My hydrangeas are coming along this year. Not as many blooms as last but still have some nonetheless. I didn't think we would have any. We had an unusual spring which caused a concern in our area that the hydrangeas were ruined. We had had a cold snap after the bushes started leafing out and with the frigid temperatures, those early leaves turned brown and shriveled up. On almost all of the branches the leaves didn't arrive and so the bushes looked a mess, just brown twigs sticking out of a few green and brown leaves.
Many of my neighbors were concerned and worried that their bushes were dead. They were panicking to do something about it: should we cut off the old twigs, pluck off the browned leaves, pull the bushes out?
O ye (me) of little faith. My experience is that hydrangeas are quite hardy. The bushes I have were all taken from cuttings of good New England stock. At least that is what I initially said. I should've left well enough alone and listened to my own advice.
After hearing my neighbors talk and seeing how they had "cleaned up" their bushes, I panicked too. I started looking at my bushes with the dead leaves and instead of seeing the growth process, I envisioned dead bushes. I thought I had better clean up the plants by cutting back the twigs. For a time being the bushes looked okay but now when they should be in bloom and all the others that I didn't touch are, I am upset with myself. Why did I mess with them? I succumbed to peer pressure and didn't go with my gut instinct.
In some ways, no harm, no foul. The bushes will come back in full bloom next year. But they are a physical reminder to me that I shouldn't get so caught up with what others are doing and saying. I need to trust my own instinct. I also should remember that most of life is for the long haul, not the temporary and short-lived experiences. So by cutting a little "dead" wood now and not allowing the branch to come back on its own and on its own time, I have missed out on a better bloom.
What about you? Have you ever succumbed to a trend or fad? Have you ever listened and then done, what others were doing? How did it work out? Have you ever trusted your own instincts regardless of others? Have you ever just let something be?