Presidents’ Day Pruning?
Presidents’ Day and Ground Hog’s Day have something in common. They can be false indicators of an early spring. For three springs I have written about Pruning Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PPTSD). I will sum this disorder up for you. It’s real and it caused me enough misery that every Presidents’ Day I reflect on a lesson learned from pruning too early. After growing roses in northern IL, trying to learn the best time to prune my Texas rose garden I listened to a garden expert in Texas say the “rule of thumb” was that the last day for a killing frost was Presidents’ Day. It had been an unseasonably warm January in Texas. I bought and planted 20 new rose bushes, and pruned almost 200 established bushes. I went to CA around March 10. During this time Texas had a Nor’easter. Upon returning I could not believe the death and destruction of this killing frost. The deadly freeze had killed all the new bushes. It killed all the new growth on the established bushes. This was a very expensive lesson in dollars and labor. I had to prune all the established bushes again and buy all new bushes and re-plant them again. The new leaves on all the deciduous trees died on the northeast side of the trees. I wasn’t sure that nature allowed for a second growth of the first new spring leaves on the trees. Even growing up in Northern Illinois I had never witnessed an event like this. Lesson Learned: It’s better to err on the side of caution and prune later than too early. If you have bushes that are completely protected and you simply can’t contain the pruning shears, then prune roses that are protected from a killing freeze like a Nor’easter. Better yet err on the side of caution and prune a little later after all chance of a killing frost is past for your zone.
Mr. Lincoln, The Rose
In honor of Presidents Day with the lesson of patience in pruning too early deeply ingrained in my psyche I thought it would be great to look at one of our beloved presidents and the rose named for him. Since I was born in Illinois, and I moved back to Illinois I chose Mr. Lincoln. You may have been wondering about why all the resurgence of the popularity of Abraham Lincoln. When we distill it down, its easy to see why President Lincoln will stand the test of time. Considered America’s wisest American president, American presidents continue to emulate Lincoln’s benevolent style of leadership rather than choose an authoritarian method. Abraham Lincoln is the most quoted American president. Lincoln is a role model for modern society because leadership and integrity never go out of style. What could be more valiant or brilliant a strategy for a developing nation than to support The Homestead Act allowing poor people in the east to obtain land in the West thereby guaranteeing a way for people to become self-sufficient and a country to expand and prosper. He rose to the top through sheer hard work and a driving ambition. Did you know Abraham Lincoln was almost entirely self-educated? He spent less than 12 months attending schools in the frontier as a youth yet he became and still is one of the most honored and celebrated of our American presidents.
Here’s a re-cap of Abraham Lincoln’s Greatest Accomplishments:
1. Preserved the United States as one nation during the Civil War
2. Issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which allowed black soldiers to fight for the Union and later the Thirteenth amendment that formally ended slavery in the United States
3. Signed into law the Homestead Act, the Morrill Act, and the first transcontinental railroad.
4. Gave his most famous speeches which include: the House Divided Speech, the Cooper Union Address, the First Inaugural Address, the Gettysburg Address, and the Second Inaugural Address.
President Lincoln as one of our most respected presidents we present you with a single red rose the ultimate symbol of admiration and respect.
I believe most heros in America are un-sung heros. You don’t have to be an American president to make a great contribution. Un-sung heros make up the underpinnings, and the true foundation of American life. The mothers, fathers, teachers, students, grandfathers, grandmothers, doctors, nurses, factory workers, great kids, and on and on who sacrifice and work supporting their families so their children, brothers, sisters, can do more and be more than perhaps they were ever able to achieve.
Who is your un-sung hero? Are you quietly working and striving every day to become an un-sung hero? I know there’s been someone that’s made it possible for you to be who you are today and will probably continue to do so. It’s never to late to be a hero. What can you do to leave a quiet legacy? Or walk the paths of an American president or take the path of the millions of people making a significant contribution somewhere in-between a president and a quiet un-sung hero.
I know every time I hear Wind Beneath My Wings I think of the selfless sacrifice of those who assisted me every step of the way. Who is or was the un-sung hero that either made or is making a great contribution to your life? I know many gardeners attribute their passion for gardening to their mother, father or grandparents.
Degrees of pruning.