My favorite azaleas are the ones that have gone a little wild. I like when they are taller than me, a wave of green or a fuchsia punch. I have giant George Tabor azaleas in my front and back yard. When I first moved in the azaleas in the front were clipped to an an awkward teetering hedge, over pruned, crying for freedom.
After some research, I decided to cut them way back – almost to the ground. It was exhausting in the Louisiana heat as mounds and mounds of limps piled up. I was left with basically sticks in the ground.
The next year, there were no flowers. I had cut the buds off. The following two years produced slightly more buds as the azaleas grew and grew.
This year they were beautiful. They are again tall as me, but in a wild and beautiful mound. They were packed with flowers. From my studio window, I could see the the color and my guest bedroom window was filled with pink blooms.
As I write about these azaleas I realize that I’m kind of like them. I try to prune myself into perfection. Make myself perfect, please everybody, fix all the problems. But I ended up like the azalea unnatural, over pruned and little off.
Perhaps, sometimes God cuts me back hard. There might be a season or two with out blooms, but when I come back. It’s going to be beautiful.
canvas & paper prints
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