The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream

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7 PM Central Daylight Savings Time
NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

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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,
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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Butterfly Bushes Attract Butterflies, Bees, Birds, and Squirrels


I bought Butterfly Bushes for two reasons. One was to screen the view of the houses behind us. There I have two Bonnies, which are reputed to grow very tall.

I planted a White Profusion near our bird feeders, to attract butterflies while enjoying a view from close-up. We have seen more butterflies all the time since the Whtie Profusion grew so tall and full of blooms.

Butterfly Bushes need watering and sunshine. Supposedly the watering needs of the plant will decrease when established, but this area is notorious for ending the summer with heat, humidity, and no rain. We were fairly dry again at the end of this summer.


The White Profusion near our window was blessed with stored rainwater and the soaker hose that runs out to the fence. I also dumped the dirty birdbath water on the bush at regular intervals, getting back my investment in birdseed.

The plant transformed itself from a weak little bush this spring to a 9-foot tall woody shrub now.

The squirrels used it as a ladder to their food but found the branches easy to break at first. The birds were also flummoxed by the flimsy branches. Now every creature is happy, and the Butterfly Bush is the waiting room for the feeders:

  1. Sunflower seed platform
  2. Finch seed, squirrel-proof feeder 
  3. Hanging sunflower seed feeder
  4. Hanging baskets with six pounds of suet in them.
Part of the fun is watching the birds go from the bush to the swing to the feeders and back to the bush again. Squirrels have squatted on the platform and waved away birds, which fly in close to peck the squirrels away from their food.

Meanwhile, the bush has grown up to be a tall, wide screen that filters the sun and blocks the view of the neighbors' backyards.

Mrs. Ichabod has asked for another Butterfly Bush to screen the kitchen window. That is an ideal location, because the rest of that garden will be Hosta and a soaker hose passes by the future location of the bush.



Butterfly Bush Pruning
I should have pruned the blooms the way I trim roses, but I let them go to seed instead. Next year I will remove more of the spent flowers to keep the bushes completely in bloom and energized by the pruning. 

They are commonly cut back in the winter or early spring, but not in the fall - bad timing there (like pruning roses late in the fall). Leaving a foot or two of growth will let the Butterfly bushes fill in faster in the spring and bloom on the new wood. They have a candy-like sweet aroma in bloom.



Tilting the Creation
The backyard gets less attention, but we have been reclaiming and expanding areas for easy gardening - and I mean even easier than roses. That means laying down cardboard and weighing it down before the fall leaf curbside grab.

We use reclaimed rotten wood from morning walks and water jugs filled with aromatic, bad tasting Springdale water. The same jugs will store heat and reduce frost harm in the early spring, basking in the sun and giving up solar heat in the evening. We use Walmart water, 88 cents a gallon, for drinking, which spoiled us for tapwater.

God manages things very well, so I like to help out in small ways. Where we had nothing but grass, we now have various gardens developing, garnished with - 
  • Hosta
  • Wild Strawberries
  • Roses
  • Butterfly Bushes
  • Rugosa Rose (for shade)
  • Willow Bushes
  • Pokeweed (for birds and beneficial insects)
  • Praying Mantids (hatched the eggs, turned them loose)
  • Dutch White Clover - now most of the lawn
  • Blueberries
  • Beautyberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Asparagus
  • Trumpet Vine
  • Morning Glory Vine
  • Honeysuckle Vine

I was giving a tour to our neighbors, who have pine trees. Always praise pine trees, pet rabbits, and horses, because all three donate for the good for gardening. The mother pointed to a praying mantis that I overlooked - "You have a helper." 

I bought some egg cases in the spring, hatched them in the window, then took the swarming cases to the front and back for the pious predators to finish and establish themselves. Our granddaughters took some egg cases home, put them in an solarium, and fed the hatchlings fresh insects until they were ready for the outside.

What begins slowly develops because the Creation does 99% or more of the work. So it is with the Word of God, which is the living Seed. By sewing this living Seed of the Word, the Gospel springs up and grows, forgiveness of sin and eternal life springing up with it.

Those who never plant asparagus say, "But it takes three years to produce!" Most worthwhile plants take three years to be established. Excuses among congregations and pastors are even more vapid and self-defeating. 
  1. They need money. 
  2. They need plans. 
  3. They need an organization.
  4. They need time.

Yet they remodel the church kitchen for thousands, as if they were running a large restaurant or hotel, and use their time to decide which table decorations to use.

Three Promises -
1. The Word never returns empty.
2. The Word always accomplishes God's purpose.
3. The Word always prospers God's plans.