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

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Grass-Free Yard: Accumulating Benefits

Purple Splash rose.

What Is So Rare As a Day in June?
James Russell Lowell

And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays;
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;
Every clod feels a stir of might,
An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
And, groping blindly above it for light,
Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;
The flush of life may well be seen
Thrilling back over hills and valleys;
The cowslip startles in meadows green,
The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,
And there's never a leaf nor a blade too mean
To be some happy creature's palace;
The little bird sits at his door in the sun,
Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,
And lets his illumined being o'errun
With the deluge of summer it receives;
His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings,
And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings;
He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest,
In the nice ear of Nature which song is the best?



Happy June 1st. 
People write or message me and often comment on the gardening articles. Michigander says he looks for them twice a day. A layman in WELS looks for new posts three times a day. Since he suggested the gardening idea, I try to start with horticulture in the morning and repeat the topic later in the day.

We began eliminating the grass in our yard before I learned it was a trend. Those who appreciate Creation or organic gardening can see why grass is losing its appeal. The Creation gardeners enjoy the beneficial creatures in the yard.

Chemical-centered turf and bush landscaping is not very friendly to the variety of animals, large and small, that can inhabit the yard. Grass and bushes alone do not support a variety of creatures. Pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizer suppress life, sometimes on a massive scale.

Speaking of yards, the yard sale provided me a load of fresh cardboard. I did not expect to eliminate more grass so early in the summer. Converting my neighbors to using cardboard mulching made me fear I would not get the extra cardboard leftovers from the sale.

Helianthus is a polite version of the sunflower.


Initial Gardening Frustrations - Not Waiting
Most new gardeners believe the books and start rototilling the soil violently and adding organic matter in large volume.

Those who appreciate the soil food web concept, where fungi establish connections in the soil - if allowed - realize what happens. When soil is converted from grass to gardening, one way or another, a gigantic chemical revolution takes place, involving many different creatures.

Whether someone osterizes the soil with his 10 horsepower rototiller or covers the lawn with cardboard and mulch, the earth must digest the changes and grow the new animals to make fertility happen. In addition, permanent plants need to establish their roots and set up their own Vanity Fair, where they exchange their carbon for the nutrition and water provided by soil fungi. All the soil creatures, from bacteria to earthworms, aid this transformation.

Roses are like asparagus in reaching good production a year or two after being planted, improving after that. The fun of roses is seeing those bare root plants leaf out, bud, and flower so soon. But that is nothing compared to mature roses given a chance to establish their royalty in the soil and produce dozens of perfect blooms.

Strike It Rich rose.


You Didn't Build That
Echoing the Great Prophet Obama, I can say to the roses, "You didn't build that display of blossoms by yourself. Fungi, bacterial, protozoa, and nematodes in the soil worked with earthworms to fix the chemicals you need in the soil and send them to your roots. Meanwhile, Flower Flies and Ichneumon Wasps came in to destroy the aphids and earwigs that initially made your blooms hideous and your leaves holey. Birds supplemented that work by eating bugs that might harm your growth, and spiders set up webs to intercept pests."

Chaste Tree is loved by bees.

Second and Third Year with Plants
The TV roses and KnockOuts are enjoying their third year of growth, so they began producing blooms immediately, before most people in this area were gardening. The weather was cold and rainy, but roses tolerate a great deal of cold. Many hybrid tea roses were planted last year, so they were also blooming early.

Almost Eden began selling plants last year, so I added some I never heard of before or never planted or failed on my first try. Some of these came from clearance shelves at Lowe's and Walmart.

  • Chaste Tree
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries (failed before, in Michigan)
  • Beautyberries
  • Spirea
  • Bee Balm (failed before, in Phoenix).
  • Trumpet vine (failed before, in Phoenix).


They were establishing roots last year, a difficult one for most plants.

Beautyberry grows berries for birds -
not for human consumption.