Because the weather around here has been hot and sunny for some time, I’ve been watering the row of willows in my backyard with a soaker hose. They used to be lush and healthy, as shown in this photo from 2015, but they’ve been dying back for the past few years after having been stressed by several cold winters and hot, dry summers.

My backyard willow hedge, bright and green in summer.

I’ve read that because they are such fast-growing plants, they generally grow back well after being topped, so they’ll probably be okay. But after all the time I spent cutting off half-dead branches, I ended up feeling that those willows had turned into a giant time-sucking chore.

Truth be told, I hadn’t paid enough attention to them in previous years. Because I never took the time to prune them properly when they were smaller, they got overgrown with low branches that were in my husband’s way when he mowed the lawn.

Now, as they grow back, they’ll be in much better shape. So I have to say that I’ve learned a few useful lessons about paying more attention to routine maintenance, which I’d do well to appreciate rather than judging the willows as nothing but an unfortunate chore.

Word-art that says "Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant." -Robert Louis Stevenson

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.


  1. The plants know when we show them love and respect. Hope your willows recover, they are beautiful trees.

  2. Thanks for this much needed reminder Meg.
    I should work on some chores without fail. I love the quote.
    I shall try to be more organised from now on.

  3. Happy to hear you got some rain finally! I am sure your willows will recover. We would like some rain here in Sweden too, but the hot weather seems to continue.

    • Thanks — hoping you get some rain too! The weather here is much more seasonable this week, with more rain expected on the weekend. 🙂

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