I don't know about other gardeners, but me I get attached to plants and trees. The become such a part of life in my garden that imaging the garden without them is almost painful. Recently I’ve had to let go of a pair of hollies that were growing in front of my porch.
Now for me these were more than just shrubs, unruly as they were they provided berries that brought a host of birds including cedar waxwings and great cover for my feathered friends as well. When I asked my husband to prune them it didn’t occur to me that his method would leave me with little more than a stump. The kicker was he only took out one of them, leaving behind a very oddly misshapen clump. Really it was heart wrenching for me to see those hollies in that state.
Each time I walked past this area, (which is a million times a day) I would just cringe. It looked awful with half a holly there. I started filling the area left open by the other holly with various annuals, that the butterflies would find appealing. This bed stays pretty wet so it’s a great place for various milkweeds and it’s one of the sunnier spots in my yard. The cringing continued until I could stand it no more and I removed the rest of the hollies myself.
I realized that sometimes I just have to let go and start over. The ‘stumps” left behind already have new growth coming out and the removal even though drastic opened up this bed for plating of other flowers that need more sun than I get in other places in the yard.
I guess learning this lesson was timely, because next week, my tree guy is coming to take down 130’ poplar that is heaving out of the ground. Talk about changing the landscape!