0:00 Trim Your Shadow, While You Trim Those Shrubs We are past chit-chat on resolutions. Yet, there is always someone droning on and on about […]

Published January 25, 2024 3:02 PM
3 min read


Trim Your Shadow, While You Trim Those Shrubs

We are past chit-chat on resolutions. Yet, there is always someone droning on and on about better or more effective ways. We would all do well to trim the talk and get on with it.

Alas, Nike’s mantra to just do it is easier said than done, especially in winter when motivation is in short supply. 

Mentally, the garden is the best elixir for whatever ails you. 

Fresh air blows cobwebs out of your head. Sunshine delivers vitamin D and puts a glow on your cheeks. Alone time lets your mind wander, resolve issues, and clear space for fresh thoughts. Best of all, offering up perspective to laugh at trivial issues you obsess about. Then again, it can make space in your noggin’ for new worries. Or new and better inspiration. Your call. I pitch, tilt inspiration.

Physically, the disruptive exercise of gardening will combat the large shadow cast by your holiday belly.

If it is too cold outside, start inventorying all your tools, equipment, and supplies. Sharpen, tighten, and organize. Heck, while you’re at it, why not give the entire garage a good once-over. Who knows, once you purge the garage of time-forgotten things, you may be able to squeeze a normal sized sedan in. (You remember those 2- or 4-door vehicles that fit comfortably in parking spaces before the arrival of tank-sized vehicles to cart around 1 person, 1 coffee.) 

After evaluating your gardening arsenal, you may decide now is the time to go battery powered. I love my 80 Volt leaf blower. Quiet, dependable, and long running on one charge. I am relieved to never again whip cords loose from obstructions and make the long march back to the distant outlet while mumbling an expletive deleted. 

For the last time I wound, hung extension cords that are collecting dust. Does anyone need one? Call me.

Now, I just insert the battery in the blower and blow. It is handy in giving cars a quick clean. Open all doors, windows, trunk, and hood, then blow with abandon. You may uncover a surprising amount of lost stuff.

Battery-operated hedge clippers, weed whackers, and lawn mowers are all terrific additions to landscaping. Unlike gas-powered equipment, there is no smelly oil or gas to fill, spill, clean up, and store. The only thing needed is to clean housings, sharpen blades, and occasionally add a dab of oil on moving parts. Just pop in a battery and go to work.

The City of Rye embraced battery-operated equipment. They have leaf blowers, sit-down lawn mowers, and are looking at acquiring other battery-operated equipment. DPW has debunked the excuse that battery-operated equipment is incapable of professional use; it is now as ancient as Hootie & The Blowfish. 

Some old habits are, however, hard to break. Analog handheld loppers, hedge clippers, or secateurs hold a warm spot in my horticultural heart. I just cannot give them up. Pruning with a sharp-bladed lopper or hand clippers delivers a tactile sense of satisfaction. Making multiple clean surgical cuts with no torn edges is habit-forming. Ridding plants of all dead, dying, weak, and crossing branches is a pleasure. Bending over to gather cuttings, piling, and carting away will trim that belly shadow. 

Who knows, by Groundhog Day you may not see your shadow. That would be good for a shorter winter and your health.

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