There are times in every garden when it’s time to say goodbye. When a plant is dead this isn’t difficult, but many people have trouble saying farewell just because the plant isn’t up to snuff. There are times, however, when it’s time to be honest and admit that it’s not worth staying in a relationship with a particular shrub or perennial. All that fertilizer, pruning and hoping that “this year things might be different” just gives some plants the message that things can go on like this forever. We say we want them to grow or bloom, but then give them mixed signals by letting them stay even when they don’t perform. Stop being an enabler! Time to get firm and say goodbye. 

This is my project for the next week. That Blushing Bride hydrangea that hasn’t flowered in six years? Sorry it didn’t work out, BB…bye! Those three Irish yews that have been so unable to get serious that I’ve called them Larry, Moe and Curly for years? Sorry, stooges, it’s time to break up with all three of you…bye! That Euonymus that becomes so defoliated every winter that it barely has time to grow an inch or two before the next cold season hits? Don’t let the compost bin hit you on the way out!

All of this forced leave-taking is done with a spirit of gratitude of course. I am grateful I am not depending on these plants for my winter food. I’m grateful that I am able to plant other things in these locations if I choose to. And I’m especially thankful that I will no longer be looking at them!

There are times when the weekend project is to say goodbye.

So long, Larry, Moe and Curly!  I'd say it wasn't you, it was me, but that wouldn't be the truth. It was you.

So long, Larry, Moe and Curly! I’d say it wasn’t you, it was me, but that wouldn’t be the truth. It was you.

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