Pruning and transplanting

Tracy Dunham

The weather has once more lured me away from my desk. Yes, I admit it, I've been getting dirty and sweaty playing in the garden. Azaleas needing more sun, my poor drought-stricken Alberta spruces, the Acubas that craved a trim - I shoveled and planted, transplanted and tossed, snipped and trimmed, adding to the compost heap and a renewed yard regime for a whole day. What fun. The rosemary went to a new spot in the back, having taken over the herb garden, and I pulled a few more tomatoes off the vines. The basil, chive, mint, and oregano all are thriving in this Indian Summer weather that should, by all rights, have ended weeks ago. I planted over a hundred new tulip bulbs to add color to a boring corner. I can't wait for spring to see how my rearranging works out.

It's a bit like writing - everything needs a good pruning, a judicious trim, a little more color by the second draft. The third draft adds more shape, gets rid of the dead wood. The best part is, thinking about a work in progress and seeing its holes, its strong parts, what needs to go, what needs reworking, is always easier when I'm disgustingly filthy, dirt caking my knees and under my nails, playing in the garden.