Garden Border Control

Creeping Charlie (Small)

Creeping Charlie {photo credit: unknown}

Today, I found myself performing the never ending task of weeding. In particular, an intruding vine, known as “Ground Ivy” or “Creeping Charlie”, knows no bounds as it constantly invades my rose beds.  Although it looks deceptively charming at first, Creeping Charlie will choke the life out of my roses and other plants if allowed. Hence, why I pulled out my knee pad and spent about 2 hours ripping this vine out as best as I could not to mention the persistent flock of dandelions and other unknown weeds in my urban garden. I’m not sure who sowed Creeping Charlie into my yard probably decades ago, but my goodness, what a headache! To help eliminate the encroaching yard from reaching my flower beds, the husband and I will soon be implementing a border control of sorts with old brick or stone (it’s still up for discussion as to which we can agree on).

brickborder

{photo credit: unknown}

So while the dirt compiled under my nails this morning, I thought about how necessary boundaries are in our lives as they define our roles, our responsibilities, and our way of life. Without boundaries or borders defining and describing such areas, both our garden and our world would be chaos. Boundaries not only define who we are, but they protect what we value most. A brick or stone border, a fence, a wall, laws, rules, and terms of an agreement, are all examples of boundaries. God’s word found in the Holy Bible provides boundaries to live by as well. Such boundaries, or written terms, are designed to define our roles and responsibilities as believers, who we are in Christ Jesus, and the way to life. By rejecting these Judeo-Christian boundaries, there are chaotic consequences – just look at the world around us or even your own life. I certainly suffered chaotic and unnecessary consequences when I didn’t abide by God’s boundaries. I’m sure you can think of a time or two you did as well. Clearly, without them, ungodly vines like Creeping Charlies can invade our hearts and homes choking out the life God intended for us. How important it is we learn to abide within Christ’s border control while eliminating the ungodly vines and weeds the world sows.

A Sucker or a Rose?

You probably are familiar with the parable of the wheat and tares found in Matthew 13, where Jesus warns that His true followers are like the wheat of a field whereas others who follow the world and may even appear to the naive as Christ’s followers, but aren’t, are the tares, which is another word for weeds. Wheat and tares grow side by side and look very similar until they are fully mature and ready to be harvested. If the tares are weeded out of the field or world early on, it may cause the wheat not to mature. Therefore, at the end of the age, there will be a harvest. At such a harvest, the tares or weeds will be destroyed from Earth through burning, while the wheat will be stored safely in God’s barn.

sucker

{photo credit: Hanford Rose}

Many rose bushes you buy at local home improvement stores and nurseries are grafted onto a hardy, vigorous root stock. If you see a knot at the base of a rose, this is called a “bud union” where the two plants are united. Once planted, below the ground is the hardy root stock. Above the ground is the bush you selected for it’s color, fragrance, disease resistance, etc. Sometimes, what’s known as a “sucker” grows up out of the ground alongside the rose bush you purchased. The sucker is a separate cane that has manifested from the root stock. The sucker often looks similar at first to the rose bush you bought – after all, it is still a rose cane. Eventually, as both the sucker and the intended rose bush develop, the gardener will realize the sucker is indeed a very different bloom than the one they bought. If one is new to rose gardening though, it would be easy to assume the sucker is in fact a normal part of the rose bush until both mature. It is then, one will clearly be able to differentiate the two just like the reapers could in the parable of the wheat and tares. Once the gardener determines the difference, the sucker must be removed.

How about you? Are you a glorious rose in God’s garden or are you a look-alike sucker that will eventually be removed?

Ground-Covering or Ground-Breaking: Which Are You?

Peach.drift.web

Peach Drift is about 1.5 feet high by 2 to 3 feet wide. Although, some of my drift roses’ canes reach nearly three feet high.

As the warm Spring air awakened my senses, I decided to spend sometime addressing the garden beds my ground-covering drift roses call home. Kneeling on my padded garden mat, I ever so delicately cleared away the dead leaves that found themselves entangled within the canes of these low to the ground roses. While slowly and carefully clearing away the fallen leaves, random trash, and overgrown weeds from tight places so close in between the rose canes and the dirt, the Holy Spirit gently pointed out to me how these little wandering roses were being smothered and held down partly by the dead leaves embedded in their canes, partly by the proximity of the rose being too low to the ground, and partly by the weeds that encamped these drift roses. Similarly, how easy it is to become small roses “drifting” through life by hanging onto burdensome leaves like offense or by allowing enormous life sucking weeds like negative people, places, or things to stunt our growth. Thankfully, when Jesus, as our Master Gardner, kneels down besides us, reaches in our mess, and starts to slowly clear the debris, we can start to see the truth of our ugly realities, who He is, and who we are in His beautiful garden more clearly. When we start to accept the truth of our own captivity and how we got there, while letting God’s Spirit get in our dirt, we will no longer be ground-covering roses painfully drifting through this garden called life. Instead, we will be ever-blooming and ever-growing roses breaking new ground!