What’s Blooming Wednesday #53 – The Sacrifice Year

Happy March first!

Let’s start with some pretty – now that there’s a tad of pretty in The Land of Making Do.  First off, the red bud trees suddenly budded late last week.

Red Bud Tree Buds and Blooms

And, now they’re opening into blooms.

Red Bud Tree Buds and Blooms

As I hauled bush clippings to the tree line, I noticed this pear tree blooming.

Pear Tree Blooms

You can tell from the tree line that things are still very wintry looking.  (Weeds are greening up nicely, though.  Always.  Wink.)

Pear Tree Blooms

The main project I worked on last week was this.  Notice the nippers on the porch – nippers for my bush-whacking.

Trimming Bushes

I made sure HH was fine with that first bush before continuing to the others.  I did this same sacrificial whacking  one year in Georgia.  HH came home from work and ran inside, exclaiming, “You’ve ruined our bushes!  What have you DONE?”

Once he calmed down, I explained how our bushes were so overgrown that I had to cut them back drastically – to the point of sticks.  I promised they would grow leaves again and to trust me.  He reluctantly did, and the next year we had beautiful, perfectly sized bushes, in perfect shape again.

Speaking of shape, I’m so out of shape!

So…how do you whack over-grown bushes in half without a man and a chainsaw?

Tip One:  Make a Plan

My plan was to trim two bushes per day.  (I had thirteen bushes to do and possible rain ahead.)  Even if it took two weeks, two hours each day in my schedule was manageable.

It wore me out to trim two bushes each day and haul away the debris with Winston, my energetic but useless assistant, beside me.  Each bush was a full wagon of clippings.  As I made my way to the tree line for dumping, I’d stop and trim a Crepe Myrtle tree and pile those cuttings on top, too.  Yikes!  Careful rolling that thing!

Trimming Bushes

Tip Two:  Consistency is Key

Some days I felt like trimming three.  On other days, two was more than I felt like doing.  Just keep to your schedule and do what you can each scheduled day.

Trimming Bushes

By Friday, I had one side of the front complete – eight bushes down, five to go.  Shocking looking, isn’t it?

Trimming Bushes

Step Three:  Adjust as Energy Allows

Endurance strengthens with consistency.  On Saturday, I finished all five remaining shrubs before noon – totally not in my plan, but I went with that day’s burst of energy!

Trimming Bushes

Weed-killin’ is soon – as soon as our torrential rain of this week stops!

Notice above, the clump of day lilies to the left of the front steps at the foot of the tree.  On day one, before starting on bushes, I divided the day lilies under the tree on the other side of the steps and moved the irises out to separate them from the day lilies.

Replanting Day Lilies

Maybe next week, I’ll divide the day lily clump under the other tree and move those irises, too.

Do you schedule your yard work out like that?  Or, is your endurance good for many hours at a time?  Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s out of shape!  🙂







  1. Cheryl says

    I am an extreme bush trimmer also! I have been told many times by many people that I have killed my bushes only to have them come back full and beautiful in the spring. Sometimes they just need a good whack! Love your blog. Follow you daily!

    • says

      Thank you for sharing your experience. Time proves they grow back, doesn’t it? Every time. I’m hoping these will fill in by summer’s end. Cheryl, thanks so much for following along. Happy Wednesday! 🙂

    • says

      Ha! If you had been here after cutting two bushes those first few days, you would have seen how much energy I lack. Sometimes, it’s mind over matter…and then you sit in your chair the rest of the day. 😉

  2. Ida Hayson says

    Kim, love your blog. I am 76 and I know what you mean about breaking your chores down to the amount of energy you have, especially if there is no man to help. Keep up the good work with your blog. Look forward to each and every one.

    • says

      Awe, thanks so much, Ida. Glad to know that breaking tasks down will serve well in the future. It’s readers like you who make it all worth while, so thank you! 🙂

  3. robin says

    To answer your question…
    So…how do you whack over-grown bushes in half without a man and a chainsaw?
    A WO-man and a chainsaw. HA! That is joke #2 for me this morning. You will like my 1st one.

    I was listening to the Bible on my phone app this morning. Numbers 26:39 mentioned the Huphamites. The voice on the app pronounced it HOOP-ham-ites. I thought…Hey…they played basketball. hahaha

    Back to the bush wacking…I rented a chainsaw years ago and actually took out one HUGE bush that was between my house and the neighbor’s house. We lived in a twin, so it was right outside the DR sliding doors. And there were a ton of yellow jackets and wasps that lived in there, not to mention birds and a bazillion spiders and bugs. I chainsawed the stump to the ground. Good riddens! LOL

    Your 2nd question…our of shape? Who isn’t? ha!

    I forgot to mention yesterday that my hyacinths are coming up! I have all purple ones out front. I got a great deal at the end of the season a few years in a row….some 5 bloom were a buck and I did get some for FREE at the veggie stand when I made a purchase.

    My yard doesn’t have a lot of shrubbery. It did. The lady that had the house built was nuts…she had all these trees planted in the front and back yard. They made no sense. They made it impossible to mow the lawn. When full grown they would probably have messed with the pipes. They would have been too big. And they were too close together. And too close to the house. After he got stung by a bee on his ear mowing the lawn, my hubby took his revenge….out they all came. This was 2012, before I even came to the house…we had just started dating.

    So the only shrubs we have are 4 bushes in front of the porch. I wack them down every spring. Looks like it will be time…real soon. We have a huge double tree line (zig zagged) along the property line on the one side of the house…and that is a non-stop job picking up sticks. And they constantly need chain-sawing to keep new sprouts from coming up. And then there is a lot of dead stuff that needs to be cut off. I think they are some kind of willow tree, but not weeping willow. The back yard has oak on the property line. When ya walk out back after the winter all you hear is crunch, crunch, crunch…..it’s acorn mania out there!

    And my flowers are out in front of the bedrooms…..we shall see what comes up besides hyacinths. I planted other bulbs too. Then I will add my seeds. ST has started her herb garden in the DR. Time to get the little greenhouse out!

    PS I have a pic of me with the chainsaw when I took out that huge bush. “Chainsaw Mama”. I will have to find it. LOL

    • says

      Haha! A friend said the other day that I’m basically a wimp because she uses her chainsaw often and man-handles it herself. I wouldn’t try this at home, ladies! Literally. I realize my arthritis limitations, and I’d cut off an arm or a leg. So, power tool users beware! Funny, though, WO-man. Apparently, I was in pretty good shape before blogging put me in a chair many hours each week. It has certainly taken it’s toll. But, it’s worth it! I love you all and am so thankful God hasn’t told me to stop! Your former house owner sounds like HH’s grandmother. He loves to mow but without obstacles. So, she planted a tree or bush, and he’d mow over it (in his youth). Grandmothers will forgive grandkids for everything! Ha! So glad your problem was eliminated before you came on the scene. That willow sounds high-maintenance. Ugh. Go forth, Chainsaw Mama! 🙂

      • Robin says

        The willow…is about 20 willows. Really. You know how people plant trees in one row, with a certain amount of space between them, then plant a second row a certain amount of feet in front of the 1st row, planted in the space area, so it looks like a zig zag, kind of? That is my side yard. So we have branches, branches EVERYwhere!!! And when they planted the trees many years ago, they didn’t support them, so they are not straight. They look like they are all swaying. So we have to watch them…the power lines to the house are right there. Figures. LOL We did cut down a few that were really leaning.

    • says

      We don’t have enough acid in the soil to grow azaleas, unfortunately. I can tell by my drippy nose that pollen is here – a necessary but unfortunate event. Ha! I hope your chainsaw man comes through for you! 🙂

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