a show I want to enter, August 5 became my pruning day. This is the first year I’ve tried this; I’m in my forth year of growing roses and I still feel like a newbie, still learning the ways of “the real rosarians.”
My first step in the process was to harvest some blooms and make arrangements to share.
After making two deliveries (and keeping an arrangement for myself!), I was back in the rose bed, pruners in hand. I did what the “real rosians” have taught me. I removed crossing center canes and dead wood, and I cut back 3 – 5 of the strong remaining canes that were the width of a Number 2 pencil.
While I was pruning I cut away plenty of buds that in a few weeks would have been beautiful flowers if left to mature. I gotta tell you, that was painful. I cheated a bit and left three flowers, knowing they would open by Monday. I cut them last night and am now enjoying them in my bedroom.
My time in the garden often takes my thoughts to God. The Bible contains a lot of garden references, beginning with the Garden of Eden in Genesis. While I was pruning, I thought about what the Bible says on the subject. Jesus used the term as a metaphor for God’s preparing us to do His work. James 15:2 says, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” I did a little online reading about that verse and found this.
A few years ago I went through a really unpleasant experience at work. While I was miserable during my walk through it, I had faith (albeit a small amount of faith…perhaps the size of a mustard seed) that I was being prepared for something else. Looking back, I can see how the experience was equipping me for the job I have (and love) today.
Saturday’s gardening task reminded me that sometimes I have to sacrifice today, for a better experience down the road. And it reminded me to be trusting during times when I am being pruned.