Happy Rosh HaShanah… Good year…May you be ever-blooming throughout each season of the new year! White is a traditional color used in this holiday to symbolize purity, forgiveness, and fresh beginnings or mercy. The rose featured in this photo is ‘Pristine’, a white hybrid-tea with hints of pink.
After an unexpected summer storm struck my rose garden, I reflect on the weighted canes drooping with defeat. The once glorious petals litter the ground crying out for vindication. Though not entirely destroyed, each bush whines in the aftermath as they obviously would have preferred a slow steady rain than a fast and furious gusty storm. Given some time, I’m confident such defeated canes will overcome the unexpected afternoon flash. Although they can’t appreciate the drenching rains now, the hot boiling sun will soon stir thanksgiving as they draw on the well saturated roots beneath the steaming heat.
Just as our roses can experience an unpredicted and drowning storm, we too are taken by surprise when Abba Father allows fast and furious storms, like betrayal, abuse, lay-offs, cancer, or death to brew in our garden of life. Upon such devastation, we often whine in their aftermath, “Why me?” or “This isn’t fair, God!” But what if instead, we could raise our canes in praise and say, “I don’t know what You are doing, Abba, but I trust You!” What if despite such heartache, we could cling to the words of Isaiah 26:3-4, “With perfect peace you will protect those whose minds cannot be changed, because they trust you. Trust in the LORD forever, for in Yah, the LORD is everlasting strength.” Other translations say the “Rock of eternity”.
Sometimes I bravely praise my “Rock” in such storms while other times, I’d rather hide under a rock in my anxiety. I may even look for temporary relief of such unexpected sorrow by hiding in my isolated, secret garden. But during such harrowing times, I am tenderly reminded, “I alone am the one who comforts you. Why, then, are you afraid of mortals, who must die, of humans, who are like grass?” (Isaiah 51:12). Whatever tragedy you face, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:11 or 46:10 in the Christian Bible). After all, our God, our Creator, our Aleph and Tav, knows our beginning and our end and every purpose in between. Breathe in the smell after a saturating storm and choose to trust that Abba Father’s still got this.
Approximately two months ago, my first and much anticipated David Austin rose, ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’, arrived in bare root form. I had been wanting this particular rose for years, but every time I went to purchase her through the elite David Austin Roses website, she was sold out. This year, however, I purchased her early around the New Year with success!
Because I live aboard a sailboat named ‘Sailvation’ full-time, I planted her in a 16 inch wide wine-barrel looking plastic pot, which she adapted to just fine. After planting her in Miracle Grow potting soil and compost, I dressed her base with Alyssum, a fragrant, white-flowering dainty flower. I have never “dressed” my roses with companion plants in pots but I was feeling botanically adventurous- or perhaps I should say “BOATanically” adventurous, an alternative name for our boat! 😉 She seemed to thrive instantly bursting with buds, leaflets, and eventually green foliage. This past week, she bloomed for the first time upon putting out four buds. I enjoy waking up each morning having my cup of coffee and being able to check on my rose’s development through the portlight (window) of the boat. Both Lady Emma Hamilton and her companion, Alyssum, boast a “sweet aroma” as they choose to be “ever-blooming”. I hope and pray we all can follow their example.
In a world consumed with valid concerns of this novel coronavirus and the consequent sadness of loss of life, I invite you to virtually walk with me in a field of roses to remind and encourage you to embrace life and each precious day we are given. These photos were taken at Hershey Gardens in Hershey, Pennsylvania several years ago. I hope you will take the time to “stop and smell the roses” even if they are only online.
May you and yours be “ever-blooming”!
