Planting, weeding and fertilizing are giving way to raking, cutting back, and well…weeding (when are we ever finished weeding?!). Summer has yielded to autumn, headed gently towards winter, with clocks set back, darkness at the dinner hour, and general garden clean-up topping the to-do list.
But wait! There’s new life for much of this time of year’s garden material. Mulch the leaves, as organic gardener Howard Garrett preaches (see “Mulching Newsletter Update” for directions), and repurpose the branches. Mesmerized once again by tree trimmings and the mini-mountains of treasure they leave behind, garden in Delight brings you three more design ideas for bringing back branches (see our blog last fall for previous suggestions).
“Go out into the hill country and bring back branches from olive and wild olive trees, and from myrtles, palms and shade trees, to make temporary shelters”—as it is written.
Nehemiah 8:15 NIV
“A hoop house is just what the name suggests, a series of large hoops or bows…covered with heavy duty greenhouse plastic,” writes George DeVault, in “Low Cost, Versatile Hoop Houses.” DeVault writes mostly about more fortified structures whose cover makes winter vegetable crops possible in colder hardiness zones. Yet for those of us needing shelter for merely a few snowfalls or dips below freezing, freshly cut garden branches can be arched into hoop-shapes, dug in place, ready to provide support for temporary plastic or freeze cloth over beds when the artic storms hit.
…over everything the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and the rain.
Isaiah 4:56 NIV
For a unique centerpiece this holiday, decorate your table with branches. Their woody forms will provide structure for other elements, such as birds, small vases of boutonniere-style floral arrangements, or swags of tulle. Select a section of tree branch for its sculptural form, working with bark color and texture as you choose table linens, place cards, and accompanying accents.
In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious
Isaiah 4:2 NIV
Add a rustic touch to the tops of windows–alluding to the treetops beyond–by using branches in place of curtain rods to hang swags or valences. Curtain tie backs mounted vertically can act as brackets, supporting the sections of branches. Saw them with attention to knots and bends occurring naturally in the tree’s growth. No two windows will be alike, mimicking the unique forms found in nature, again creating interest with their sculptural quality.
he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it
Isaiah 45:18 NIV
The Righteous Branch
Your guests will be intrigued by these garden surprises tucked in your hospitality this season, and you will know the gentle nod of your Savior, the Righteous Branch, who has come in the name of the LORD.
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.
Jeremiah 23:5-6 NIV
Today’s blog grows out of the devotions in God’s Word for Gardeners Bible studying, “Jesus—The Seed, The Root, The Branch & Firstfruit,” found on pages a-47 & a-48, an endearing study considering Jesus through the metaphors of plant anatomy.
Photo Credits: ©2015 Shelley S. Cramm