The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

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Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
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Friday, August 12, 2016

Join the Ivy League. Be a Vine - Go to the Sunny Side.
Vertical Gardening


Creation gardeners use and admire vines. The grounds are bound to fill up with various plants and flowers. Nothing compares to vines, because they work so hard, though slowly, at accomplishing their God-given mission in the yard.
Good for birds, a nightmare for the grounds crew.


We began with English Ivy on the front of the house. Time and watering of roses gave the English Ivy a chance to grow a little more. We had to cut it from the front porch, bury it under mulch in the rose garden. But the funniest was not even the slow climb up the front-door jam. Our grandson found that amusing. I looked at the picture-window ledge, and there was the vine, growing indoors and lifting up new leaves to the light.

English Ivy is invasive, but it is also attractive to bugs and birds. One bird sits on the vine and pecks at the rival he finds reflected back at him.

This is why I am growing my Hummingbird feeders
Trumpet Vine.


Trumpet Vine is both a nostalgia plant (my mother grew it) and a Hummingbird favorite. The catalog forgot to tell me that the vine grows slowly and will not flower until the third year. Last year the three plants grew a tiny bit and put out some leaves. This year the vine has grown far more in three locations without flowering. One vine likes the fence, with lots of support and access to sunlight and water. The Trumpet Vine on the maple, in the front-yard, is covering more area on the ground and climbing up the tree. I completely ignore the third location, with almost no watering, and the vine is growing there as well, but not as productively - less sun and water.



Morning Glories are always popular and easy to grow. Mr. Gardener stored his old vines near the fence last fall, and now we have them growing in abundance on the other side of the roses. He was worried that I might mind, but I was glad to see them. Every day I prune roses I look for vines reaching through the stabilize themselves on a rose bush. "Unhand that lady, you predator!" I mutter as I cut the rose loose from the vine.

The architecture of fast-growing vines is fascinating. The looping tendrils are delicate but strong. I had Pumpkin vines that tried to own Mrs. Wright's gate, since we shared fence, by wrapping itself firmly and redundantly around the mechanisms. The infrequent mowing by a friend allowed the vine to establish itself. Tearing a few vines loose only encouraged it to grow in other directions, but always upward toward the sun. Flowers and fruits also dominated on the sunny side.

Vines always grow toward the sun. Boston Ivy, which came from Japan, decorated Harvard at first, then Yale. Everyone liked it until the plant began to outgrow the maintenance teams. When they formed a league for football schools with more brain than brawn, they called it the Ivy League, which is now used to describe the group academically.

Vine growing directions are often - "plant on the shady side of the house." Boston Ivy will sit there and not grow in bright sunlight, but give it a challenge and it will reach for more light. The same is true of English Ivy.

Our Pumpkin Vine grew right to the top of the chain link fence and spread its largest leaves out on top to catch the most sun.

Norma Boeckler's butterfly.
Butterflies need specific plants for laying eggs
and for adult food. Some require specific vines.
Some people are content to stay where they are and never question anything. After all, look at how a bit of intellectual curiosity has created so much trouble for some.

But like vines, we were created to reach for the light. In Genesis 1, light was created before the sun and stars. From the Biblical viewpoint, Christ is the True Light that extinguishes darkness. That is completely consistent with Genesis 1 and John 1.

John 1:3 All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
--
John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the Light of the World: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.