Night Pruning

Whenever we spotted an amazing peony bush or hydrangea growing in our neighborhood, my mom and I used to joke, saying, “we’re going to have to do a little night pruning!” The concept being that, during the night, we’d sneak into the neighbor’s yard and snatch a few branches without them knowing. Now I’m not sure we ever really followed through, but the phrase “night pruning” has stayed with me.

I’ve done a little night pruning myself recently, but it’s ok: I pruned my own yard. It’s always nice to inherit a garden and ohmygoodness have we got one on our hands. Granted, it needs a lot of work. But here are a few shots of dogwood (seen above),ย  lambs ear, hydrangea, and lily of the valley, all growing in our yard. I’m now enjoying these blooms in various spots around the house. It’s always nice to bring Spring inside.

I’m pretty sure that you’re not supposed to cut down dogwood branches, but these were already on the ground due to a bad storm, so I took advantage. Suddenly my Easter table has more drama!


My favorite thing in the world is lily of the valley. I could smell it all day long and be a happy person. To have it growing in my front yard is a dream. Since I’m in my son’s nursery a lot, I put a small arrangement next to his crib and now his room smells amazing.


Lambs ear seems sort of masculine to me. So it seems fitting on my husband’s bedside table in a silver mint julep cup. No smell, unfortunately.

Post Script: Looks like I’ll need to put the lily of the valley elsewhere. It’s too much of a distraction for you know who . . . Happy Spring!

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About Cate

Cate is a former decorating editor of a shelter magazine based in Manhattan, who has recently moved from the Big Apple to Charlottesville with husband and baby. An interior design enthusiast, she enjoys all things aesthetic.
This entry was posted in Flora, Home and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Night Pruning

  1. Stephanie says:

    Oh I love that little boy!!!

  2. Melina says:

    I am so jealous of all the free flowers!!! Fantastic post.

  3. Becky says:

    I pick flowers from my neighbor’s yards. I always ask first these days though. And offer some of my flowers to them as well.

  4. Pingback: Monday Snax | Little Stories

  5. Margaret says:

    Such a beautiful garden! But… I hate to break it to you, from one gardener to another, those aren’t lily of the valley; they are white wood hyacinths! And those aren’t hydrangeas, they are green viburnums. Hydrangea and Viburnums are very easy to mix up… but you can learn the difference by inspecting the shape of the leaf and their blooming periods. Hydrangea typically have a rounder and thicker leaf, and bloom in Mid-Summer. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Cate says:

      I had a feeling I was wrong on both counts! Thanks for the correction… I was wondering why the hydrangeas had bloomed so soon. I wish you could identify some orge flower quandaries I have ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Brenna says:

    Cate,
    I LOVE Charlie’s mobile! I’ve been searching for one for my twins’ cribs – do you mind sharing where you found it?
    Thanks!

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