Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Bloom Where You’re Planted

In my constant search for new forms of creative expression, I took up gardening last spring.
(NB: I refuse to admit that “gardening” means I’m becoming domesticated. I’m not a Lands End-wearing, Tupperware-collecting Stepford wife… I’m just a nutty gal who dabbles.)
Anyway, I was interested to see if I had a green thumb. My roommate Meagan and I had a corn plant in college. We named him Cornelius. He died over Christmas break when I left him out on the balcony and he turned into a gelatinous blob of gray goop after a freeze. All of this to say, my hopes weren’t high that I would be the next blue-ribbon rose grower.

Nevertheless, I carefully planned my garden, did my research on Texas hardy perennials (NOT annuals… I refuse to start from scratch every year!), and planted everything following the directions exactly. I opted to go with purples, pinks and blues. I had to deal with a nasty little yellow lantana plant that was already there when I started. It was the only flowering plant existing at the house when we bought it.

Anyway, my garden was pretty awesome for a few months, and I was encouraged. I planted a lot from seed and I was eager to see my photosynthetic babies pop up over the soil. I also planted sunflowers along all of the fences in our backyard, but they met a sad fate at the sharp blades of Brad’s lawnmower… there were tears (mine).

BUT THEN. Despite all my care and keeping. The lantana plant grew to have tendrils SIX FEET LONG, and it covered up and choked out all of my plants, except a purple sage, a hymenocallis Brad gave me (this bulb could withstand ANYTHING) and my basil. I was SO MAD.

So two weekends ago I went out and cut the Lantana to the ground. I filled two trash bags with the carcasses, then sprayed Round Up all over the open wounds. That plant WILL die.
(NB: In my research to find the best way to kill this diabolical plant, beloved for its heat-hardiness and appearing in landscapes all over Texas, I discovered that lantana is considered a noxious weed in many parts of the world. You can be fined thousands of dollars for growing it in Australia! It’s harmful to the ecology.)

I mentioned that the purple sage, bulb and basil escaped the evil clutches of the lantana. I neglected to write that there was also a super tall plant that sprung up in my garden and resembled bamboo because of its thick, straight stalk – but it had these funny, frizzy leaves. I thought it was probably a strange weed, but I didn’t pull it because I was intrigued by its height.

I walked out this morning and it had BLOOMED over the weekend! I had no idea this was a flowering plant! Look at its amazing pinky-purple daisy blooms!
I'm including a photo of it next to Brad's ginormous truck too, so that you can have an idea of its unusual height. So tall!

The only thing I can think of as far as its origin is that I had a packet of wildflower seeds I bought in Ireland a couple of years ago and scattered them early this spring. This has to be the lone remnant from the packet.

It may sound cheesy, but that this sweet, vibrant daisy survived the hardship the lantana brought it reminded me of God’s goodness and grace in the midst of adversity. We really have the ability to thrive in difficulty because of the hope we have in Christ Jesus and his ability to carry us through. My mom has always encouraged me to “bloom where I’m planted,” meaning that no matter what situation I’m plopped into, I have the choice to become the best “whatever” I can be, and bring glory to God.

What a precious reminder that little flower was to me today!

Jeremiah 17:7-8
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.


Meagan said...

O Cornelius, how I miss thee... Actually, I had forgotten about this pet, but it made me smile when I read your post! :) Thanks for the encouraging story, I can guarantee that you have a greener thumb than me! :) Love you!!

Abby said...

Aww I love your escapades with plants. I'm determined to get and keep some herbal plants alive... but I have a black thumb and I haven't been successful at caring for any type of greenery since i moved her. Good luck with your garden! And thank the Lord for beautiful wildflowers. :-)

Stephanie said...

Funny you should post that verse, Kinge-y. I just looked it up because of the card you gave me at a bridesmaid gift. You had it referenced. What a soothing verse of encouragement- the Lord will sprout us up where we are.

On another note, I find your hatred towards Lantana HILARIOUS! My mother planted that all OVER the house I grew up in. It was our primary landscaping feature. How ironic that you should hate it so.

I do love that stalk-y pink friend that bloomed. I hope it spreads!

Can't wait to see you- TOMORROW!!!!

Erin said...

Hi Katie! I found your blog from my sister Alison's blog...I love your posts! You are so introspective and honest, very refreshing!
Kudos on your dabbling in can be challenging especially in the Texas climate!