How can we assure that our garden investment grows more beautiful with each passing season into the legacy of beauty we imagine?

The answer lies in the skill of the care we provide—largely through pruning. Pruning allows us to manage a living environment to fit the human scale; in return, garden plants radiate graceful natural beauty into our daily experience.

The purpose of pruning is to create and improve opportunities for plants to grow to their potential. Although pruning tools are like a sculptor’s, plants are not inanimate objects that can be shaped or ‘finished’ in a matter of days. A successful pruner is more like a coach working with a team of promising athletes–providing opportunities and guidance while realizing the development of the team and its culture will take years of nurture. The end results are really up to the players, after all. In the same way, an experienced pruner will create opportunities and provide timely guidance for the plants in his care, allowing the plants to reach their potential over time.

Contributed by James Hanselman

The Gardener (& careful plant “coach”)