Nesting: Pruning

Pruning as a fall activity is meant to shape plant-life for winter survival and spring growth. This is a wonderful time for human review too: to determine what needs composting, what needs shrinking, and what needs replenishing for future growth. What pruning needs to happen in your life?

Pruning is prompted when these dilemmas appear.

  • Too close to the house/foundation. Plant and tree roots can damage siding and concrete foundations as well as driveways and sidewalks. Inspect your home for plants and trees that need pruning so that you can protect the structural integrity of your home. This concept reminds me of what a friend is learning about keeping healthy people in her life so that her “have a good, relaxed day” doesn’t get ruined by having unhealthy people too close to her.
  • Too crowded for plants to grow well. When too many plants are placed in a space, none of them grow well. When fighting for light, for soil, and for space to grow, plants need areas around themselves to grow. In our family nests, consider whether being a helicopter parent is helping your children grow or stunting their development.
  • Too big or tall and a fall will harm something else. Plants in nature find their way to grow as tall as possible: and when they fall, new habitats are created rarely causing harm to human structures. In our watered suburbs, plants are often placed that are too big for the available space after 20 or more years. And in our neighborhoods, when trees and shrubs grow too big and/or tall, the risk of damaging cars and houses grows. Foundations are infringed upon. Falling branches or entire trees can crash through roof and wall materials. Pruning for size and height is prudent. What is taking up too much space in your home? Is it time to make it smaller? Or to let it go completely?

Pruning can mean these things for our nesting.

  • Cleaning out closets. Store summer clothes that you won’t be wearing for the next six months. Donate things you’ll never wear again. If your closet is like mine, it is also a storage area. Get rid of things that don’t belong to you. Store things out of your way rather than in your daily use space.
  • Washing windows. Prepare to see the brightness of our shortened winter sunlight hours. Remove summer cobwebs and wash the screens too.
  • Winterize outdoor furniture and air conditioners with covers that prevent wear and tear.
  • Some families clean and re-organize garages in the fall. At my house, it is a spring activity.
  • Toy and game sorting. One family I know has their children sort toys every fall to share with other kids. This way, when Christmas arrives, the new toys mean more.

During pruning, scrapes, bruises and sometimes falls can happen. Like life. When pruning, I wear long sleeves to protect my arms; never stand on tiptoes to reach something; and ask for help with tools and labor when I simply don’t feel safe doing the work on my own. Pruning lessons apply to life too. When could I be managing risks better or asking for help when it is prudent? What can I “wear” or do to be more prepared for each day?

Fall. Pruning. Thinking time can happen while raking, gardening and pruning. Here are some thought starters: What pruning, inside and outside your home, are you ready to pursue? What internal pruning makes sense as we head into the fourth quarter of 2019? Pruning is a part of nesting. Make the most of it this year.

Nesting is about the objects and experiences that create a sense of home. Without home, it is difficult to maintain health, find joy, or to be productive during our workdays. Enjoy the Nesting series of blogs on your search for a deep sense of home. –Jana

Jana Kemp

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