Winter was the war they fought. While other perennials were safe underground, my roses, boxwood and lavender bore every assault of ice, snow and cold. The roses died back by half. The boxwood look like a row of startled amputees. At least eighty percent of the lavender was killed.
I got very sweaty and a little sad yesterday as I carried load after load of brush to the chicken coop and then to the ravine. Seven years I’ve been nursing that lavender along, training it to fall over the garden wall just so. My roses finally reached the top and this was the year they’d start traveling sideways along the fence. A decent gardener would rip out those ridiculous shrubs.
Besides, this isn’t my first harsh winter and I know boxwood. By summer’s end it will be lush and out of control once more. Twenty percent of the lavender I had last summer is more than I started out with, and while the flowers are far fewer, the roses have begun to bloom all the same.
Yesterday evening I visited another garden where every color of rose was blooming vibrant, fifty varieties at least. “How do you protect them so well?” I asked. “Oh, we had a terrible winter,” the gardener replied, “so we replaced all but two. These are all brand new roses.”
“That’s cheating,” replied the uncharitable voice inside my head.
“They are beautiful,” I said out loud.
I want my garden to look like his, tailored and finished. But I have two problems. One is that I am lazy and cheap. Ripping out those boxwoods will be backbreaking for Carl and Ben. Secondly, I am inclined to forget that it’s not really a war. It’s just life, life with it’s constant ebb and flow of death and birth. You should see my cranesbill geraniums - freakishly huge! I finally got poppy flowers instead of poppy stems only. The spanish bluebells have never been better and the bee balm is nearly three feet tall. We’ve picked asparagus and eat fresh lettuce anytime we want. The raspberries are coming on strong. Some days I have nine eggs, some days I have sixteen. My marriage and my children are healthy and strong. We have jobs and friends and plenty more for which to be grateful. No doubt there are problems and messes here and there ~ things I’m too lazy or anxious to deal with right now. My life is untailored and unfinished but lush all the same.
I pray you find much contentment in this luscious spring day. ~ peace & prayers, pastor annette