The Post's garden guru, Jack Eden, has gone too far. My wife thinks he's great, but his weekly column is making it very difficult for me to enjoy our garden.

Recently he asked us to get outside, in the middle of winter, and prune dogwoods and birches and other "bleeder" trees so they will survive. Not only that, a couple of weeks earlier he laid a guilt trip on us about how some trees might succumb to the dreaded "dieback" if we didn't do battle with it.

Well, let me tell you something, Eden. All summer you had us spraying lace bugs and spider mites off our azaleas. You kept us awake nights over the awful dogwood borer. You tortured our conscience about sod webworms and chinch bugs on our lawn. To top it off you told us our grass might suffer from snow mold disease if we didn't cut it right in December.

But now it's winter. Leave the trees be. There is a time to garden and there ought to be a time not to garden. Our dozen or so trees have lived entirely on their own for the 17 years of our residence, and if a couple of dogwoods can't make it through the cold weather without supportive therapy from us, then that's too bad. They will not be greatly missed.

Our garden looks great, and your advice is superb. But go a little easier with the hard labor and leave me a few minutes to enjoy it all. -- Walter Winn