Immediately following Easter, Karen and I had a small window of opportunity to get our gardens ready. The days were warm, and we finally had some daylight after office hours. Bulbs were pushing up but not yet in bloom, and the ornamental pear trees (the early glories of our small yard) were beginning to blossom.
When Karen and I moved into our house in Winfield, there was a back-yard deck/porch with some evergreens around it, and not another plant in the back lawn. Grass from fence to fence to fence, and a swing-set. It was pretty sparse, and for a couple of country kids who enjoy a garden, very unsatisfying. Our first summer in this home, this started to change, and now we have gardens rimming the back yard, and two maturing trees – one of them in glorious bloom the first week of Easter. This is our 14th year here, and if we didn’t have pictures of the early years, even we wouldn’t believe how much the place has changed.
That week following Easter, we got to work weeding, cleaning, and mulching the gardens. Much as wanted to sit and relax, those hours that week were given to work in the gardens. Cleaning, weeding, and mulching had to precede sitting and enjoying them. And we were in a race against nature’s clock – trying to stay ahead of the inexorable emergence of the succession of perennials. So we rushed home after office hours, to get the last couple of daylight hours in our garden. Dinner followed.
One just can’t take a garden for granted! They are a lot of work, and they operate on a time-table that we can’t control. As I spread a lot of mulch, I thought about the care, feeding, and protection of music ministry. We just can’t take it for granted, that our work will thrive, weed-free from season to season. We don’t control the time-table of ministry, and Sundays (like perennial plants) arrive whether we are prepared or not! So with our musicians we work at preparing the soil, clearing out the stubborn old weeds, and protecting against their reemergence. And cooperating with God in the results – for he gives the growth, and it is his beauty on display.