We Grow Better Together

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

As gardeners know, some plants need their best buddies nearby in order to flourish.

It’s been known for centuries that planting certain combinations of plants together can help the garden prosper. This practice is known as “companion planting.”

For instance, planting alliums such as garlic underneath roses can protect the latter against blackspot and aphids. When lilies and roses are planted together, the scent of each improves.

Yarrow and foxglove have a tonic effect on the plants in their vicinity. Yarrow helps fight off pests, attracts beneficial insects, and improves the soil. Likewise, foxglove stimulates the growth of nearby plants and helps them build up resistance to disease. Planting foxglove under fruit trees improves the storage qualities of the fruit.

Perhaps the ultimate companion plant is marigold. It has traditionally been grown with tomatoes to keep them healthy and produce a better crop. Marigold’s pungent odour disguises the scent of vegetables from pests, preventing them from homing in, and its root secretions kill nematodes that attack plant roots.

Who wouldn’t want such stalwart companions in their corner?

God wants us to have buddies like these on our team, too.

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5 Things A Monstera Plant Can Teach You

Photo by Maja Dumat on Flickr CC BY-2.0

Can the monstera houseplant teach us something about our faith in God?

This plant, nicknamed the Swiss cheese plant, has become hugely popular in recent times. Much sought after, it has risen to the status of an icon among houseplant aficionados.

But besides being a fun plant to grow indoors, is there anything we can learn from the monstera? Can its example help us grow spiritually?

I believe that just about everything in the natural world can teach us something that can deepen our faith. I like how Ralph Waldo Emerson put it: “Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact.”

And the monstera is no exception!

Here are 5 things this special and beloved plant can teach us:

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The Best Tree to Climb

Image by Pezibear from Pixabay

Did you climb trees when you were a child? (Or do you still?)

As a bit of a tomboy in my childhood, I was an inveterate tree-climber.

But I quickly learned that some trees were a lot easier to climb than others.

Some trees have rough bark, prickly needles or sticky, oozing sap: I wouldn’t even bother trying to climb those. Other trees might have smooth bark, but their branches were too close together or too high off the ground for a child to manage.

The old apple tree in my backyard was perfect, however. It had been climbed by generations of neighbourhood kids, with the result that much of the bark on the best branches had been worn smooth by little hands.

Its limbs had open architecture, making them as welcoming to children as open arms. And they were low enough to the ground that even the youngest tyke could clamber up.

That tree was a magnet for the neighbourhood kids, a favourite spot for us to gather. I have fond memories of it!

As I look back, it seems to me that we as believers should try to be a bit more like that old apple tree.

How?

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