Pruning – A Garden Journey

I LOVE LOVE LOVE flowers! The more I have, the more I like, the more I want next year!  And the thing is, I’m not very sure of what I’m doing.  Some years are more successful.   I actually keep a journal of my flower garden adventures: what I tried, what I like, what happened.  Weird, but it works for me!  I also note the weather conditions, because I have no control over that!  I’d like to share some pictures with you, in my garden journey.

The picture on the left is the end of August last year. I had planted 3 plants in the planter: 2 red calibrachoas (million bells, a cousin of the petunia) surrounding a purple calibrachoa.  You can see some flowers, some growth, some brown.   The right picture is the beginning of this summer.  This time I switched it up and tried 2 yellow bidens with 6 wave petunias.  The bottom picture shows the same planter 13 weeks later.  You’ll notice the bidens barely show, the petunias have taken over en mass!

And I love how full that planter is!  It makes me happy to see pink flowers.  When the yellow ones poke through I love it even more to see the cheeriness of yellow with the prettiness of pink!  And yet these little flowers are teaching me a lesson.

You see, I am not a very good gardener.  I try hard though.  I read about proper care. I have researched planting and the flowers.  I have tried several times, and several combinations.  And I’m getting better!

Are you wanting to say, “who cares?”  Unless you love details of flowers, or my flowers in particular, this could be a so – what post!  I get it!  But let’s get into what God has been teaching me this summer as I care for my little plants. And hopefully you’ll be encouraged as I have been!

One:  God gives beauty on this earth!  I have been struck afresh with the brightness of color, and the pleasant sweet smell of the petunias (which smell more than calibrachoas by the way!).  I have found myself really enjoying the moments of watering these flowers in either the morning hours with birds screeching around, or in the evening with neighbor kids riding bikes down the street.

Two:  Gardening is not hands off.  And that matters a lot.

So last summer, the flowers grew, and did ok.  The end of August they had flowers.  They looked fine, but they were simply fine – not spectacular!  This summer the flowers are much improved in terms of fullness, and it is not even the end of the summer yet!

Lessons: I have had to readjust what I plant based on what I want.  I have had to learn to prune.  The flowers last year maybe had one trim halfway through July.  That’s it. I watered them.  I fed them.  And it was cooler and rainier.  This year I read up on pinching back the petunias, and on the importance of deadheading.  So I stuck with it, pinching and deadheading all through June.  In the beginning of July I decided they needed a trim, so I cut a bunch off.  Two weeks later I cut MORE off, which you see below is no small amount.  I even cut off full blossoms – not with the intent to enjoy them in a vase, but with the full intent to prune my plant!  And I hope you can see: this final picture is 2 weeks ago, and the one above is now.  Do you see the difference in the amount of flowers and growth today verses two weeks ago?  It was when I was re-trimming that God begin to whisper to my soul.

He begin to explain some things to me about my life (and yours). He has an idea of what He wants our lives to look like.  He wants our lives to be eye catching, and sweet aromas of Him so that we point others to Him.  He carefully plants things in our lives here and there.  Sometimes He plants more, sometimes less, all based on the result He is wanting in that season.  And if He knows something can be better, He prunes.  Pruning might hurt, it might include suffering — He might ask a lot to be given up.  He might have to cut out things that shouldn’t be in our lives.  He might even prune areas that look good already so that in a while more growth and beauty appears.  And sometimes He prunes again just when you thought He was done for a while!  He is The Master Gardener!  His hand and work in our lives to prune us will make us better –if we yield ourselves under His perfect (sovereign) green thumb over the garden of our lives!

Precious Sisters — let’s see what God is doing this season in our lives! Is He pruning?  Is He watering and fertilizing?  He knows just what is needed, and what is not, to produce the best crop in each of us.  His goal is that we would showcase Him! And just like these flowers — we might not see the growth until later!

Brad and I like to walk down along some gardens in St. Cloud. ( The Munsinger-Clemens Gardens.  We highly recommend this little day trip!)  We’ve gone several times this Spring and Summer, more so than other years –just to get out.  We marvel at how much time and effort is put into those gardens.  We delight in all we see and smell — which changes throughout the season.  We talk of how that beautiful place pales in comparison to what Heaven will be like.

Ladies, God wants our lives to be beautiful–just as the most wonderful garden.  He wants our lives to showcase Him and His glory.  He cuts, He prunes, He weeds, He waters, He fertilizes, He plants new or different things.  And then He repeats this over, and over, and over with such love and precision.  Oh Ladies — press on, even through the pruning of your life!

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