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Y’all Ever Heard Of Pruning?

, , , | Working | December 17, 2020

After doing an apprenticeship as a gardener — with a very nice boss — I work in various garden companies. All of them are small family businesses where all bosses and many of the family members are terrible employers. 

My first boss after the apprenticeship is a choleric person who takes every small occasion to yell at people for minutes.

One time, the senior boss asks me to make the garden around his house look nice for his son’s soon-to-be-wedding. I do that. I clean up dead leaves, cut back dead plants, rake the earth, and so on. After the lunch break:

Senior Boss: “You killed the Lysimachia, you d*** fool! Why did you kill the Lysimachia?”

He roars some more with a red face, but those are the only coherent words in his rant I can understand. I had no idea what he is talking about. Lysimachia is the name of a large family of plants ranging from tall subshrubs to creepers, and for some reason, I think of the last variant, Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort).

A few minutes later, his wife comes to me.

Boss’s Wife: “Why did you destroy the Lysimachia?! We pay you as a trained gardener and you obviously can’t tell the difference between cultivated plants and weeds!”

I try to ask her what kind of Lysimachia they are talking about and what I have done with it, but she won’t let me have my say before walking away. 

A few minutes later:

Junior Boss: “I am f****** disappointed that you killed the Lysimachia! You should have known better! You are a trained gardener!”

Much, much later it dawned on me. It was autumn. The Lysimachia vulgaris (garden loosestrife) in their house garden had only brown, woody stems left. I thought it looked unsightly and cut the woody parts so low above the ground that they couldn’t be seen. 

The plant obviously grew back normally the next spring. 

What did they think I did with it? That I went to great lengths to dig up the large root bale to “destroy” it? Without leaving a noticeable hole in the ground?

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