The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
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Lenten Mid-week Services, Wednesdays -
7 PM Central Daylight Savings Time
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

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Garden at Night

No photo does justice to a rose - this is Falling in Love.
The white in the petals creates an unearthly glow.

Sometimes I feel like the character in the film Honey I Shrunk the Kids, where Rick Moranis was suspended from a crane as he looked for his children, made tiny by his newest invention. I go out after dark or before dawn to see how the plants are doing.

Last year I wanted to know what was eating the roses, so I saw them at work on the blooms at night, brassy insects that dared to glare at me in the beam of the flashlight. I also saw where the slugs were abundant and how they died at my beer parties.

The roses were fixed by my refusal to use any pesticides and the gracious intervention of beneficial bugs. The next round of blooms were almost completely protected by the bugs and spiders that live off pests and need those pest to feed their young.

In a well-managed (by God) garden, the pests attract pest-eaters:

  1. Ladybugs
  2. Toads
  3. Spiders
  4. Beetles
  5. Birds
  6. Moles - they eat grubs
  7. Flower Flies 
  8. Tachinid Flies
  9. Ichneumon Wasps
  10. Wasps, Hornets.
If I interfere with pesticides, the beneficial creatures lose their food supply and sicken from the poison, a double whammy that makes the helpful gardening center say, "You need more pesticides."

As I mentioned several times before, many tricks of rose-planting are counter-productive in the same way:
  • Soak the roses in a solution of man-made fertilizer. That blocks the natural creation of the fungal networks that feed the roots.
  • Put fertilizer in the hole where the roses will go. That is more of the same.
  • Use systemic pesticide on the roses. That will kill any insect or spider on the rose and add toxins to the soil. More grief.
  • Spray fungicide on Black Spot. That is a money-maker for the hardware store but it will never end the minor problem of Black Spot.
Large, plum, velvety looking, deep red and keeping its color -
Veterans Honor is the ultimate new red rose.

I asked, via a reader, what a Master Gardener thought about Falling in Love roses. She responded, "Roses are too much trouble. I do not grow them." I thought - Aha, another victim of rose experts from the past - making roses difficult and expensive to grow. 

The Creation recipe is simple:
  1. Dig a hole in the lawn or garden - allow plenty of room for each rose.
  2. Plant the rose after soaking it.
  3. Fill the hole in and water generously.
  4. Mulch and earthworm the rose.
  5. Prune regularly - which means "cut roses from the plant to increase production and growth."
  6. Foster the growth of beneficial bugs and spiders with mulch a  diverse planting.
  7. Store water to evaporate out the chlorine and use rainwater whenever possible.
Large rose gardens and Queen Elizabeth herself use all natural methods for pest control and fertilizer. The Queen's private gardens even go to the trouble of fostering fungi growth, as I do, with rotten wood left in place. I even drag pieces home or grab them to haul back in the trunk.

We pounced on the logs from across the street - our helper and I - and built a rustic fence in the main rose garden. Almost Eden said, "Where did you get that fence?" I said, "From across the street." Ideas generate easy, free solutions and the results are fun to enjoy. We even have two stumps in the rose garden as seats and perches for the birds. I think the birds have claimed the territory all too abundantly and no one will sit on their whitened platforms. 

Pink Peace is one of my favorites, because
the plant suddenly bursts full of intense, pink, large blooms.
Gardening writers are quite opinionated, and I enjoy their remarks. One book described Tropicana as "a great rose if you like them dinner plate sized, Day-Glo in color, and easily recognized from 100 yards away." And that rose remains one of my favorites. I was not offended and did not demand a retraction and apology.

We take roses everywhere, including the Farmers' Market, where a friend works. His wife is wild about roses. Without except, roses drive people into a state of ecstasy. They often look like this, "Are you sure you want to fill my pockets with gold coins?" They are perplexed at the abundance. I cut the best blooms of the crop, so any bouquet from our Creation Garden makes the florist shop roses look like dandelions in comparison. 

Veterans Honor blooms had to be removed from an older bunch and were in the backyard for days looks like props from a Hollywood movie, glowing red and plump against the grass.

The roses are not in full production yet. The new ones are just starting to bloom for the first time. I scout the two rose gardens for blooms so someone can enjoy them at work or in their homes. We never get the least bit weary of the rose fragrance greeting us as we leave on errands or return home. 

Bride's Dream is so pale that it looks white from a distance.