Rather than highway robbery it is more aptly coined garden thievery. The loss not as dramatic as my mother’s, whose prized heritage peonies were dug up and divided mid-day by plantlifters out on a country drive, is in my garden of few blooms, most traumatic.
A new homemaker, uncertain at what height to set my expectations of my gardening, I doubted I possessed the interest or genes necessary for compatible gardening conditions, and especially not for a beach lost in a pine forest, now my home in cottage country. But after winter’s heap of snow melted from our yard on schedule, the last of the neighbourhood, I needed a reason to be outdoors. And where I lack gardening interest and genes, an interest and eye for design tolerated our barren property for a mere few spring weeks before the need for curb appeal compelled me to experiment.
A few plant sale acquisitions now huddle together in little plots across the front yard. The lilac bush bloomed profusely in early summer, blue sage has been offering colour all season, and yarrow is giving a vibrant show of pink at present. What was labeled rudbeckia is blooming as obedient. Sparse though the collection is, they are my pride and joy. Perhaps I possess the necessary genes after all. Certainly I have developed the interest. Sand, acid, and deer have not defeated me, only the garden phlox. And it has battled valiantly. It has not been bothered by dry sand and an acidic environment. Its buds however have been a midnight snack for some creature.
Early in the season I noticed a few nipped stems on the plant. The flowerbed site is too sheltered for them to have just broken in a breeze. After an application of homemade repellent discovered in a magazine, I watched as the plant grew, maturing beyond its previous development. The plucked stems motivated full foliage growth and that garden phlox is lush and healthy. Eventually a delightful big bud sent greetings from the top of the plant. Smugly I anticipated its unveiling. The deer had not touched their favourite: hostas lining the front window; therefore the phlox was destined to bloom. Inevitably, the dry summer welcomed rain, washing away pest deterrent. To my dismay all that remained of the garden phlox bloom one morning, was a nipped stem. Despite no noticeable tracks nearby, I blame the deer which have yet to be glimpsed on our property.
With summer moving quickly toward autumn, I resigned to wait until next year for garden phlox blooms, sure this is all valuable lessons for a beginner to hasten my gardening expertise. Nevertheless I felt mocked. I bent down to inspect the damage, reached out and touched the rough stem. Suddenly it is I rooted fast in earth, looking up at my Lord, soul gardener. His eyes survey me knowingly. In the bushes behind me I hear shuffling and hasty gulps from envy’s insecurities, doubt’s anxieties, and bitterness’ mistrust; soul thieves. With expectation I wait for Him to apply some pest repellent. Heart raw, brokenness exposed, weary from fighting thieves alone in dark, I whisper, “I want to bloom for you.” In His gaze I find assurance, the buds will return.
And to my amazement they do. That one nipped bud has been replaced by three small hopeful buds braving the Sept chill. I rally myself to diligent gardening for the sake of these garden phlox buds, thankful that the tentative, hopeful blooms of my soul are in the care of One with an eternity of soul gardening experience. Turned to Him, my soul will bloom for a season. And as the destinies of these garden phlox buds unfold, I dream of permanent blooms year round, joy spilling into beauty, no longer rooted in sin scorched earth, soul fed by His glory, safe to bloom where Majesty has forever repelled all thieves. Sigh.
------------------------------------------------------ Scripture describes The Eternal One and His work. Nature echos His words that called it to existence. Humanity exhales His breath that awakened its soul. These, the sighs of eternity, remnants of glory, hints of truth, Invite us to recognize, receive, and reciprocate Redemption through the Resurrected Word of Life. Are you compelled to whisper life to someone today? I'd be honoured to join you with an eternal sigh greeting card now available to you here..