Deadheading Distractions

About a month ago my rose bushes began exploding with blossoms, but most of the flowers are now well past their prime or have completely lost their petals, so I went outside to water and deadhead them. My Beloved was the one who taught me the value of deadheading many years ago. If I understand what she said correctly, plants continue to expend energy trying to keep alive flowers that are no longer viable, so if a gardener removes the dead flowers it enables the plant to focus all of its energy on productive ones, often rapidly generating a whole new wave of beautiful blossoms.

As I snipped away the old, I realized it was making way for the new, and in many ways my life is like a rose bush. I can be prickly at times, there are areas of my life that need trimming, and other areas on which I should bring greater focus.

In other words, I could deadhead various aspects of my life to get more beautiful results. No, I don’t plan to snip off various physical parts of myself, but there are certainly things that have clung to me or that I have clung to that should be deadheaded. As I begin creating the list below, I’m either mentally deadheading them or making plans to do so.

Negative thoughts about myself (snip)

Distractions that keep me from the important things in my life (snip)

Excess clutter (snip)

Excuses for not exercising more (snip)

I’m an on-going project, and as with flowers, deadheading is not a one-time endeavor, but the more I do it with my rose bushes and myself, the better I like the view.

With Love,

About russtowne

I'm awed by the beauty of nature and the power of love and gratitude. Some of my favorite sensory experiences include waves crashing on rocky shores, waterways in ancient redwood and fern-filled forests, and rain. My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. I manage a wealth management firm that I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of approximately 60 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children.
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25 Responses to Deadheading Distractions

  1. Good analogy Russ… we ought to do that every so often… Diane

  2. utesmile says:

    What a great metaphor, yes we constantly need “snipping” away our unwanted ideas and habits. Like roses we always grow and we want to spread joy and love. Let’s keep working on ourselves!

  3. shlomit says:

    Thank you Russ, loved it and snipping away! Shlomit

  4. Fantastic advice Russ. I’ve got some deadheading to do.

  5. mimijk says:

    I think we all could do with a little deadheading (perhaps while listening to Jerry Garcia? 😉 )

  6. Russ–As a rose gardener, I could really relate to the deadheading analogy. Very wise. Check out my “snippy” rose post–before you came aboard: (Note that all the miniature roses in the vase are on just TWO STEMS!)

    Actually, your plants are not trying to keep the dead blooms alive; they’re expending energy trying to produce seeds, the biological imperative for any flowering plant. By deadheading, you interrupt the seed-producing cycle and force the plant to make more blooms in another attempt.

    Rose-care hint (you probably already know this): When removing spent bloom stems, snip just 1/4 inch above an outward-facing leaf. This causes the new growth to grow outward, away from the center of the plant, allowing for better light and air circulation.

    • russtowne says:

      Wow! I love the photo and caption at the post you linked. Thank you for doing so, and for the additional info about roses. Some of it was indeed new to me. My Beloved had taught me to snip just above the closest leaf bud on the stem–and if that is incorrect it is likely because I misunderstood her–but the reason why to snip to just before the one facing outward is new to me.

  7. Mrs. P says:

    I loved this post and I’m an ardent fan of deadheading (literally and figuratively). Though I like to consider myself more of a wild rose, I do dead head frequently…to encourage the beauty of the bloom! 😀

  8. bulldog says:

    What is a plants main exercise on earth? To make seeds, to reproduce and expand. So snipping buds causes the plant to grow more to make seed… so snipping on oneself might just create a bigger issue… the things you want to snip, need to be snipped, but rather to control them with the mind is like using a nature friendly chemical giving the plant just so much more strength and power…

    • russtowne says:

      Good points, bulldog. In my case, I think–nay, hope, that I’ve done all the reproducing I’m going to do in this lifetime. (My children, however, are encouraged to continue bringing forth grandchildren for My Beloved and me.) ;-D! Controlling some things with the mind sounds like a good thing to me, and eliminating some things from my mind sounds like an excellent idea. The trick is to control and eliminate the right things! I find that control is sometimes tenuous and even illusory, so where possible and appropriate, I prefer elimination.

  9. Val Boyko says:

    I too love this analogy Russ…. now we know, it will prevent you from going to seed as well!

  10. mcsgal says:

    Very good thoughts. I wish it was as easy to deadhead myself as it is to deadhead the flowers.

  11. Fanny says:

    Wow, this piece of writing is nice, my younger sister is analyzing such things, so I am
    going to let know her.

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