The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

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email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
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Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

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Friday, March 20, 2015

How Does the Garden Grow?
Sow Abundantly and Reap Abundantly - 2 Corinthians 9

Susan Wilkinson photographed this common grackle,
a member of the corvid (crow) family, very smart and great at grubbing.
I spotted one eating the peanuts thrown out on the mulch.


Several asked about the gardening today. We had a fine mist raining part of the day, but more rain was predicted. When the going gets wet, the gardeners go straw baling.

The strawberries already perked up from one day of rain, I planted them the day before. The potatoes were cut but not planted. Today I took a very large plate of potatoes out and wedged each one into the straw.

Since the potatoes would be soaked by the garden hose first, then the rain, I decided to sprinkle some seeds on top the straw. The surface is so even and such a good medium for planting, that I reckoned a number of plants would spring up. I sowed some carrots, dill, hollyhocks, and parsley, and borage was already there from the day before.

On the sides of the bales I pushed in goblin gourd seeds. The idea is to have vines trailing out of the sides. The rain moved in at night and provided a long, thorough soaking for all the new plants and seeds.

Straw was a pain to wrestle into the limo, a big mess to clean out. However, if the potato harvest is good, the straw bale garden will grow next year.  With careful planning, Mrs. Ichabod will insist on what I want to do. Fortunately, she adores roses and loves having the ones I also enjoy. I found some $5 roses on sale from Gurney's and she said, "Get them!"

The peas and spinach did not survive our radical winter, with such extremes of cold and warmth. The very early planted sunflower seeds did not germinate, so that may have been the cold or the squirrels eating them. I planted a wide row in the back with plenty of seeds. Squirrels think it's all about them.



Doing well:

  • Garlic bulbs planted last fall are springing up.
  • Daffodils are almost ready to bloom.
  • Tulips are above ground, just behind the daffodils for blooming.
  • Crown Imperial bulbs have sprouted, but not the giant aliums so far.
  • The old rose garden looks almost 100% green and growing leaves.
  • No new roses have arrived, but they should soon.
  • Butterfly bushes and the crepe myrtle bush are still dormant.
I will prune the roses back about 2/3rds when it is dry. Contrary to the fears of dabblers, pruning will spur cane and root growth. The most damaging pruning is no pruning at all. The dead wood builds up and the flowers go to seed. Roses love to be pruned, mulched, and watered. No other care is needed. 

The bird population has increased since I build up every possible way to attract them. I am not spending much on food. Suet lasts a long time and is very inexpensive at the meat market. I scatter seed to watch the varied species according to their Creator's design. 

By Norma Boeckler


Birds want water most of all, for bathing and drinking. As I mentioned before, a robin was willing to approach me because the shovel left on the ground held some rainwater. She drank from it and walked away, the most daring of the larger birds. Soon I will have garbage cans collecting rainwater from the two downspouts and the lids serving as ponds at the Jackson Bird Spa. One might go in the far backyard for the shy creatures, like cardinals, that avoid the crowds.

The male birds are singing to establish their territory, find mates, and build nests. This is a good time to put string and dryer lint out for their nesting. I leave twigs for them. My random stick pile is one place, part of the Jackson Bird Spa. Pruning the crepe myrtle adds twigs and bits for the front yard nesting stash. What does not make it into a nest becomes food for the fungi and bacteria in the soil. 

The Apostle Paul said to the Second Corinthians - 

9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

The spider tirelessly catches insects that would eat our flowers and crops.


This applies to treating the birds well, promoting microbial growth in the soil, and planting seed, fruit, and flowers. Some things will fail, and the failures are larger on a bigger scale. But the harvest is so abundant that the non-growth does not matter.

Random success is great fun, when one afterthought turns into one of the best experiences. When I walked Sassy past the veteran's home, I recalled, "He has all kinds of materials I can use, and he was worried about how to reduce his pile of paving stones, and other materials." 

I even covet his leftover autumn leaves. He is using Jackson Mulch for his rose gardens this year, after seeing how mine grew without weeds and without pests.
He is going to prune my trees soon, to let more light into the front and back yards. He is after his brother to remove the last of the leaves, and I may help with my wheelbarrow. They are ideal for the straw bale area, where we have to walk to water and care for the plants.

As Sharon Lovejoy has noted, gardening means being eager to get in the morning and see what has changed.