GARDENING for me began with scarlet red geraniums. I adore the images of these red headed beauties spilling out of deep blue pottery dotted across the countryside in rural France. Eventually I started planting milkweed and nectar plants for my monarch butterflies. But no matter the plant the most satisfying aspect of gardening is definitely the inspiring motifs that I can glean on my hands and knees.
WEEDS A Perpetual Source Of Inspiration
A weed is described as a plant growing profusely where it is not wanted. Removing it poses many challenges. Herbicides are the preferred method of choice because of the ease of simply spraying the weeds. Products like Roundup unfortunately contains the chemical glyphosate which has a well documented link to cancer.
The alternative method to killing weeds is using Organic products that are low in toxicity. But the most safest and least expensive way is to remove them is by hand one weed at a time. This is absolutely essential when in my Butterfly garden because all herbicides are toxic to caterpillars and butterflies. It is this act of hand-pulling that is the very source of endless inspiration and allegories.
When I’m immersed in the tedious and time consuming effort to extricate the roots one by one it makes me wonder what short cuts that I might be taking in my life because I am unwilling to do the hard work. Like herbicides, could the quicker, easier method ultimately end up being toxic? This metaphor of taking the longer course of action helps me to understand that time and effort is needed to grow and overcome obstacles on my own personal journey.
Interestingly WEEDING works best just after a rain shower brought on by a summer storm. The water makes the soil pliable which makes the weeds pull out so much easier. Perhaps the storms of life loosens up deep seeded issues. Troubles can help mold and shape us. I should welcome some of the harder times to achieve more wholeness and develop character. I am reminded of a bible verse in the Book of James that tells us whenever we face trials of many kinds, that the testing of our faith produces perseverance. We need to let perseverance finish its work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Weeds also choke out all other plants. It reminds us that unresolved issues in our life can creep up and take over if we don’t stay alert. We need to be ever watchful that our thoughts don’t evolve into unhealthy behavior. We must be persistent in considering what we allow our minds to dwell on as wrong thinking can eventually dominate our lives and influence our actions.
Sometimes we need hand tools to get to the full length of the root. Likewise, we shouldn’t forgo needing help in getting at some of the root issues in our life. Every weed I pull is an allegory to destructive thinking and behavior I may be harboring. We must daily and consistently work on pulling unhealthy thinking patterns out of our life just like we to have to daily continue to pull weeds so they don’t take over. The correlation between the undesirable in my garden and my mind is undeniable.
Fertilizing is an essential part of gardening. It is also something that I can draw great insight from. I chose an organic fertilizer over a chemical fertilizer because it sustains the soil and prevents a toxic buildup.
Seeking the right tools and influences in my life to grow is like choosing the right fertilizer. Although something at first glance may appear to promote growth, a closer look proves some less than desirable elements.
THE THREE Ps
The role foliage plays is summed up in the word Photosynthesis! Green leaves absorb sunrays which nature through an amazing process then uses to create fuel to make the whole plant thrive. The “sunlight” in my life that helps me flourish are Bible passages, a combination of vowels and consonants inspired by God that speaks life into me.
The precepts and proverbs, the lessons of David, Abraham, Matthew and John, and the parables and miracles all recorded in the Bible are used to teach me and set my path straight so that I MAY FLOURISH as a sojourner in this life.
The bumblebee is a super pollinator. As this delightful insect visits blossoms it spreads pollen from one part of the plant to another, so they will bear fruit. Their feat is majestic, their product sweet.
They go about doing what they do best, what they were created for. The allegory is simple –What am I created for? What harvest am I reaping with my activities?
The act of trimming and shaping foliage is a source of deep inspiration. The gardener must prune the branches to produce fruit. Every season I carefully prune shrubs and cut back plants. The unruly growth and lack of fruit can only be rectified by pruning.
Pruning promotes proper growth and direction of branches. The same is true in our own lives. In what direction am I growing? As indicated in the Book of John, God removes each branch in us that does not bear fruit in order for us to bear more fruit. Certain things in my life need to be cut off in order for me to flourish.
INSPIRED TO THRIVE
I hope the next time you dig into your garden you will be inspired to see the process in a new light. There are so many life lessons to be gleaned from the simple acts of weeding, pruning and fertilizing. May the process of photosynthesis and the busy bumblebee provide you thoughtful reflection. A green thumb is practical source of inspiration to help us thrive in our daily living.