Gardening Magazine

Signs of Spring - the Annual Prairie Haircut

By Ozhene @papaver
Isn't spring great?  That wonderful feeling that life is returning to the garden is just magical.  Not that life ever really leaves the garden, there is always something going on, but in spring it all speeds up again and starts encouraging every cliche in the book.
There are many signs of spring and I think we all have our own particular signs that spring is returning to our own particular gardens.  For my garden the annual Prairie haircut has to be one of my most favorite signs.  It is not a set day, it is more of a mood swing, that moment when the air smells right, the wind is just at the right pitch and if I am very lucky, there is some sunlight to seal the deal.
Signs of Spring - the annual Prairie Haircut When that golden moment is achieved then out comes the hand-sickle and a shearing I will go.  Working my way along the Prairie beds, methodically and carefully.  It has to be carefully as the sickle is sharp and so there is set method that I use.  I take hold of the grass clump, twist it around and then cut with a sawing action.  It works a treat.  The other reason for being careful is that the Prairie Borders are a haven for over-wintering bumble bees.  I had always feared that the Prairie Borders might be too much of a mono-culture; I restrict what grows in them and so I thought I might also be restricting what enjoyed them.  This is not the case, in the summer the borders are alive with butterflies and other insects.  This time of year it is the bumble bee that makes them their home.
Signs of Spring - the annual Prairie Haircut It is always a shame to cut back the grasses as they shine blondly through the winter.  Bearing in mind that only just over a week ago they were covered in snow and ice, they bounce back well.
Signs of Spring - the annual Prairie Haircut The borders always look rather sad once they are cut.  The next six weeks or so, until they grow back, are always their ugly moment.  I care not, they soon perk up again and remain one of my favorite parts of the garden.
For spring is sprung, the growing season is upon us.  It is indeed a time to rejoice.

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