A Piece of My Day

6.21.11 – Learning from the garden…

Posted on: Tuesday, 21 June 2011


The flower above is a passion flower from our garden. Every time someone sees one of these unique blossoms, their comment is usually along the lines of, “What a beautiful and unusual flower!” This flower is on a vine which grows along a fenceline we share with our next-door neighbor. He recently told me that his mother, on a recent visit, shared that she loves the flower on this vine so much, she’s thinking of putting one in at her own house.

My dear neighbor’s mother: Proceed with caution!

This flower is attached to the most unruly vine you’ll ever see. The thing takes over everything around it if I’m not careful. Last summer, I looked out and realized – with horror – that it had grown over the top of a nearby crepe myrtle tree, so that the foliage I was seeing on the tree was mostly the vine’s! It’s a good thing our neighbor likes having the vine on our fence, because soon, it will take the whole thing over, one squiggly little tentacle at a time.

Yesterday, I attacked one of our passion vines with a passion of my own, along with some hedge trimmers and garden shears. The bees were grumpy as I hacked and pulled away, but the darn thing was setting down new roots at the base of the afore-mentioned crepe myrtle (agh!) and was beginning to cover a nearby cypress – its latest conquest. As much as I hate cutting out plant life, sometimes, for the good of the garden, it must happen. An unruly plant is one thing – an invasive one is quite another.  And so now, my new goal is to move one of the darn things (the tree-eater) to a part of the garden where it can grow bigger, where it can take over a bit more, and where it won’t have to be monitored quite so closely.

I have a personal calendar on which I keep track of self-care – times when I exercise, for instance, or the Bible readings I complete each day. Today, I was looking over the last two weeks and realizing that I’ve been able to reclaim some growing space for myself again – much like the growing space I’ve recently claimed for the trees in our garden. The last month – the vines of life have become invasive, and so in the last two weeks, I’ve cut them back (again!), or I’ve moved them altogether. It is an interesting thing to look at one’s calendar and see patterns emerge. Unruly patterns are one thing – invasive ones are quite another.

Isn’t it great what we can learn from one beautiful flower on one unruly vine?

Peace be upon your evening,



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