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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


This writing comes from September and right at the end of the gardening season. Believe it or not, I did not plant marigolds this year! The only two flowers I normally plant in and around my garden are zinnias and marigolds, mostly because they are easy to grow, I enjoy the colors and can save the seed they both produce for the next year. The zinnias were planted and the colors had been great all summer.

The zinnias are multi-colored and originated from a gift pack of seed from years ago. The marigolds I plant are a rich, golden color and I have planted them for so long that I don’t even remember where the original seed came from.

The marigolds were usually inter-planted with the tomato plants, supposedly because the pungent odor confuses the bad bugs. If it had any effect on the bugs, it was not dramatic enough to be readily proven in my mind and experience. Then at least one source I read mentioned that the flowers had no effect at all on bugs. Whether or not they did any good in respect to my veggies, they added much color to a sometimes drab looking garden.

So why did they not get planted? Because good intentions do not plant anything – I intended to plant them right after the tomatoes were put in but it didn’t get done. With so much to do in the garden, they just got forgotten. When they were remembered, it was too late for proper planting – or so I thought.

A tiny regret nipped at my consciousness a few times but otherwise I had managed to do without one of my favorite flowers. I tried to pass it off my saying to myself that they couldn’t be eaten anyway – at least they don’t seem to suit my taste. Surprisingly enough, there is one variety of marigolds that produces an edible flower – according to my research. I’ll have to think about that for a while and will even have to talk to someone that has eaten this delicacy – and lived through it!

Almost the entire garden is gone at this writing, with the exception of the zinnias and some of the okra. The bed that was planted with yellow crookneck squash was the first to go and in their stead a variety of weeds and grasses have sprouted and grown into an intertwined mess. These are usually allowed to grow until the end of the season as the urgency of their removal passed with the death of the squash plants.

A “real” gardener would have already removed these rampant growths but my haphazard, slaphappy methods do not get them uprooted. I have already started to rip out these unwanted plants on one of the beds but even that one is not completed.

It was along about that time, as I was cutting the yard, that I noticed one small, yellow flower in the midst of the weeds just outside the border of the garden. On closer inspection I realized that it was a marigold that had come up on its own from last year’s discarded seed. I mowed around it because it was having a tough enough time just trying to grow in all those weeds – plus I usually pull for the underdog anyway.

Mowing again about a week later, in preparation for going out of town, I noticed several plants growing in the first six to eight feet of the used-to-be squash row and identified them as marigolds that had yet to bloom. Arriving back home at night a few days later it was too dark to notice, but at the light of day I gazed out my kitchen window at no less than fifty blooms on fifteen to twenty plants.

Some seed had been accidentally scattered there during last year’s clean-up operations. The flowers had come up late and had to compete with the vicious weeds for their place in the sun. Hopefully I will have some time to clean out their competition so they can be free to really show off their God-given beauty.

This whole experience has the effect of telling me that the beauty of the Christ controlled life can shine forth as a witness even in our confused and 'weedy' surroundings. God is still in control of our world!!! ec


Blogger Cuppa said...

Volunteer plants are great. From a seed blown in form somewhere, we had a milkweed take root this year. One year, my mother had a pansy grow out front, near the street, almost in cement. That was remarkable.

12/06/2005 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Opps that was me, not Cuppa.

12/06/2005 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

Thanks for the words and visit, whoever you were. :) :) :) :) And thanks for the chuckle, I can so relate to being human. :) ec

12/06/2005 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Bonita said...

I've grown so many plants, that now it is the volunteers that I pay attention to, marveling that they sprouted as a surprise. I continue to be astounded at the mercy and abundance of God in nature.

12/06/2005 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

bonita - Sometimes I just walk around the yard, checking all the varieties of plants, even weeds, that grow everywhere. It has been said that nature abhors a vacuum, but it was God that set the system up and I am always amazed by it. ec

12/06/2005 10:43:00 PM  
Blogger jay are said...

nature is amazing and there are endless lessons in it if we only look and listen.....
I, too, have discovered that intentions don't plant anything. There's been a patch of ground in my backyard that has been going to be a garden for so long. But I'm not going to give up yet. There's still this coming never know when an intention just might surprise you and become an action (which can be good or bad!)

12/07/2005 12:25:00 AM  
Blogger Jayleigh said...

Amen, my Friend!

Thanks for sharing your beautiful story and taking me back to days and nights above 32 degreed and NOT including snow.


12/07/2005 02:57:00 AM  
Blogger MilkMaid said...

Volunteers are the best. Free for you and usually strong strong plants.

I've missed my garden the last few years. It's on the very very tip top of my to do list for this spring.

12/07/2005 07:15:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

jayleigh - Thanks for the kind words. We seldom get snow here, about once every three years or so, even then it hardly spends the day with us. We are blessed in other ways though.

milkmaid - They are strong because they seem to have more determination to produce something, be it flowers or veggies. Look at me, putting human emotions on plants. :) Even though it's work, I really enjoy my garden.

12/07/2005 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

It all sounds wonderful. The end of September is the beginning of gardening season here, which still seems so strange to me. No frost at all during the winter, but in summer it's far too hot for most plants. I haven't seen zinnias here, not sure if they'd grow.

12/08/2005 10:56:00 AM  

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