sheffield mums

Two are better than one

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The biggest attraction in a drift of daylilies, chrysanthemums, coreopsis, or iris is how plentiful the blooms are. The propagation experts and hybridizers refer to it as “bud count” or “bloom count.” A plant will win prizes when the blooms are profuse and cover the foliage.

The same goes for people. Sometimes it’s just better with a few more.

A few more to encourage us.

A few more to pray for us.

A few more to work alongside us and help shoulder the heavier loads of life.

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, NASB).

A friend said that her irises bloomed three times this season. Three times! And no, it wasn’t just a single blossom on each plant, but multiple flowers. I’m lucky if mine do that once in the spring.

Good thing my irises have made friends with the cosmos and the vinca. Color would be pretty sparse out there if they hadn’t.

One reason I plant annuals alongside my perennials is because they can usually be counted on to bloom in great profusion all summer. They help the quick-blooming plants around them by filling in the bare spaces with color.

It is crucial to be aware of the effect on us that our friendships will have. It is imperative that we do the best we can do with the materials we find at hand, including our choice of those with whom we spend our time.

One of the most stunning flowers in my garden started from one little sprig, a lateral root stolon of “Clara Curtis” chrysanthemum. Unlike the mums at the florist and garden centers, this one spreads quietly underground during the summer, weaving in and out of the other plants. Its unobtrusive stems rarely exceed the height of six inches until autumn.

The wispy stems then burst forth in a delicate pink wave of blossoms, delighting the garden visitor even after the first frosts.

In our chosen friendships and associations with people, it can also take some time before we see the reward.

Like the Clara Curtis mums, good people are better when they are numerous. There is strength in numbers.

Whether it is raising funds for a sick boy or raising a barn, it is easier with more people. Those people may be those who you least expect. The friendships and associations may have grown up as quietly as the Clara Curtis mums grew up around the daylilies.

Wherever we find ourselves, there are countless opportunities to work with others around us. One week we may find ourselves helping others, the next we may be on the receiving end of those around us.

It is natural that flowers come in clumps and drifts, their bounteous blooms bobbing in rhythm with one another as the breezes touch them. We all need one another, whether or not we realize it.

Take time this week to tell those around you how thankful you are that they help you bloom!

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Christine (Tina) Berglund

Christine lives in middle Tennessee with her husband Gary, a.k.a. "The Yard Boy." They have served churches in eight states where Gary has preached full-time most of their married lives. The children have flown the nest, but they "baby" their plants now, and even get to visit grandchildren once in a while.

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