Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pruning a Japanese Anise

Yesterday I chopped on my Japanese anise bush ( Illicium anisatum) which after all these years had suddenly taken to drooping it's limbs to the ground and had rooted there. It had formed a sizable circumference and was overtaking some early spring wildflowers that were growing at it's feet.  I thought of it as a mother hen squatting over her charges, except in this case mother hen was actually smothering her charges. I knew there was a Hepatica under there and I found it blooming bright white just in the edge of the  encroaching anise. I also found a cyclamen in the depths of that that foliage. I do not remember if I planted it there or if it reseeded there, but it is liberated now. After twenty plus years, I wonder why this shrub suddenly decided to do this in the last few years. But that is the beauty of gardening. You never know in any year what new thing will develop, what plant will begin to march beyond it's customary place, what new plant will come in unbidden or depart for reasons unknown. Weather is one of the causes of change in the garden, and all I can do is watch and try to cope with the aftermath. There must be a life message there somewhere.

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