The Glory Has Departed
Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence
Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Friday, October 21, 2016
Pleasant surprises are one of many sources of satisfaction in gardening. Gloom turns to joy, and the overwhelming forces of Creation are that much more evident. Here are just a few.
I ordered three Trumpet Vines, and they arrived looking like dried up sticks loose in a box. I soaked them a day in rainwater. They came to life, which was one matter. I planted them three places; near a tree, on a fence, and behind a tree in the deepest shade. All three are thriving. When I bent over the fence to verify how the vine was doing, a large Trumpet Vine flower showed off its vitality.
One Veterans Honor rose ended up in a side garden, but our neighbor was looking into rose gardening. I gave her and her daughter my orphan rose - at a bad time in the year for transplanting. The rose had two bad locations, the first one threatened its life by being in our path around the tree, the second one crowded by Blackberries. We moved the rose when the weather was hot and dry, but they followed my instructions and soon the rose showed new, healthy growth. If all goes well, the rose will bloom in the Spring and be the first of many.
Our helper received Purple Splash earlier, because its growth as climber was unstoppable. His children now enjoy taking part in rose care. Their maple tree, carefully mulched, was a weed in my yard and now graces their front yard.
I worried that a favorite Queen Elizabeth rose was sick. I saw the signs, but those signs went away a week later. Its companion Queen E bloomed for the Sunday-Thursday service, the finest of all the pink roses, developed by Creationist Walter Lammerts.
The White Profusion Butterfly Bush kept growing wider and taller this year, fed by rainwater, stored rainwater, the soaker hose, and poor little Filbert the Squirrel, who was buried at its base. The bush now serves as a perch for the birds, an elevator for the squirrels to reach the bird-food - and a base for butterflies, bees, and beneficial insects. The plant is now almost ten feet tall.
We had a very tough summer for roses, which meant the water bill went up to keep them alive. In recent weeks we had two vigorous rains, and every bush began showing off. We had three dozen roses for our friend the chiropractor, roses for another doctor, roses for the altar, and plenty left for color in the garden itself. Stored rainwater worked well in four large barrels, four five-gallon cans, and a spare wastebasket.
I always wanted Mountain Mint. When the tiny plant arrived, our helper mulched it into oblivion. Neither one of us could find it. Weeks later, the plant popped out of the mulch. "Is it the mint?" I broke off a leaf and smelled it. Potent mint - yes - the little weed was the Mountain Mint, lost and found again.