You know, what most folks usually show on their social media is the sanitized version of life. We show our best side, the cleaned up parts of the house, and the prettiest parts of the garden. What a chore! And how unrealistic, because life is messy. But frankly, I don’t want to see your mess. I’ve got enough of my own to deal with.
But today, I’m showing some pictures of garden reality, inspired by the way 2020 has booglified us all. Never heard that term? It’s a great word, coined by Mississippi Horticulturalist Extraordinaire Felder Rushing. It means to become mushy after a freeze and thaw. Isn’t that appropriately descriptive? He’s got a great gardening website you can find here: https://www.felderrushing.net/
We’ve had a couple of light freezes on the Gulf Coast this month, so my tender perennials are gone for this year. I’m going to leave these as they are until late January or early February, when I’ll cut them back to get rid of the dead stuff. That means at least two months of looking at a shriveled, floppy, discolored mess.
Here’s what I mean. The top picture shows hydrangeas with blossoms and leaves turned brown. The falling oak limbs during our two back-to-back hurricanes battered these poor shrubs already.
Below, you see gingers with shriveled leaves, and the beautiful red “pinecones” have definitely become booglified.
This bleeding heart vine on the south wall of the house was beautiful this year. The parts closest to the warm wall are still fine, but the tendrils that dared to reach a few feet out from the trellis were flash frozen.
The big patch of elephant ears is gone for this year. These gentle giants have been happy for thirty years in an area near the end of the septic tank’s feeder lines. Booglified! They’re dependable plants, so I know they’ll be back next spring.
Finally my cardinal spears often bloom until Christmas, and I like to use the red spikes in decorations – not this year. The collage below is before and after the first freeze.
The picture below was taken after the second freeze. They turned completely black.
There’s more cold weather coming. We even have an inch or two of snow every five years, or so. But I have no doubt these plants will survive. There’s life still in the roots and rhizomes, waiting for the warmth of Spring.
This year hasn’t been pretty. So much has happened that may have chilled us to the bone. We’re perennials. We have hope as an anchor that no matter what comes our way, God is with us. He can sustain us through storms and chilling life events.
Christmas celebrates the coming of Jesus, who is God in the flesh, who walked among His people.
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). – Matthew 1:23
He lives within us, if we have asked Him to come live in and through us, to be Lord and rule and reign over our lives. He is our helper and our very Life.
I have hope for Spring, and for 2021. I have hope that one day, Jesus will walk among us again, in the flesh. In the meantime, it’s not pretty.