I’m discovering (again) not to sweat the dead stuff in my garden! Every year, I fret that my flowering shrubs and perennials have been killed off by another crazy Texas winter. I worry, “this is the year the ice storms are going to be the killers!”

Just when I’ve lost all hope, in March and April, I’ll spy bright green shoots coming up nestled in a blanket of brown leaves at the bottom of the seemingly dead branches.

With delight, I triumphantly exclaim, “there you are!”

Annualy, I go through this same angst. Nevertheless, I’m grateful to relearn several lessons when I notice the new growth buried amongst the old.

1. Moderately trim back after the first freeze, keeping some dead growth as protection from additional weather damage.

2. Cover the whole garden with a thick blanket of dead leaves, not only for nutrition as the leaves decompose, but for shelter and winter hibernation for our beloved insects.

3. Leave some dried seed heads for the birds.

Just as we need days of rest, so our gardens need a season of rest nestled under  the “dead stuff.” Therefore, be patient and don’t despair. The miracle of spring is on your doorstep.

Are you an impatient gardener as well?

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:9

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