The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
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NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

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

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

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Garden Plans for 2016

 Bee Balm - Horse Mint - Monarda - Oswego Tea:
this clumping plant is loved by hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies.

My stack of garden catalogs is falling over already, as it should. But I normally shop from the Net, starting with Gurney's. Two qualities are special about Gurney's.

  1. They have clear advice for every offering, so I can make choices about sun, planting time, etc.
  2. They offered me $5 hybrid tea roses last year, and I bought 20 bare root roses that way. I hope they do this again. Each offer has a variety, and some are famous roses that I would not enjoy otherwise.



This year I will start a rose program, following the example of Johnnie Appleseed, a real figure, not an American myth. Several of my neighbors think that roses are difficult to grow. That is what someone told them.

I can plant several roses at each home, give them instructions, and watch over their plants for them. I have left roses everywhere we lived - except they did not do well in Phoenix.

I have given up on food plants, because two neighbors have storage sheds that harbor rabbits, and they do not have dogs. So the rabbits raise their litters next door on each side while using the fence to eat my plants and keep Sassy away.

Sixty roses will keep me busy, so I am only going to raise one food plant - tomatoes. The sunny garden will be ideal for that. Here is an idea. Save gallon milk jugs and fill them with water for the tomato garden or any other garden threatened by frost. The jugs will absorb solar energy all day and protect the plants all night. I am going to use translucent plastic because clear plastic and water will form a lens that can start a fire. Do not laugh. It is used by survivalists and has been videotaped in a mysterious fire - vodka bottles at one store focused the sunlight and started a fire.

I will mulch the Wild Garden and plant specimens that will harbor
  1. Beneficial insects, 
  2. Butterflies, 
  3. Songbirds, and
  4. Hummingbirds. 
Those categories overlap, so one plant will harbor various useful creatures, including the bad ones that end up as supper for the good ones. For example, rose aphids seem to be especially heinous, but they bring on the ichneumon wasps and flower flies, whose babies devour aphids. 

The compost pile will become mulch for the Wild Garden and I will simply make compost on the spot from now on. We have enough mulching areas to keep my neighbors busy supplying me with leaves and greens, beyond our own production.

Some plants I hope to raise in 2016 -

  • Blueberries.
  • Blackberries.
  • Beautyberries  - only for birds.
  • Wild strawberries - all over the backyard already, mostly for the birds.
  • Feverfew - for beneficial insects.
  • Borage - for Mrs. Ichabod. It is still growing green in the main rose garden.
  • Sunflowers - for beneficial insects, birds, and bees.
  • Honeysuckle - hummingbirds.
  • Bee Balm - hummingbirds and bees.
  • Milkweed and Butterfly Weed - for Monarch Butterflies.
  • Lantana - butterflies.
  • Cone flowers and related flowers - beneficial insects.
  • Buckwheat - beneficial insects.
  • Tomatoes - for Mrs. Ichabod and a few for me.
  • Cherry tomatoes - my favorite.
Lantana is drought resistant, sun-loving, and attractive to butterflies.

I am now far more aware of the flowers that do well in this area, and I can watch the Walmart Supercenter for clearance sales. I bought Lantana without recognizing it - no one could identify the plant on sale. Later I got more Lantana on clearance at Lowe's.

Meanwhile, every so often, we work on the Great Roome (aka garage) which is being cleared of all stored junk and refitted as an extra family room. One area has to be kept for laundry, a peculiarity of the South. No basements are built here and the furnace/AC is in the living room.

I looked into storage sheds of various types and learned they were money pits for us. Instead I am getting shawls for the lawnmower and grill and storing them outside. No, no - they will be fine - don't worry.

Sassy was glaring at me. The sun was not up yet. Now the sun is lighting the sky. Sassy and I are grinning at each other. Sassy knows that means she is going for her walk soon.


"You can go too."

When The Faith of Jesus is all done, the Creation Gardening book will start.