Saturday, July 20, 2013

Allegory of the Olive Tree

I just was taught something and experienced the Allegory of the Olive Tree First Hand. (Jacob 5)
I have a little Mugo Pine that I planted in my garden this spring. I nourished it and watered it, mulched it and took great care of it for several months. At some point I thought to myself, and given all the rain that we had been receiving, that my little plant was well established. Well mid-summer brought us a week of scorching hot days. I didn’t give any thought to my Mugo Pine for an entire week. In fact at the beginning of the week I noticed it and saw its beautiful shape, perfectly formed, lush green needles, it looked to be the picture of health. So beautiful with its natural shape that nature gave it.
Well at the end of the week I went out to look at my garden. I was peering here and there, walking along the paths when suddenly I came across my Mugo. I stopped abruptly and gave a gasp out loud and cried, “Oh no!” Most of the needles were brown on top, barely a green in sight. The beautiful form that I had just admired at the beginning of the week was ruined. I took off in a run, threw a bucket under the hose and filled it to the brim and lugged it to my pine. I gave it several long drinks of water, but I knew it would be no good. I would have to cut off the dead brown needles, it would probably survive if I gave it careful care from today and if the rains come again, but it would be deformed and ugly.
I went back into the house and confessed to my husband what happened and then started to unload the dishwasher. As I worked I felt more and more anger at myself, foolishness and laziness. I started to mourn the pine and thinking that this was somewhat silly. It is just a plant after all, not one of my children. A thought occurred to me, what if my children turned brown from the heat like a plant? So in my anger and annoyance at myself, I found I was starting to cry. I thought why am I crying? Any gardener knows how long it takes to grow a plant, how much patience it takes to watch something grow from a little seed or transplant, how delicate they are. I said to myself, “It grieveth me that I should lose this little tree.” And instantly I remembered the words of the Savior from the Allegory of the Olive Tree.
I started to cry even more as I realized the lesson the Savior was trying to teach me, if I learned it the sacrifice of the little Mugo Pine would be worth it. I knew how the Savior felt as he cried those words, “It grieveth me that I should lose this tree.” Over and over again he cried it as he tried to save his vineyard. Digging about and dunging his trees and pruning them. He moved them to better ground and grafted them in to healthier trees. The Master of the vineyard did all that he could to save the trees. I know from study of this allegory that he is referring to the scattering and gathering of the children of Israel. But as a mother I felt it apply to my life.
I ran to the bathroom so not to let my husband see that I was crying over a plant, but now I knew that I was crying because my Savior loves me.  I felt his love over losing even just The One. And as a mother I knew this could apply to my children, I may not see the brown burns on the outside because the damage of neglect goes unseen until it is too late. This week our darling Jillian crumpled in tears at bedtime over things that little girls need not worry about. I do recall that I went through something like that as a little girl. Perhaps with more nourishing and care it could have been avoided.

I felt humbled by this experience that the spirit taught me from the sacrifice of my little pine.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lots of Rain!

So this past month of June we have been getting little shower after shower. For a grand total of five inches! It is probably my fault because I have been praying for rain all summer long so I would not have to water my garden. Needless to say the mosquitoes are horrible! We are finally having a respite from the rain with a lovely week of 90 degrees highs! I mean seriously, it only drops down to 80 degrees at night.
Well lets see, what have I been harvesting in my veggie patch? From only two young blueberry bushes we would get about two cups of berries every other day. They are on the way out, but I have one bush that is just starting to ripen, so these guys keep me picking in the garden all summer long!
Getting plenty of summer squash with a ton on the vine waiting to get bigger. Watch out, I left them for three days and ended up with a couple of behemoths! Same with the zucchini. I picked one today that I could not lift up with one hand, the diameter was too large for my little paws. I like to use my zucchini in chocolate zucchini cake. I fry the squash in a pan with lots of butter and pepper.
I planted pole beans again this year. I only gave them a five foot trellis to climb up, well, I think they are about ten feet tall, they just climb to the top and then fall to the ground and keep growing. I am just starting to harvest the beans.
Very excited that I have three cantaloupes. One is growing in mid air. They are starting to crawl up the trellis with the green beans! Sadly, I can never get my watermelon to do anything and my pumpkin vines are dying.
The raspberries I transplanted in the spring are making their comeback. They have beautiful, new green foliage. They should make lot of berries next year.
My flower gardens seem kind of boring right now. Just Purple Coneflowers, Yellow Coneflowers and Russian Sage as the stars right now. Next year I need to add some white daisies.
We did a couple things with some random pavers I picked up from a friend. My husband made a 4 by 8 foot patio for his grill.
 I extended the paved exit off out our sun-room by three feet.

I used a bunch of cinder blocks from around my veggie patch and raised my strawberry pots off the ground,(I hate stooping to pick them). I bricked around my herbs in my herb patch with some zigzagged pavers also in the pile I received. (It was two truck loads of pavers)
So I have been busy. I thank the rain and cooler weather this June for my activity in the gardens. Usually I hit hibernation mode before now. Hopefully we can be this blessed July and August.


Hosta close up

I extended the mower strip along my front bed with bricks.

Ornamental grass and Russian Sage

Weird caterpillar on Purple coneflower

Thread-leaf coreopis

section of my herb garden

zucchini, which is twice this size now

Banana peppers, My husband harvested and made some sort of pickled thing that he canned

Squash plant just starting to produce

volunteer potato

pole beans, which look even crazier now.

Bee balm

Two types of day lilies

This one is a double day lily

Flock of goose neck loose strife