To prune or not to prune

I’ve been saving these three little works of art and craft for the new garden. They’ve come out now. For some reason, though, I’m feeling the urge to hang them at the fireplace like trophies in a medieval castle. Knights and lords and samurai might leave their armor and weaponry on display in their great halls. Why not gardeners their tools. They seem too beautiful to get dirty!

I've faced this dilemma before. I suppose other gardeners have as well. I have a lovely small shovel, all shiny and plated in chrome. It's always been too lovely to use to dig. It was hanging like a votive by the back door in the old garden in NYC, right under a statue of Saint Fiacre, also holding a shovel. I used the thing with the plastic handle that probably cost me $12.95, if even that. It did the work, didn't it?

I guess it's natural when you have tools of this quality and craftsmanship, You just don't want to mar their aching beauty with mere use, Or misplace them in the garden so they turn up years later, rusted and about as useful as an old iron nail. Eek!

Maybe I should buy a second set to actually use. Such masterpieces of Japanese design and metalwork are these tools. I mean, look at that perfect finish. Those sharp lines and smooth curves. That sensual leather grips that that makes the handles rest so snuggly in the palm of your hand. As you're pruning….

OK. That probably answers the question. To prune. It's why they were forged. Why they are. Tools infused with soul on the anvil, with spirit in the fire. They're not perfect museum pieces. They're companions for the garden.

Now I just need to get over that shovel thing as well.