Thursday, July 12, 2007


Ahhhh, I'm sitting in the cool of the house with a tall glass of iced-down lemon water and feeling lots more refreshed after some time in the yard. I got my mowing done in the morning and set to pruning this afternoon. I pruned my lilac bushes by trimming off the stem that was once a gorgeous blossom and has now gone to seed. If you don't trim this seed head off, it will not flower on that branch again. You see how it grows in between the fork of the leaves? I wish there was something I could make with the seeds of lilac bushes. Lilac jam or jelly?

The picture below shows a new little bud beginning to form already. This will be where a lilac blossom will come next spring. I circled it in red. I can't help but thinking of the lessons that Jesus taught about pruning when I'm doing a job like this.

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. ~John 15

Where is he pruning me? Or is he removing something altogether that is unproductive?

I also spent some time pruning the caragana bushes that grow in my backyard near the clothesline. Little did I know seventeen years ago that those little sticks we planted would turn into bushy shrubs that poke out towards my clothesline and cause towels to fray and trousers to snag. I try to only hang "short things" on that inside line now so they don't get caught in the prickly bushes. I've pruned them back quite a bit today, but they're sure to grow out there again. Picking up all the twigs is important to me because I go to the clothesline barefoot often. Do you? How many of you use a clothesline regularly? I love mine and consider it nearly immoral if I don't use it on a hot summer day and choose to use the dryer instead. What a waste of warm sunshine and a nice breeze.

Now that that job is done, it's time to hang out the blue jeans!

A wee bit of Lilac History:
Lilacs in the United States date back to the mid 1750's. They were grown in America's first botanical gardens and were popular in New England. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew them in their gardens. Lilac bushes can live for hundreds of years, so a bush planted at that time may still be around. Lilacs originated from Europe and Asia, with the majority of natural varieties coming from Asia. In Europe, lilacs came from the Balkans, France and Turkey.


  1. Jody,

    I had a beuatiful lilac bush in our old home that was such a treasure. I miss it terribly but my son planted a butterfly bush that is beautiful to enjoy. We are not allowed to have clotheslines here in Las Vegas and so I miss my old clothesline also. My son and I are going back home for a visit next week (the first time since we moved 6 years ago) so maybe I can visit both the old lilac bush and clothesline. Thanks so much for sharing yours :)

  2. I love clotheslines...I used to use mine all the time...but the last few years I've gotten more into the habit of using the dryer. But my (teen)girls are now discovering the wonder of clotheslines...and they often trek outside with a basket of wet clothes and hang them up on the line. It's neat to see them doing that. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks for the lessons thoughtful!
    I love my clothesline and feel sad when the warm summer days start fleeting away. I can't hang my laundry out in the winter because of the becomes inaccessible! But, I am thrilled for the first nice days in Spring and continue to use my clothesline until the winter snows arrive.
    P.S. Jilliana wanted me to tell you that the dragonfly picture is really interesting (and cool)

  4. I love lilacs, they have such a gorgeous scent. You tend to find them in the gardens of houses built int he 1930s here, I think it's because there was a song from that time about gathering lilacs. I like your gardening shoes...they look good and comfy!

  5. Barb, I have noticed that there are many housing developments that do not allow clotheslines. I think the idea is that they are unattractive, but as for me, I think there's nothing more wonderful than to see a line full of fresh wash hanging out. I hope you enjoy your visit back home.

    Carla, isn't it cool that your teen daughters are rediscovering the clothesline? I'm impressed! Lucky you that they're doing the washing.

    Joanne, I am all too familiar with the cold winters and no use of the dryer. Perhaps that's why I like using it so much when I can.

    Isabella, we find many old homesteads in this area had lilacs which still remain. They've died back a few times, but somehow they regrow. I would think they were planted in the 30's too. I wonder what the history of lilacs is? I may have to look into that.

    Thanks everyone for your thoughts and comments. I enjoy reading each one.

  6. I just added a little lilac history for your (and my) information.

  7. I have a lilac bush that was originally a piece from my grandmother's bush, so I treasure it. Thanks for the pruning tip ~ I didn't know that.


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