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Horticulture Lessons
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Recently, I was showing Monica, a friend of mine, how to deadhead flowers. As we stood on the patio off my city apartment, she found it interesting to discover that by pinching off the spent blooms of my hanging baskets, that the plant would produce larger and more abundant flowers. “I never knew that. No wonder your plants are so beautiful,” she exclaimed, “and it’s so easy and simple.”

“Yes, it is,” I answered. However, I told her that pruning can sometimes seem a painful thing to do because frequently the plant needs more than a cursory pruning of the spent blooms but a more compete pruning. Often, a plant grows too full and it needs to be cut away to allow more sunlight to get to its middle, otherwise its health may suffer. Other times, pruning is necessary to shape a plant for a more attractive appearance. The fanciest shaping being topiary, where a plant resembles an animal or object. That pruning is not for the plant’s health but for a special kind of beauty. Topiary is an art unto itself.

Timing is also important. Pruning performed at the wrong time can stifle a plants growth, making it spindly or may even kill it. As gardeners, we must show mercy and love to our plants, only pruning for the right reasons.


I am so glad that Jesus loves me enough to prune me when I need it. When unpleasant occurrences happen, I wonder, sometimes through tears, “Why did God allow that?” I usually learn quickly that it was to prune me, so that I can blossom better. He wants me to be a beautiful bloom in His garden. I am aware that God loves me and wants only my best, so even though it’s painful I appreciate His pruning. Thus, even when I face adversity, I realize that it is a form of pruning for me, and I always come out of it a better plant to bloom in my little corner of the world.

However, in the end all flowers die. Only in heaven and the earth-made-new will there be eternal-blooming flowers. As it reads in Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stand forever." Withering grasses and falling petals are the way of a sinful world. Yet even if I never saw a flower again, the fact that God’s word stands forever is good enough for me.

Heaven promises us foreverness of all that is beautiful. Another friend, Barbie, tells me that she is looking forward to that. She earned a degree in horticulture and she knows her stuff, so flowers that never fade will be a very special treat for her. I look forward to those eternal blooms. How about you?

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By Betty Kossick. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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