Monday, March 26, 2012

Tending Your Garden - Don't Plant That!

I am the true vine, and my father is the gardener. (John 15:1)

I am not a gardner. No green thumb here. But I love gardens overflowing with colorful flowers in all shapes and sizes. Thank goodness for my mother who not only possess the ability to grow anything on earth, but also the knowledge. It’s her “thing”.

Which is why years ago when Hubby and I bought our house we called her. She gave me books with all kinds of information in them, but I found I learned the best when I spoke directly with her. I’d study and then take the information to her and ask if the flowers I was looking at would indeed do well where I wanted to plant them. Mom went over my picks and then took me to the greenhouse. There we selected the ones that would work well, and she inserted others in place of ones I really shouldn’t use. She helped me create a flower bed in my front and side yard that flourished—no green thumb needed here because I borrowed hers.

After I watched it all grow I gained some confidence and decided to tackle a small patch along the side of my house by myself. I consulted the books Mom gave me but didn’t find anything I really liked, so I headed to the greenhouse—all alone. I had everything under control. I knew the area I wanted was mostly shaded, so I’d simply find that section and buy a few things I liked. I immediately fell in love with a gorgeous groundcover called Lamium. It even produced flowers! Yeah! Oh, and it was on sale. Ha. Mom would be so proud.

I brought it home with no time left that weekend to plant it. I left it in its plastic container right in the spot I wanted to grow it. Two weeks later it still wasn’t planted, and Mom was coming over to see the grandkids. I could not wait to show her the amazing stuff I’d found.

Well. She didn’t exactly have the reaction I expected. I took her around the side of the house and she stopped. “Do not plant that!”

Turns out Lamium—though beautiful—is a weed. A weed that will dig its roots in, seed itself, and spread over your entire garden in the blink of an eye. Her neighbor once planted a small patch of it in her yard, and it not only took over the entire area but now has wound its way through the woods, jumped a concrete path, and made its home in my mom’s gardens.


Makes you think.

Or at least it did me as I sat outside weeding this morning.

See, that was a year ago. I never planted the Lamium, but it had spent two weeks in a plastic pot in my yard. Enough time to dig in some roots. All because I thought I knew what I was doing and didn’t consult my gardener. I took what the greenhouse offered because it looked pretty, and now it continues to make a mess in my yard.

You see where I’m going, don’t you?

There are a lot of not so nice things out there in the world masquerading as useful, beautiful, or even safe. They are offered to us on a daily basis. Some things might even be good—but they can still make a mess in our lives if they aren’t intended for us. Rather than trusting ourselves, (or the local greenhouse) we need to consult our Gardener. Ask Him if it’s what He wants planted in our lives, because if we open the door to these things without consulting Him first, they may just lay down roots that we have to deal with for years to come.
Bottom line? Don't allow this world to sell you the wrong things--no matter how pretty or useful they may look. Stay rooted in Christ. Seek Him. He’s knows what you need in your life. Let Him show you. are your flower beds looking?


  1. Great post, Susan! Again, love the connections that you make. : )

    The end of your post makes me think of making idols, even of things that are so-called "good." If it distracts us from Him, and putting Him first in our lives, then we're going to need to do some "pruning."

    In the world of real planting, I don't have a green thumb either. Hubby is the gardener, and I watch him. Today he planted spearmint, Roma tomatoes, and a Jalapeno plant. Hopefully he'll be planting flowers next weekend.

    Have a blessed week, Susan!

  2. Completely agree, Michelle. I find satan often tries to distract us with 'good' things. We need to hold out for the Best Thing:)

    I would love a veggie garden! I love fresh herbs and sometimes plant those on my deck. Tried tomatoes once...that didn't work so well. But I think I may try it again this year.

  3. The wily one targets us with those everyday decisions that we think we can make on our own, doesn't he? One little pretty weed at a time.

    Awesome post, Susan! Battle those weeds!

  4. Did some weed therapy in my garden yesterday...:)
    Thanks for sharing, dear friend. A good connection and something to think about daily in our choices we make.

  5. This is so good, Susan! A perfect analogy. I brought home a packet of Heather seeds from Scotland thinking it'd be so beautiful to grow until someone warned me of the same thing. :)

    You're so right - the best Gardener ever is always, always the one to turn to.

  6. Dora - yeah, why do those weeds have to be so pretty sometimes? I'm about to spread weed killer:)

    Joc - why you're welcome, friend:)Your garden always looks great! How are the herbs coming? Ya know, they'll go really well with lamb:)

    Melissa -Oh, Heather! I never knew about that one, but I love it all in a field. I would have thrown heaps of the seeds out. See, I am so not a gardener!

  7. Ummm, like they need some weeding. lol

    Great post!

  8. They're looking bare right now, but should be ready to pop soon. I have lamium in my bed out back. I just trim is back every year without any problems. Maybe because it doesn't get a lot of sun, I haven't found it uncontrollable. :)

  9. Ah, spearmint can spread as fast as lamium....try growing it in a large pot or contained area. You can sink the pot into the ground come autum to keep it from freezing.
    Lamium in my area goes berserk. Just a few plants and afew years and it is everywhere, out in the woods and in all my gardens....even growing in the ashpalt paths. As Susan says....just like a little sin can grow into every part of your life before you know it.
    From Susan's Mom