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Trims are only temporary...thankfully


This is the time of year when Mother Nature’s bounty needs a haircut.

That’s what I did for a part of Father’s Day until I realized I was missing out on a swim and enjoying a beautiful day. But the growth was bothering me and a few snips with the hand clippers – a trim of the eyebrows – wasn’t going to do it. This required some heavy duty trimmers if the bushes and hedges were going to get the buzz cut they needed.

My son, Ted, gave me his electric set when he upgraded to a pair that could probably cut through a giant redwood. The pair I got can cut through finger-sized branches like scissors through paper. After getting out the 100-foot extension, I was armed and prepared to tackle the over growth, not the trees.

Carol grimaces whenever she sees me with an outdoor power tool. She knows that once the chain saw is running – not always an easy task – that more than that dead branch overhanging the drive is likely to come down. Likewise, it’s easy to get carried away with a weed whacker. Hedge clippers evoke a round of cautionary comments including, “I hope you don’t get carried away with those things,” and “stay out of the round garden.”

She’s wary when she sees me with a shovel or hoe. About the only tool she considers me safe to use is the leaf blower.

As for the hedge trimmer, I’m only permitted to trim the round hedges in the round garden in the fall until after the flowers have bloomed. The reason; she’s convinced that the acid from the needles that fall to the ground and I fail to cleanup will stunt the growth of everything else. I haven’t tested this theory but for the sake of family harmony, I abide by the rule.

The trimmer chattered to life, it’s comb-like teeth snipping so quickly that they were a blur. I started with a bush that had growth to restrict our passage to half of the walkway. With a sweep, leaves flew and branches fell. This was going to be easy, I would be done in no time I thought. The bush was taking on a new look. No question it was lopsided. It needed trimming all the way around.

More branches came off and after stepping back to appraise the work, it was time to move on. There was no lack of targets from hairy hedges to hanging branches choked with vines and even some verdant poison ivy that I was careful to avoid touching.

The reach of my trimming was limited by the extension. After an hour, the yard was littered with cut branches, the overtaking green having been pushed back. Some bushes quite frankly looked denuded. The pickup was to follow. Clipping and branches filled four barrels. It was fast work and with a sense of satisfaction, I stood back to take it all in.

The first of my targets looked surprisingly neat and orderly. Mother’s Nature’s whimsical display of errant branches had been rounded and brought under control. That’s what I thought until I spotted a couple of branches I had missed. My eye went to it immediately. It wouldn’t do. I guess that’s the way Mark or Allan feel at Louie’s Barber Shop when after brushing off the hairs around one’s collar and pulling off the smock.

“Let me get that one more,” I can hear them saying as they reach for a pair of scissors.

I pulled the trimmer back in and reached for the branches. And then there was the next bush…and the next. Had I been that sloppy?

Perfection was eluding me, but then there was no reason to let it bother me.

The bushes would do what they do and that’s their beauty. My efforts were only temporary.


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