15 Minutes

It’s become customary around 2:00 PM to be outside watering plants. My Dad used to say, “It’s the hottest part of the day”, but I’m beginning to embrace the heat. It’s not humid at that time, but it is hot.

As I was out there today, hose in hand with the spray nozzle attached, I noticed the sky getting dark, and clouds rolling in. I had worked my way around the yard and was spraying the last flower bed when I heard the thunder. Dropping the hose, because the nozzle is stainless steel, I rallied the dogs and we went inside.

It was funny but I couldn’t help thinking, if I’d waited 15 minutes before doing the watering myself, I would’ve seen there was a better plan.

Standing at the window, watching a steady rain drench everything I had just watered, the 50 foot watering hose lying in the rain seemed small. I whispered, “I’m sorry I ran out in front of you again.” That has happened on numerous occasions, and it’s a continual education discerning the difference between God’s timing and mine.

Then I felt Him smile and say, “Hey Barb. It was only 15 minutes. You’re doing better.”

Make the Cut

This year my collection of gardening tools has grown. There is a tool for every task, and I’m learning what tool’s I need. I told the clerk at the hardware store, “I want to cut things”, and she said, “How big of a cut do you want to make Barb?” Here’s what I brought home.

Best insect repellent to wear while gardening, Mrs. Murphy’s.

I’m equipped to handle big jobs and small jobs, but not much in between. The Fiskars Micro-tip pruner are perfect for snipping overgrowth from the top of plants. The needle nose is precise, but the tiniest tools can cause bloodshed. It comes with a safety cover which is smart to use, or we opt to live a life of band aides.

We have a vine that returns every year. No matter the winter it endures, which this year was snow and ice, it comes back. My daughter loves this vine, so I can’t remove it completely, but I do keep it in check, or it’ll take over. I have these wicker lanterns hanging throughout the yard and the vine saw it as an opportunity to further it’s growth.

At first I thought, ‘That’s cool’, but after all the rain we had you could barely see the lantern. I took the Fiskars and trimmed it back, but left some resting on top. For now it adds to the beauty of the lantern, but time will tell if it adds beauty or too much weight.

Looking down at the path below, the vine was crawling away from the fence and creeping across the path. I try to be mindful of what sneaks in along the path, but I’ll let it grow for now. If it wants to cross the path, that’s fine, but we want to keep the path in sight.

What began as a pleasant addition to our lives, shouldn’t become added weight. Pay attention my darling and you’ll know when it’s time to make the cut.

Strength and Beauty

One of my daughter’s favorite things in our yard is something I didn’t plant. It was here when we moved in, and it survived this year’s snow and ice storm. I began pampering it in March, and have paid attention to it along with all the other plants and shrubs. It bloomed the first of June, but the blooms are now fading.

It’s a young Crepe Myrtle, and I’m thrilled it bloomed this year. Being young it’s resilient, and hasn’t stood here long enough to toughen up, but it will.

It was early morning and the rain had stopped leaving it partly cloudy. The sun was trying it’s best to break through and claim the day. I headed out the door for a walk through the neighborhood, letting my feet lead the way with no certain route in mind.

I turned on one of my favorite streets, and luckily had my phone in my pocket to capture this picture. As I stood there in awe, I wondered how long this Crepe Myrtle has been standing here. It’s a tree that calls for you to sit a spell and listen for it’s stories.

After taking this photo, I continued my walk and it began to rain. It wasn’t heavy, just a fine mist that felt good to my skin. I wondered how much rain that Crepe Myrtle has stood through. My guess would be enough to reach it’s roots, because that’s what it takes to grow in strength and beauty.

Breathtaking

I’ve been caring for it since March.

My philosophy while caring for flowers is: “You’re either gonna thrive or die.” I shower them with love, and a lot of them have been loved to death.

This one plant in particular is a Hibiscus, which is relatively easy to grow. When purchased, it wasn’t in bloom, but the picture on the tag showed what it was going to look like in bloom. Let me just go ahead and say, the photo didn’t do it justice. It has been a while since the purchase, so I had forgotten what color it was, but remembered it was unique, and one I haven’t seen before.

It would grow a bud and look like it was going to bloom, but the bud would fall to the ground. It would just drop off thanks to some type of insect eating it from the inside, but I just kept giving it the same treatment as everything else in the yard. Everyday I’d look at it and see buds, but wonder if it was going to bloom.

It was just a normal morning in the yard, hose in hand with my back to the Hibiscus. I was making my way around to it, when I saw one of the buds had opened into a bloom and gasped at the sight of it!

It was so much more than I imagined that it took my breath away. That’s the kind of life He has planned for us lovelies. Breathtaking.