fireworks clematis

Investment strategies in the garden

The canister with the cash was short by about half. Change of plans!

It had been our hope that the sales of surplus plants would be enough to build a fence on the east and south sides of our backyard, but sales were slower than expected.

All the hard work potting up plants in the hopes of a more private space for ourselves and our aging dog was not in vain, however. There is still enough to purchase a few strategic shrubs and trees to fill in the gaps while we wait until we can afford a less permeable enclosure.

It won’t keep the neighborhood dogs from teasing old Snickers, but it will provide enough of a backdrop to give the backyard a cozy feel.

Wide expanses of lawn are great when you have a daughter practicing softball, or when you invite the youth group for volleyball. But those days are gone, and the yards I admire most have been sectioned off into multiple spaces, reminiscent of rooms in a house.

Trees and hedges can be used to provide the walls for these outdoor spaces. If the Lord wills it, and we don’t run out of energy, we plan to define specific spaces for different uses.

One section will contain a more substantial fire-pit area, replacing the flimsy metal pan in which we attempt to burn garden debris. Another space will have my garden equipment, and an open-air potting table. Still another will become the shade garden.

Sure, we’d rather have a wooden fence to extend the one that the neighbors built on the western property line, but that’s not going to happen this year.

It’s time to start investing in the types of yard improvements that will be enjoyable to us now that our children have grown.

Consequently, I am now re-naming my “fence fund.” The canister with inadequate cash for a fence will now be known as our “hedge fund.”

I must say, first of all, that I have no idea what a traditional hedge fund is supposed to be. It seems to convey a negative connotation.

Creating a living hedge to do much the same thing as a board fence seems like a great idea…for now.

There is something comforting about a closed-in space that a fence or hedge affords.

God surrounds us and gives us that comforting feeling of enclosure.

As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
So the Lord surrounds His people
From this time forth and forever” (Psalm 125:2, NASB).

Even Satan himself accuses God of making life too comforting for Job.

“Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land” (Job 1:10).

With Job, the hedge around him was not just his riches and family. It was the solid knowledge that his God would be faithful to him, no matter what happened in this life.

We are similarly surrounded by God’s care and goodness. Nothing that happens to us has the power to change our relationship with our Creator.

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

To know that God’s love and care surround us constantly is invaluable! No funds needed.

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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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