The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream

New Year's Eve Hymn service - 7 PM Central
NT Greek Lessons - January, 2017

Saved worship files 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

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Gardening Advice for Our Favorite Physician

Baby the Crepe Myrtle and
it will produce enormous flowers, which last a long time.


Dear Dr. Lenski (not his real name)

We are glad you enjoyed the fragrant roses we brought to my wife's appointment. They are Falling in Love, Fragrant Cloud, and Veterans Honor.

You brought up the alleged problem of so many oak leaves on your property. I see tree leaves as organic fertilizer and mulch, the best kind. I would mulch the grass you mow into the lawn, to build up the soil and suppress weeds, and I would also mulch and compost the weeds, depending on time and labor available.

Leaves provide a wealth of benefits for soil and plants.

  • They block weed growth, hold in moisture, and decompose into the soil.
  • They feed the soils creatures that the plants need to be fertile and healthy.
  • Soil fungi plan an important role in taking carbon from plant roots and exchanging the nutrition and even the moisture needed by the plant.
  • They decrease soil erosion.
  • They harbor beneficial insects, which prey upon pests.
  • By feeding earthworms they promote tunneling and the penetration of rain into the soil.
  • One church member mulched his fruit tree with leaves for the winter and doubled his production.
As my wife claimed, I gathered every  recycling green-bag of leaves I could find on curbs last fall. I could have used far more than the 60+ bags I took home in our Town Car - but not on the same trip, of course.

Long ago I kept all the leaves that fell in my backyard and gathered more. If some were left and in the way in the late spring, I mowed them into flakes, so they were pulled down quickly into the soil by earthworms and mites.

Leaves can be composted in a corner of the yard, in the shade, simply by making a circle of chicken wire. I made a bin three years ago and have never emptied it. The material from our yard and our neighbor's has decomposed into the soil and all plants nearby have thrived.

Red Wiggler earthworms from Uncle Jim's will break down organic matter faster, especially in compost and the moist depths of a mulch layer over the base of plants. I would buy a few thousand and sprinkler them on the places where key plants are, plus a composting area.




Crepe Myrtles
Very few Crepe Myrtle perform at their peak in this area. Some people let them grow under heavy shade. Others fail to prune them. Most do not mulch them at the base during the year - especially in winter when the roots can be fed for months. God's creatures work for us, and the plants respond, if we only give the soil a chance with organic mulching.

Mr. Lincoln produces flower better and faster
than any other rose I have grown.

Mr. Lincoln's tall bud leads to a large,
potently fragrant flower.

Hybrid Rose Selection
I would get three or five roses in a group, to make a mass of color and the chance to build a bouquet from the same roses. If you wanted to feature one type of plant, a group would be very effective.

Here are some choices to consider with characteristics:
Mr. Lincoln - tall, strong growing rose. Old favorite - still rated at the top of the lists. Large tall buds open to a large, very fragrant rose. This plant is very vigorous and always blooming. One rose will fill a room with its aroma.
Pope John Paul II is a white, somewhat fragrant rose that grows at the Vatican. They are quite showy since they bloom so frequently with snow-white blooms. One negative is the aphids' love for them (at least in my yard), but I let one bloom cycle go through to develop to beneficial insects that eat aphids - Flower Flies, Tachinid Flies, Ichneumon Wasps. A second negative is the flowers do not last long in a vase.
Double Delight - This bi-colored rose is also fragrant. I once had a bed of six of them, producing stunning roses all the time. I covered the bed with wood mulch and planted some garlic chives. The rose is loved for its color and its fragrance.
Fragrant Cloud is an unusual color that defies description. It has been called "brick" but that is not exactly  fair. The rose is fragrant with a great shape and produces very well. It is almost as potent in fragrance as Mr. Lincoln.


Pope Paul II is always producing snow-white flowers.
After the first bloom is destroyed by aphids, almost all
the rest bloom without any damage at all.
Fragrant Cloud is always one of my choices.

Double Delight is well named,
so it must be ordered early.