In April, I snapped this pic of our overgrown, monstrous barberry bushes, while the roofing was happening.
Since then, they grew another foot tall, really. They got more leggy, and more picker-y.
Well, look at them now!
Yes, they are there! There were five, but one disintegrated, and when I cleared out the others and cut them back, bareness resulted. They will come back full and lush, and I’ll bet that happens before the end of summer.
I cut them back because they needed to be cut. Every fall seems to present scheduling issues, then weather issues, then holiday issues. So when a rare July 75-degree day showed up, I took advantage of it.
That’s not entirely true, though. The painter I contracted to finally address the house, mentioned that many of the bushes were close to the house, and asked if they could be cut back. When I showed him the picker bushes, he winced, and I even think he groaned. I knew they had to be cut, and in preparation of the upcoming job, I just did it. And if you’re going to do it, you may as well do it big.
I called Moody’s Hauling, which we have used before for odd household goods, and they came that afternoon to take away all the branches I threw on a big tarp and dragged to the driveway. The pile was as tall as me, 5’6″, and filled the 6′ x 12′ tarp. That’s a huge pile, and yes, I cut and tossed it all myself. POOF! It was all gone. Awesome guys at Moody’s. Totally worth the hauling fee. Have you ever tried to cut up and bag picker bushes? Never again!
While “trimming” the barberry bushes, I fell against the red tip bush that you can see in the after photo. It broke easily, and I discovered half of it was rotted. It’s supposed to balance another one on the other side of the front of the house, but it never got enough light because of the barberry bushes. It, too had gotten leggy over the years, and cutting it back was never helpful. I’m going to nurture it for the rest of the summer, and hope that it survives. But if it doesn’t, we have plans to replace the other red tip next year, and would probably pull this one out, too.
There are still some bushes you can see to the left of the photo that need to be cut back. Weigela. Beautiful flowers. Hardy stems. And by hardy I mean tough to cut. These can get out of control, and they have gotten really big. But they’re on the north side of the house, so even though I have to cut them way down, they won’t get hit with blazing sun this summer. As soon as this new heat wave passes, I’ll get to those.
All this cutting and pruning has my arthritis aggravated, but I am sleeping well. I have some bruises, scratches and tiny thorns in a couple of my fingers. It feels good to do the hard work, and to know that I still can when I have to. I am saving big bucks by doing this work myself. I won’t need the hauling company for the rest of it, because those can go in bags easily.
Hear me roar, landscaping. I’m getting all around the house this year, and I’m coming for ya!