Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Why I Garden
I have a corner garden in my backyard, a perennial garden complete with a kissing arbor and a bird bath. In the deepest corner of this garden I planted Hollyhocks they are tall and old fashioned and seemed like a good fit aesthetically and spiritually. Yes, I feel that gardening is a spiritual hobby at least when I'm not cursing weeds. So back to my story..I planted Hollyhocks they grew a little but never bloomed. Now, perennials are supposed to come back every year and every year something came up where the hollyhocks were supposed to grow, I would leave it for a few weeks thinking it might be Hollyhocks but finally realizing it was a weed I would pull the leaves and stems off.
This year my hardy Hollyhock/weed began to grow, I left it the traditional few weeks then determined to take it out once and for all. I prepared myself with a shovel and weed killer I would remove this cursed weed and plant the Hollyhocks I had always planned on, this would be the year for the garden of my dreams. I just couldn't do it, little thoughts came into my head; nothing else seems to grow in this corner, maybe I have been hasty over the past years and it was a flower that kept trying to grow. I guess somewhere inside I felt a sense of identity with this plant who kept coming back year after year despite my lame efforts to get rid of it. Eventually I came to the conclusion that, because of its tenacity, this plant had earned a season of full growth in my garden .
I left it, it did well for a while then came down with a terrible case of aphids. Again I thought about getting rid of it; but, all the events of the last few weeks unfolded and it kept growing. It has now grown big enough to perfectly fill it's space in the garden it is the right height and circumference it is also big enough to identify. My weed is a Burr, that's right burrs, the sticky, poky things that get in your socks or fur when you're out walking in the wilds. The things that if stuck under a horses saddle will dig in and irritate until the poor animal goes crazy, bucking and fighting to stop the pain.
I'm glad I let it grow, in another day or so it will be covered in beautiful purple flowers, to the unaware eye my Burr plant will look like part of a well planned garden. I guess in God's landscaping it is. We go through life trying to pull out our perceived weaknesses, occasionally we even get the shovel and weed killer out and go to town on ourselves. Sometimes we need to just sit back, let the garden grow, trust in ourselves and God. After all who said Burrs were weeds? A horse may never know how strong it is until it dislodges a saddle with a burr under it.