Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Everything I Know About My Viburnum, I Learned At Work

I have a lovely viburnum in my backyard.

I know that it is a viburnum because we published a book about them, and it looks an awful lot like the viburnums in the book. Before the publication of the book? My viburnum was just “that big reddish, greenish, shrub thing in the backyard.” Now it has a name, and I can look intelligent when guests ask me what it is.

My viburnum is right next to my vegetable beds.

As it got taller, it started to shade out the vegetables. That would never do. I referred our book on viburnums, and was told that viburnums are “forgiving” of pruning.

Thank goodness, because I immediately employed the “hack, maim, and destroy” method, and took a monstrous chomp out of the bottom of the shrub. It looks a bit like a tree on the savannah – top heavy and totally bereft of foliage for as high up as the antelope can eat it. I’m low on antelope in Portland, but you get the idea.

After a year of looking at my poor misshapen viburnum, I think that I will take a kinder, gentler approach the next time around. This time, I think I’ll refer to our book on pruning (in which the “hack, maim, and destroy” method does not appear) for advice.

Learning about pruning on one’s lunch break? Priceless.

Chani West-Foyle, marketing associate

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