Day 237 – When Plants Reflect Life

A little over a month ago I brought these planters home from the greenhouse. The center plant – a variegated Manihot or tapioca plant – was a new plant for me to use in container plantings and they had seemed to be desperately struggling. After arriving in the greenhouse in pristine condition from Greenleaf Nurseries, they fell under the fascination of my morning watering guy who was determined to make sure this beautiful plant did not dry out. Knowing that all this attention could drown this plants’ hope for success, I instructed the planting crew to go ahead and assemble the inserts [these are the pressed pulp pots that we use to plant many of our container plantings in at the the greenhouse, where we allow them to fill in, then plop them into the designated decorative container] using the somewhat over-watered Manihot. Bottom line – these poor plants went through some rough handling in the replanting process, resulting in them completely defoliating within hours of replanting. And this in turn led to my morning watering guy (even after repeated instruction in correct watering requirements) determined to bring this plant back to life with more water.

So the struggling stick-looking Manihot with their newly planted small plugs of coleus, calibrachoa, and verbena that surrounded them came home with me, to sit on my back wall – to soak up the heat and sunshine, to be given time alone to heal with proper attention needed for healthy survival.

The plugs have flourished, the Manihot is determinedly putting out new leaves though a few bare places remain. Time, and care by those that understand what is needed, help to bring recovery.

This past spring has been a season of abundant good things – graduation from high school for #3 son that came with accolades, awards, and scholarships; wedding plans for #2 son with all the joy and busyness that brings; the enjoyment of having #4 son willingly work alongside me in my vegetable garden and seeing his excitement about growing our own food; a week of enjoying #1 son’s family (including the adorable grandson!) who live so far away; and on top of all that, fulfilling the incredible opportunity for me to write a book on container gardening.
But this past spring also has been a season of hardship – learning that the precious friend of #3 son has Leukemia and watching her battle with the effects of treatment; sending #1 son back to the middle east for his third tour of duty with the Marines; the tragic death of #4 son’s friend and the effect it has had on our school and community; watching the devastation of tornadoes around the country; and even the life-changing accident of my co-worker’s husband, which in its ripple effect, meant more time I needed to be at work and less time to be writing the book that I so eagerly want to finish.

Abundance of good things – like life-giving water that is flooding me with blessing- and the rough trials of life that left me feeling stripped bare: like the Manihot I am finding rejuvenation
in the warmth of Christ’s love, in the knowledge of His faithfulness, in the friendships that walk with me, and even in the caring for others who are hurting.

And we keep on growing.