The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

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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,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Living Mulches in the Creation Garden

 God turns ordinary water into the best wine in His Creation:
we call it photosynthesis, composting, and the soil food web.


Not knowing that Buckwheat enjoys warmer weather, I scattered some early in the season and now have the plant blooming all over the rose garden.

Almost Eden was telling me about Buckwheat, because of our mutual loathing of Bermuda grass. Buckwheat grows up fast, so it tends to shade the weedy grass into oblivion, crowding out the Bermuda roots with its own tight network of roots.

Mulch promotes the growth of every type of weed, because the conditions of sun, rain, wind, and birds will either deposit or germinate seeds.

Unaware gardeners have a passion for uncovering the soil, leaving it open to sun-baking sterility, water and wind erosion. Bare soil becomes so hot that all microbial activity stops near the surface, which is where we want the wee little creatures most active.

 Creation Gardening is available on Amazon
and as a Kindle e-book.


Organic mulch - in the form of compost, dry grass, shredded wood, newspaper, and cardboard - cools the soil and keeps it moist. Mulch is always in the process of breaking down, so it feeds the soil at the same time. Since mulch is not only a weed barrier but also a weed promoter, another layer of protection will stop that by growing plants closely together or throwing down a living mulch of non-competing plants.

I was going to carpet the rose garden with Garlic Chives, but that project never took hold. Chives worked well in a limited area, where I got them growing among six Double Delight plants. Buckwheat suits our larger rose garden and now provides hundreds of blooms for bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects.



The Synecdoches of Gardening
Whatever we do wisely in gardening is a synecdoche, emphasizing a part for the whole. The following can be gleaned from the bookshelves:

  • One earthworm per shovel - healthy soil conditions for all creatures - a longstanding gardener's rule of thumb;
  • Carbon Cowboys - building up organic matter and stopping destructive measures that deplete the soil - a recent movement in organic farming;
  • Teaming with Microbes - providing the best conditions for fungus, bacteria, protozoa, and nematodes, which serve as the foundation for all plants, ultimately for all animals - Jeff Lowenfels;
  • Teaming with Fungi - recognizing that benefiting fungus will nurture all soil life and leverage fertility - Jeff Lowenfels;
  • Attracting Beneficial Bugs - planting to attract the bugs and spiders that kill pests by feeding on them - Jessica Walliser;
  • A Blessing of Toads - viewing the garden in terms of all creatures that prosper our efforts, whether birds, toads, or Flower Flies - Sharon Lovejoy.
  • Creation Gardening and Farming - trusting from the Scriptures that God created, engineered, and still manages everything in the universe - moi and Joel Salatin.
  • The soil food web - an expression often used when writing about how everything in the soil influences what is above, and vice versa.


Yes, I want to fertilize the soil, but not with chemical salts that stop or hinder the natural exchanges of organic matter. If I see a big clump of dried lawn grass, thanks to the mower, I tuck that under a small log by the Crepe Myrtle - food for the eater, and nitrogen for flowering plant.