The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream


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, August 24, 2016

Patience, Water, and Mulch. Trumpet Vine Blooms


Many plants take longer to become established than we imagine. The famous one is Asparagus, because the roots build up energy for delicious spears several years before they are harvested. Between the delay - common to all perennials - and the Purgatorial labors assigned to simply planting a crown of roots, most people are scared to death of heart attacks while digging and qualifying for Social Security before getting a few spears.

Birds plant them in the wild by perching on fences. Readers may guess the rest of the planting operation.

"I'm just here for a drink, really."


The old asparagus planting guides had the poor gardeners digging and moving soil like they were creating another Panama Canal. I opened up holes in the earthwormed and mulched soil, dropped them in, and left them alone.

Year 1 - Plant asparagus crowns, let them fern out.
Year 2 - Let them fern out.
Year 3 - Harvest when spears come up that are as thick as a man's thumb.



Roses, Clethra, Beautyberry, Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Gooseberry, and many more became established last year and now are thriving - and when stoloniferous - spreading like rumors. Like grass, many plants spread through underground stolons, making gardeners say "My Blackberries are spreading like wild and cornering the house!" and soon - "Do you need any Blackberry starts? Bueller, Bueller, anyone? anyone?"

Norma Boeckler's Hummingbird.


Trumpet Vine is another slow mover. Three sticks arrived in the mail last year. I soaked them in rainwater for 24 hours, and they showed signs of life. They were planted thus -

  • The first on the sunny side of the Maple Tree, where roses were watered.
  • The second on the shady side of a backyard tree, mostly neglected.
  • The third next to Mrs. Wright's fence, where it would get more sun, plus water from the Jackson Aerial Aqueduct - soaker hose on top of the fence.
Little growth was showing in the first year, and I wondered if the most neglected vine would survive.
The fence vine did a little better, and the Maple Rose Garden vine definitely spread and climbed the tree a bit.

The second year of growth is almost done. The first two are doing well and do even better as they become more stoloniferous and established next year.


The fence Trumpet Vine is already the mother of all vines, above the fence, spreading along the chain link network, and - what's that? - blooming. I leaned over the fence and saw my first Trumpet Vine flower, thanklessly blooming on the other side, facing away from its guardian and protector  - me. Nevertheless, I was delighted.

Why bother with Trumpet Vine? They are the ideal Hummingbird flower. Instead of repeated purchases of Hummingbird food, I grow it for the future. They also like Bee Balm, a mint that can grow in clumps or spread like...mint.

Most feeders for Hummingbirds are shaped and colored to look like Trumpet Vine flowers.

That Long Delay Before Flowering and Fruiting
Most will say, "The long term plants take so long because the roots have to become established," a vague sort of statement that makes anyone nod seriously.

That solemn declaration neglects the complex facts of establishment, all established by the Creating Word and engineered to perfection:
  • The soil needs to be left alone to allow the creatures to do their work.
  • Roots grow and root hairs add to the miles  of plant exposure to the soil. Yes, yes, we all know that.
  • The fungi establish the feeding system between the vine roots and sources of food and moisture. The vine offers carbon in exchange for needed nutrition.
  • Bacteria and other microbes form a food foundation for the higher level animals, like earthworms.
  • Earthworms tunnel and improve the soil, opening up channels for water to penetrate the soil in greater depth.
  • Pests attract pest eaters - beneficial creatures - so that level of food/feeder is begun.
  • The early growth of the vine - or any plant - creates a better soil environment for all other living things.
 Someone created this excellent summary of Calvinism and Roman Catholicism.
Calvinists deny the Sacraments are efficacious.
Roman Catholics neglect the Scriptures.

The Gospel takes time to be established too. Many have the start of faith but do not feed this beginning with more study of the Word and Means of Grace worship. Mega-churches are collapsing because they began on the shifting sand of entertainment fads and saw that wash away and undermine their lucrative business.

My neighbor wanted more tomatoes so she used chemical fertilizer. She said, "I have lots of  vines but no tomatoes." I said, "With nitrogen you get all green and no fruit."

The rah-rah rock churches were all about the green, the loot, and bore no fruit to perfection.