What Kind of Fruit?

The fruit trees are blooming on our rural one acre.
Blushing peach tree blooms, alabaster plum tree flowers, and still-tight apple buds. 
It doesn't matter how desperate the news, 
spring in Kentucky is settling in and getting comfy.

 My Youngest planted these trees a few years ago. 
They're barely tended, receiving only a hard pruning now and then. 
 No fertilizer. 
No pest control measures. 
No staking or mulching.
And yet ... they bear fruit anyway. 

But not the sort of fruit anyone looks forward to enjoying. 
Tiny and shriveled, what survives the late-season frosts 
bears the gnawing of every critter that passes through our backyard retreat.

With the rest of the world, I'm examining the fruit my life is bearing.
In impossible-to-imagine pandemic days, will I yield fruit gnawed by fear and anxiety, 
frost-bitten with affliction, neglect-shriveled knobs?
I pray not. 

Will you, with me, work alongside the Master Gardener to 
stake what's leaning and allow the pruning of what's useless?
 Are we willing to stand guard against enemies of anxiety and 
despair, and instead, pour on the fertilizing energies of gratitude and generosity?
I pray so.

Together, we can bear fruit that will bring delight instead of disappointment. 
Read more about spiritual fruit here
Explore a fascinating innovation in fruit trees here.


At First Glance

A visitor to my Kentucky acre might believe this curly willow to be dead. 
At first glance, that's understandable. 
"Just cut that down and make room for something new," 
my visitor might say and donate a casual kick. 

But, the gardener knows better than any visitor. 

Time and attention have been invested in this tree—hours of staking, 
pruning, and watering. The considerate gardener knows that 
it's a mistake to hoist or chop in haste. 

What's true in the garden also proves trustworthy in the greater arenas of life:

So, wait a while. Slow down and look the other way. 
Sometimes, not every time, but occasionally 
 when you look back, you'll find those longed-for signs of life.


Learn how to root curly willow branches here.  
I just cut a long "whip" and leave it in a bucket or a tall vase of water 
until a decent root ball forms. 


Greenhouse Dreams

In January, the greenhouse sleeps while I dream 
of sturdy basil leaves, fragrant sage, and lemony thyme. 
Pie birds sing praise of kelly-green days just over the horizon of seasons. 

Baskets of pine cones vie for attention, offering their timely 
 gift of sticky, scented sap. They demand recognition as one of 
winter's finest features. 

My greenhouse gnome is the portrait of calm patience, 
both hands folded neatly away–no work today.
His scarlet glass hat sits straight and tight with no hint of yearning for spring. 

But many days find me leaning on potting benches, 
rearranging watering cans, and browsing seed packets–
dreaming my greenhouse dreams.

Hurry, Spring!