For the first time since being here in Texas, my husband and I traveled to a nearby nursery known as Congo Nursery located in Pasadena, Texas, which is along the Gulf Coast area. The marina my husband and I live at as “liveaboards” on our sailboat generously bestowed us a garden bed to appease my delight in roses. Upon pulling up to this urban nursery just a bit southeast of the Houston area, we were astonished at how many roses this retailer packed in their corner store lot. We have never seen so many roses for sale at any nursery prior to this! To see last year’s list of roses they sold click here –>Roses List. It appeared all of these were present this year as well. Furthermore, all of the 5 gallon rose bushes on display were superbly cared for and healthy. Most of these spectacular roses were in full bloom as they dazzled onlookers bewildered eyes! I thought I must have died and gone to rose heaven! Texas just keeps getting better and better. 🙂
I intentionally wanted to inspect the hybrid tea known as ‘Full Sail’, a very fluffy, or perhaps I should say ‘luffing’ (a sailing term), white rose with delicious honeysuckle fragrance. After all, I do live on a sailboat. I thought this could be the perfect rose to fill the marina garden bed entrusted to us. Upon locating ‘Full Sail’ in the sea of roses, I was more than impressed by her incredibly large and magnificent blooms. I do believe her blooms were even larger than the famous ‘Peace’ rose, which also produces gorgeous petals, but little to no fragrance. After perusing the plethora of stunning roses in various colors and varieties, we purchased ‘Full Sail’ and headed back to the marina.
While digging in the garden bed though, we discovered it was plagued with large, thick tree roots, which caused us to forgo planting our newly adopted rose bush for fear it could not compete with such conditions. Naturally, the only other solution was to go to Home Depot to purchase a large pot so ‘Full Sail’ could thrive nicely on the bow of the boat! 😉 Now when I open the hatch of the V-berth (within the bow of the boat), I get whiffs of honeysuckle! We used a couple of bungee chords to keep her secure on the bow.
Due to thinking I had some space in a garden bed to plant roses combined with the struggle of resisting roses in general, I had previously purchased two other roses, all of which are dwelling on our sailboat! LOL In addtion to ‘Full Sail’, the largest of the four, yes four total roses, plus a few succulents, a tomato plant, and sweet pepper plant, our sailboat is quite the ‘BOATanical’ experience! When living aboard a boat, you have quite a bit of packing away things before they slosh around in your boat while out sailing, so the plants will have to hang out on the pier whenever we want to go for a sail. Overall, I am overjoyed in this life of tiny living on the water, rocked by the gentle waves, surrounded by wildlife and now roses too!
Here are some photos of the magnificent beauties @ Congo Nursery for your viewing pleasure. If you are in the Houston area, do yourself a favor and visit Congo Nursery. They also have good deals on veggies, fruit trees, and loads of interesting hanging plants too!
Tonight, an opportunity manifested allowing me to prophetically sing over a woman. The woman/new friend just outright asked me to sing to her. Other times, God “highlights” people I am supposed to speak to/sing to. For those of you who haven’t seen this/experienced this, sometimes the Spirit provides the setting and invites me to sing over people needing healing, comfort, or to be set free from something, etc. My part is just be willing to shut off me (my will/my time/my thoughts) to simply allow the Father to use my voice to sing something personal to them (Zephaniah 3:14-17).It’s like a lullaby of love…even correction sometimes wrapped in a loving, soothing song. Or as if God unexpectedly shows up to personally deliver to you a bouquet of His fragrant love. Meanwhile, the woman was crying and later shared with me how the phrases/words in the spontaneous song were the exact verbage God uses when He talks with her. I had no idea. I just met this person a few days ago. After the song is done, I typically have no recollection of the song’s specific wording just maybe one or two words or a theme. It is interesting, but moreover, a blessing to me to be able to help others in that capacity. It’s not all the time, but often enough that I trust Him when He beckons. Ironically, in doing what He invites us to do, we too are healed, set free, delivered from our own issues. That’s why faith with obedience is so important. Just be who God created and wills you to be. Gifts are meant to be given away. #everbloomingroses #obedience #trust #psalmist #prophetic #Godisreal #song
This floribunda rose known as ‘Daybreaker’ seemed like an appropriate choice as a Sabbath day greeting. Take a break from the busy days, rest, relax, and be refreshed!
Maybe instead of working in the garden this Saturday, you simply relish in your garden today….