Clearing away one’s garden beds can reveal much!
As the rose gardening season winds down for winter, today I sat down to write the book that has brewing within my heart for the past year or so. My third and final rose devotional book will be called Ever-Blooming and Ever-Rejoicing: Through Seasons of Change. Just as in all my books, this one will offer rose gardening tips, particularly of how to care for roses in each season, along with a spiritual parallel.
Here is the first draft of its introduction:
In my 40 years of life, especially as a follower of Jesus Christ, I’ve discovered while growing up in God’s garden, there will inevitably be seasons of change. The question is will I remain ever-blooming and ever-rejoicing through it all? How easy to praise my Creator and Master Gardener through Seasons of Hope and Seasons of Celebration, but can I praise Him through the uncomfortable and exhausting Season of Perseverance or through a Season of Patient Rest? It’s through such seasons that seeds of His Spirit evolve into fruit to be harvested, shared, and enjoyed.
Furthermore, I’ve found when I am content in all areas and all circumstances, it is then I am free to transition into the next season He has for me. What season do you find yourself in today? More importantly, are you able to be “ever-blooming” and “ever-rejoicing” through it all?
While enduring the weather’s daily heat advisories or even “excessive heat” warnings recently, I noticed some of the leaves on my roses were edged in shades of burnt yellow. Although above ground is sweltering or even frying the foliage, below ground much activity is taking place for the overall benefit of the rose bush or any other plant life for that matter. The purpose of these hot days is to force the roots of any given plant to plunge deep within the soil in search of nourishing water.
Typically, the leaves of your rose bush will tell you what it needs particularly in the hot season of summer. If you see burnt edges on the leaves or the leaves appear to be wilted or even borderline crunchy, your plant needs a deep watering. Make sure you put the hose at the base of the bush and let it saturate the ground about a foot deep or for several minutes at a time. Otherwise, a quick watering will promote shallow root growth, which is not healthy. If your rose bush has a plethora of yellow leaves, it may have received too much water or may be suffering from heat stress. Should you have a dark colored mulch, such as my favorite cocoa hull mulch, it could cause the lower leaves to experience too much heat and turn yellow.
Overall, the leaves will dictate when to water and when to skip it. You don’t want to water unnecessarily or too often as it could actually damage the roots. Rather, when you start noticing the leaves drooping a bit or feeling slightly harder than normal, it’s time to water. Mark on your calendar when you’ve watered as well as several days later when you noticed the leaves looking and feeling rather rough. You then will have a good indication of how many days your rose bush can go between watering – just subtract a day or two before they get droopy or rough. Bottom line, throughout this season of heat, a fine balance of sunlight, heat, and watering is a must. Don’t be afraid of the ongoing heat and how it may damage your plant. Let the rose bush learn to extend it’s roots deep within the soil and let the leaves tell you what the plant needs and when.
Similarly, in our daily lives, we go through seasons of intense heat. And while our leaves, or outward displays, may moan and groan in our discomfort, take courage in knowing this is a season of perseverance. A season of heat to force our roots to plunge deep into the living soil of an immeasurable God. During such seasons of perseverance, our roots are invited to run deep into the river of life flowing from the one and only Jesus Christ. Many will succumb to the misery or the heat…many will give up and die off…while others will take the opportunity to go stronger within the deep wells of their soul soil. They will be able to endure brutal winters and blustering winds because their roots are firmly planted. Consequently, those that endure the season of heat, will be able to endure all seasons for they are “ever-blooming” roses.
Yet another rose has bloomed in my garden. Meet Oregold, a yellow hybrid tea.
When I scribed my Ever-Blooming book series last year, I never imagined I’d be afforded the opportunity to share my love for God and gardening on a local radio station, but alas such a joyous occassion did so blossom! Thanks to social media, my rose gardening books sprouted and managed to land me not one, but two invitations to share in my love for roses and what God is teaching me through them.
Today, I was interviewed by York, Pennsylvania’s Community 106.1 FM, which will air on April 14th @ 9:30am and 5:30pm and on April 16 at 10am and 4pm. First Lutheran Church of York has been blessed with their own radio station reaching the City of York and her surrounding areas. Pastor Jim Driskell was most hospitable and kind as he exuded his passion for encouraging hurting souls. Apparently, Pastor Driskell and his sound technician enjoyed my interview so much, they invited me to do regular segments on their station regarding my love for God and urban gardening. If you aren’t local, you can listen to Community 106.1’s live stream through their website on the dates and times the show will be aired. If you miss it all together, you could also retrieve archived tapings through their “Sound Cloud” so you won’t miss a thing. Whether you hear the recorded interview in your car, at your desk, or through your phone, our hope is you will be enriched and inspired as you listen. In the meantime, I am humbled and blown away by unexpected delightful surprises sprouting up this Spring!