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Name: Linda

Location: Texas


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Friday, August 25, 2006
My Garden - My Heart
I love flowers. In my dreams, I have one of those lush English gardens. It is a veritable paradise of color and fragrant blooms. In reality, I don’t actually have a green thumb. In fact, I think it tends more toward the dark shades of brown. I can kill a plant faster than you can say Miracle-gro!

When we first moved to Texas twenty-five years ago, I planted the things I knew and loved. However, since we moved from upstate New York where it tends to be a tad cooler than southern Texas, they didn’t fare very well. Another thing I hadn’t counted on was the deer – ah the deer. I like them; I really do. They are so cute, especially here in Texas. I thought everything was bigger in Texas. Not true with the deer. They are dainty little critters (apologies to all the guys who are avid hunters) with soft brown eyes.
They like flowers too.

One spring, in a burst of gardening energy, I cleared the area under a cluster of oak trees we have in our front yard. Then my husband and son build a cute little stone border around the area for me. I bought and planted about two dozen impatiens plants. In my mind I could already see the beautiful mass of pink and white flowers skirting the huge oaks. It took me forever to plant them. My back was killing me by the time I finished, not to mention my poor old knees. However, it would all be worth it when those flowers bloomed.

The next morning I awoke to find dozens of little green stems sticking out of the ground. I may as well have sent out printed invitations: Attention all deer. Linda is serving a special delicacy tonight – fresh impatiens. Bring a friend! So I learned to look for deer resistant plants as well as native plants. Just to be on the safe side, my husband fenced in a little area for my flower garden.

To begin with we planted three crepe myrtles. They were supposed to be miniatures, but I don’t think anyone told them that. They grew to be about eight feet tall and had a tendency to poke people about the head and shoulders as they were walking up our front walk. The irony is they grew so well. We decided they had to go feeling that eyes were an important thing to protect. My husband cut them down, and I planted lantana and salvia and a couple of rose bushes. To my complete amazement, they all did very well. My garden was looking good!

Then one morning I noticed them – crepe myrtle shoots growing where I had planted my flowers. My husband had done his best to dig up all the roots, but evidently he wasn’t able to get them all. So…I pulled up the shoots. And they grew again. I pulled them up….they continued to grow. I wasn’t able to get them up by the roots.

Another reason I am not very good with plants is that I want everything to be simple and easy. When I get something new, and it has a manual as thick as a dictionary I get discouraged before I even begin. I just want to be able to push a couple of buttons and have everything good to go. That doesn’t work very well with appliances, and it certainly doesn’t work with growing things. I just don’t take the time to research gardening. I want to dig the hole, put the plant in the ground, feed and water it when necessary – and that’s enough already. I want a beautiful garden.

It also tends to get a bit hot here. I am great in the garden when it is cool – not so much when it’s hot. I tend to neglect the more physical aspects of gardening when it gets into the summer months. So I stopped pulling up crepe myrtle shoots because it’s just too hot to be on my knees in the dirt yanking on plants that simply refuse to give up easily. Before long the crepe myrtle shoots became crepe myrtle PLANTS and crowded out everything else. Granted they even have blooms – but they aren’t supposed to be there!!

I got to thinking the other day that the Lord has a lesson for me here. First of all I need to do the necessary work to have a thriving, beautiful garden. So it is within my heart. To have a heart that is beautiful and thriving and pleasing in His sight I need to do the necessary work. I need time alone with Him, time in prayer and in the Word. I also need to do the hard work of keeping the things out of my heart that are not supposed to be growing there. It may not seem like anything big or awful – at first. However, if I allow it to grow it will soon begin to crowd out the good things. It may not even look bad, may even have some pretty pink blooms, but it isn’t supposed to be there.

I think I’d better take care of those crepe myrtle shoots.

Blessings,
Linda
 
  posted at 12:52 PM
  6 comments



6 Comments:
At 2:04 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Oh my goodness, this could have been written by me. Reading it I was almost surprised I hadn't, except that I live in PA not Texas. I ant a beautiful garden but have a definite black thumb. This year we finally hae a green garden, my husband calls it a jungle. The only reason it is green is because I am tired of trying to get the good stuff to grow. Instead I gave in and let the weeds crowd in (my excuse is those tall weeds make great stalks for my morning glory plants.) And as for all those weeds in the shady bed on the other side of the walk, well at least they are green and fill in the spots between my poor hostas and pansies.

 
At 6:35 PM, Blogger momrn2 said...

Comparing a garden to our hearts... Wonderful word picture!

 
At 6:39 PM, Blogger Heather said...

I didn't proof my comment either. :) And if you ever need help with the sit let me know. I don't use blogger too much but can point you in the right direction.

 
At 6:55 PM, Blogger Barb said...

Beautiful analogy, Linda. Beautiful.

See? People are responding already. Isn't that an encouragement? I told you, every single one of us has pulled our hair out over learning to blog.

But you get the essential thing - you write beautifully and you touch on the heart of the matter.

All the rest? When you get to be a blogging pro? Well, that's just the icing. The decoration. What matters is how the cake tastes. And your cake tastes very good indeed, my friend.

 
At 7:16 PM, Blogger momrn2 said...

I just read Barb's comment and she is so right! I blogged on the exact same template you have chosen from December 0f 2005 until the end of May 2006. And it only changed then because some wonderful blogging ladies/ friends created a site for me as a gift when my daughter was so ill and in the hospital.

I agree with Barb... it's not so much in how it looks... but how it reads and yours does wonderfully!!

Keep up the good work!

 
At 12:41 AM, Blogger Chappyswife said...

It sounds like you are willing to do the hard work in the garden and in your heart. Very nice post, and I understand about the deer and rabbits, too!

 

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