Just like Ms Country Mouse, I have a somewhat unruly Sambucus Mexicanus (Elderberry) in the Garden. It's beloved by birds and I enjoy it's beautiful big leaves all through spring and summer. But come late fall, I go to work with my loppers and prune it close to the ground (just like Ms. Country Mouse - her photo above).
Why do I do that? Well, the main reason is that there isn't room for a large tree in that spot, and pruning every year does keep the plant in a reasonable size. I always wait until the leaves have fallen and all the berries are gone, then I set to work. This year, though, I looked at the results of my labor with a different eye.
Maybe it was because I'd just spent 3 or 4 dollars a piece for some stakes not too long ago. Wait, I said to myself - why did I spend money to get stakes when I was growing them in my own garden? I'll admit, this is soft wood, and it would be hard to get in if the ground weren't fairly wet. But really, these are nice, straight, strong stakes.
I got to work and used a few to support my bamboo mini fence, which likes to fall over (encouraged by the neighbor's dogs.
It was so easy to get a nice size, then place the stake behind the bamboo.
And here, even more endangered by the dogs, I used a stake as an end piece.
The final project for the day was replacing a flimsy plastic stake (still leaning in the background) with a solid elderberry stake. This stake is holding up a Ribes aureum (golden current) and I hope that the extra support will make it possible for me to see the beautiful flowers next spring.
I put aside the rest of the stakes for another day - now I'm just hoping none of them roots because I really don't need another elderberry tree!