The Glory Has Departed

Lutheran book boxes sent to three African seminaries -
a third one has been sent now.

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream - Sunday, 10 AM Central Daylight Time.
Wednesdays Romans 1-5 in Greek

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

which works as too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson's Author's Page

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Wowing the Doctor's Office with Roses

We brought roses to our favorite doctor yesterday. He was struck by the beauty and strength of the hybrid tea roses I selected - Mr. Lincoln, Veterans Honor, John Paul II, Peace, and a few others. Mr. Lincoln was in full bloom at the end of a long cane, so it looked like a dinner plate Dahlia. Veterans Honor was in the tangle of straw, raspberries, and weeds, with perfect blooms calling to be displayed.

The receptionist was so awestruck that she forgot to check Mrs. Ichabod in, which meant we waited extra. I usually talk to the doctor about gardening or theology.

The doctor asked for suggestions on better roses. He was disappointed in his KnockOut roses, so I will aim this at KnockOut roses, which are disease free and very productive.

The four major factors are:

  • Buying red wiggler earthworms, to aerate, fertilize, and mix the soil. They contribute enormously in helping the microbes do their work in keeping plant nutrition in the top foot of soil.
  • Placing shredded wood mulch promotes composting on the spot, feeds soil microbes, holds water evaporation and wind erosion to a minimum, and retards weed growth.
  • Watering when necessary keeps the roses blooming.
  • Pruning, pruning, pruning. KnockOuts are so productive that they quickly turn into a bush full of spent roses, which look rather sad. After our torrential rains, KnockOuts looked...knocked out. The solution for a large bush full of spent and soggy flowers is to cut it back by 50%. I did this several times this summer, starting in early spring, and have 6 foot roses with 35 flowers on each one. Roses are hormonal. They want to be become parents and go to seed, slow down. When pruned, a rose bush will recognize its Creation-driven urge to grow buds and bloom.

The worst ideas are using:
  1. Pesticides. Even "safe" oil spray, will kill all the pests and the beneficial bugs - including hundreds of spiders. That is doubly bad in killing hard-working bugs on the spot but also in removing the food that sparks beneficial bugs into attacking and thriving as plant protectors.
  2. Inorganic fertilizer. - The big rose gardens and Queen Elizabeth abhor inorganic aids. Chemical fertilizer harms roses by slowing down the soil microbes and creatures that make plants productive. Most of the potent chemicals simply sink into the water table, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown - as Lord Byron would say.
  3. Fungicides and herbicides. They attack the soil creatures without being beneficial in the long run for the roses.. KnockOuts do not need fungicides at all, and my two years straight of growing roses here have proven that some blackspot (a fungus) will come and go without anything more needed than pruning away the bad places. KOs will not blackspot.
  4. The rototiller. Colonial farmers did well in breaking up the forest soil to convert the earth to farming, but osterizing the surface is now counter-productive. 

Love, bless, protect, and foster all beneficial creatures:
  • Beneficial bug plants will serve to keep the best creatures in the yard to do their duty when wounded roses call out for help. 
  • Sunflowers, coreopsis, cone flowers, and daisies will harbor parasitoid bugs, who will lay eggs on, near, or in the pests.
  • Spiders will rest in the wood mulch and among the bushes to devour insects. 
  • Toads will populate a yard where logs on the ground, flat pans of water, and organic insects will make them feel at home. 
  • Birds will attack pests with tireless energy to feed their young. If given bird baths and natural food (sunflowers, berries, seedy plants) they will flourish, remain, and earn their keep. 
  • Wild areas, such as tall grass, piles of leaves, and stick or wood piles will harbor beneficial insects like the beetles than roam at night and kill pests, returning to their peaceful homes in the leaves and clutter to raise their young to do the same.

Man Makes Gardening Difficult - But God Makes It Easy

A chemical gardener will have an array of stinky chemicals to make gardening difficult, expensive, and frustrating. No problem - if one chemical fails, try another and another and another. 

All the timing and signals are arranged and designed by God in advance, and the benefits  organized down to the microbe level. One does not need to know how the parasitoid insects work in order to energize them. However, observing and identifying them will motivate any gardener to plan around them and gain from their obsessive work on our behalf.