Thursday, September 10, 2009

Joy Challenge - Day 17 - Texas Sage

A few years ago, I bought a Texas Sage. We planted it right by the corner of the house near the front porch. I am not much of a gardener, but I thought I was exercising great wisdom in buying a native Texan plant. More than that I fell in love with the profusion of small flowers it produces. They are the most beautiful rose-lavender color.

It did well the first couple of years, but then two years ago we entered a season of drought that sent it into decline. Last summer it barely struggled along, producing only a few leaves and no flowers at all. I remembered a lesson I learned about gardening from my Italian grandfather who could work magic in a garden. He pruned everything back to within an inch of its life.

So....armed with my trusty pruning shears I attacked my poor Texas Sage. I took it down to just a foot or so of growth. In spite of the continued drought, it flourished this summer. It grew taller than me and was lush and full - but only a few little flowers here and there.

I mentioned the lack of flowers to my friend one day as we were walking. She said that a nurseryman once told her that they bloom just before a big rain. I digested this bit of information with a good measure of skepticism and kept a look-out for flowers.

On Tuesday afternoon, as I walked up to the porch I glanced in the direction of the Texas Sage and was astounded.

I had never seen so many flowers on it before. It was practically bowing under the weight of them. It looked so beautiful, I ran inside to get my camera.

Wednesday morning we woke to this:

I'm a believer. In fact, I just looked up Texas Sage and found this bit of information: the common name of the Texas Sage is Barometer Bush! A testament to its accuracy - seven inches of rain, and it is pouring!

I never cease to be amazed at the wonder of God's creation. It is an unending source of JOY!!

"I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart;
I will tell of all Thy wonders.
I will be glad and exult in Thee;
I will sing praise to Thy name, O Most High."
Psalm 9:1-2