Years ago I was at the end of a gardening session when I noticed a shrub in the front yard encroaching heavily on the public path. It was a  tripping hazard that I thought I’d better remedy. Probably I was already tired; looking forward to a hot shower and a cool drink… the quicker done the better.

Taking my long-bladed gardening shears I pruned it to my property border. Literally. I made a vertical cut downwards, slicing the shrub as with a light saber. Doing exactly what needed to be done (in my mind) and nothing more. No shaping, no overall pruning; just fixing the problem.

My beautiful wife commented on it diplomatically when she saw it: “I’ll do the pruning from now on.”

Our neighbour was less diplomatic: “I think someone has vandalized your bush!” (Exact wording)

So there I was, thinking that I had done a good deed (removing a hazard) and I ended up losing my pruning rights. 

Five years on…

Recently the majority of our lavender bushes died, succumbing to age, heat or both. 

“I’ll prune off the dead bits” I said within earshot of my wife, subtly asking permission to take my shears from their early retirement. 


Yes it looks brutal, but the rest was all dead anyway. I’m certainly hoping it makes a recovery, if for nothing than my  gardening “street-cred”.

As I edit Vengeance Will Come I’m a little concerned that I’m adopting a similar cutting frenzy, slicing away too much… I need to reduce the word count without losing the beauty of the story.


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