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Saturday, November 26, 2016

All Around the Barberry Bush

About a month ago as I pulled up my driveway I was overwhelmed with the fall task of trimming the barberry bushes. The barberry bushes came with the house when we arrived here three years ago and I have had a love/hate relationship with them since. Being a diligent owner of this new home, I researched the proper care for the bushes which were at the time of move in (November), overgrowing into the sidewalk that led to the house.

The problem with barberry bushes is that the are pokey. We did not want our guests to be accosted by barberry barbs as they made their way to our front door.  It was spring before I really got to the research so when I saw that the best time to trim the bushes was fall, I was a little disappointed. Then I decided that I was just going to trim them in the spring because I couldn't have them "attacking" the people that come to the door because there are a few that we actually WANT to come see us.


Once I trimmed them I was surprised at how fast the grow! How in the world do we get by trimming them just once a year? This summer I decided that barberry bushes aren't the best choice for the walkway leading to the front door. That was when we started talking about moving them to the far side of the property where they could be allowed to grow to whatever size they want without hurting anyone.

I started annually trimming the bushes. The first year, dad gave me his electric trimmer to use and I trimmed them that way. I didn't like that much because it was pretty messy and the clean up took a long time. They had the very nice manicured look but I wasn't sure that it was worth all the time it took the clean all the trimmings off of the ground. After that I started to trim with my hand clippers and the time it took was not as much. It didn't have the manicured look but I still liked the results good enough.

The only problem after that was the barbs. I was having to take a tweezer to my hands for about 3-5 days after because the little tiny ends of the barbs were stuck in my fingers and hands. It was then that I looked on Amazon for leather gloves. I found a great pair of rose cutting gloves and put them on my wish list. To my pleasant surprise, last year at Thanksmas, Michelle got the gloves for me!

Stacey tackles the leaves
Having already trimmed the bushes for the year last year, I have waited til fall this year to try out my new gloves. My dear husband has said he would have the kids trim the bushes this year and other friends and family members have offered to trim the bushes for me but this is one thing I have wanted to do myself since last year! So, I made a plan to trim 4 bushes a day (which seems doable on my good days) and before long, the job would be done.

Today was the day! My bushes are trimmed and the front of the house is ready for winter. I got a little extra bonus too. I have been raking out the leaves that keep getting caught it the bushes and stuffing them in the yard waste bags. Today though, Dad was next door working on leaves in his yard with his tractor. He drove on over and motioned me to rake them all into the grass. His tractor sucks them up and makes mulch of it all.

So, today I got the last four bushes trimmed and in the yard waste can and the leaves are all taken care of too. Stacey came out and joined me so we got a whole lot more leaves out of the way than I would have on my own. This will make the spring clean up a lot easier.

It has been a wonderful week and I admit I have overdone the last two days for sure. Getting out and doing this little bit to finish off the yard has been great "normal" life activity and makes me feel good to just sit and rest for the remainder of the day.

Nothing like enjoying the feeling of a completed job.

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