A Season of Heat

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.

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“Dream Come True” captured at Portland, Oregon’s International Rose Test Garden.

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.

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“Strike It Rich” captured at Portland, Oregon’s International Rose Test Garden.

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.

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Summer Storms

Storms, both literal and figurative, are common. May this recording I did for my radio show called “In The Garden with Carrie Renee Turner” heard on York, PA’s Community 106.1 FM encourage you!

Summer Storms {Excerpt from book}

{From the book, Ever-Blooming: Despite Life’s Prickles by C.R. Truelove}

DroopyCanes.FourthofJuly.jpgAfter 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 heat.

Just as our roses can experience an unpredictable and drowning storm, we too are taken by surprise when God 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!” SummerStorms.Oregold.overlay.webBut what if instead, we could raise our canes in praise and say, “I don’t know what You are doing, God, 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 Yahweh (God) always, because Yah, Yahweh alone, is an everlasting rock.”

Sometimes I bravely praise my “Rock” in such storms while other times, I’d rather hide under a rock in my anxiety, or worse, throw a rock in my frustration! 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 He is God.” (Psalm 46:10). After all, our God, our Creator, our Alpha and Omega, knows our beginning and our end and every purpose in between. Breathe in the smell after a saturating storm and choose to trust that God’s still got this.

“There’s no one like your Elohim, (insert your name)! He rides through the heavens to help you. In majesty he rides through the clouds. The eternal Elohim is your shelter, and his everlasting arms support you…You are blessed, (insert your name)!”

Deuteronomy 33:26-29a

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