The Key To Boundless Possibilities

2247f6283eb811e38e7222000a1fb921_8As we say goodbye to another year and the chill of January grips us, I am reminded that the true life of a plant lies beneath the ground. The root system of any plant is the foundation by which the beautiful form and structure of a plant is made. It is from this structure that beautiful blooms and foliage are produced. Without a strong foundation upon which to build, plants are spindly, unsupported, and can ultimately fail.

Once that foundation is established, the plant enjoys a season of growth, and afterwards, pruning must take place. Pruning is the cutting away of the old growth to allow for new. For many plants, pruning takes place during a period of dormancy.

SAMSUNGI am a firm believer in pruning the dead away, in my garden and in my life. Each spring, just before my roses break dormancy (late February here in Alabama), you can find me with my pruners in hand; cutting back old wood and spindly unproductive growth, and clearing away debris that the winter wind has blown in. This process allows for new vigorous growth of plants. I then apply fertilizer, and water along the way, and before you know it, you will see stunning new growth and an abundance of blooms.

I apply this same principle to my life by making learning a lifelong pursuit. As long as we are open to learning and growing, things can move forward. When we stop the learning process, we tend to sit, soak, and sour, and no one wants that. Grab a new gardening book. Our libraries are full of them. >Summer Reading - Garden Books

Why not plan a raised bed garden for the coming year, and then build it. There is nothing like fresh vegetables in the summer or the sight of beautiful zinnias smiling at you from the garden. It all begins with a pack of seeds and some soil. I am reading about some great new roses for the coming year. Why not check them out? The possibilities are boundless.

Each year, I make it a point to also examine myself in such a way that can bring about change and growth. I look at old habits and see what needs to be cut back on or totally eliminated. I look at ways to eliminate the things in my life that just seem to take up time and are not productive. I also try to clear away any “junk” that I have physically and spiritually, because it’s important to nourish our bodies as well as our souls.

I am reminded in my daily scripture reading of how much we are connected to God through Christ, and that we are His workmanship, and as the passage tell us, “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful” (John 15:2 NIV). I don’t know about you, but I need to be open to spiritual “pruning” on a daily basis. I strive each day to possess the wisdom to recognize and cut away from me any bad fruit produced, to allow for vigorous new growth of mind, body and spirit.

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I am counting down the days until spring and I can’t wait to share another season of blooms with you!

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About Chris VanCleave - America's Favorite Rose Gardener

Christopher R. VanCleave – America’s Favorite Rose Gardener Nicknamed "The Redneck Rosarian”, Chris VanCleave is passionate about gardening and growing roses. He is an active member of the Birmingham chapter of the American Rose Society, serving two terms as President. In 2007, he created the Rose Chat Podcast which has reached over a half a million listeners with news and information on growing on growing the world’s most beloved flower, the rose. He was a contributor to the 2015 Southern Living Gardening Book, has appeared on P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home television show and was featured in the June 2015 issue of Southern Living Magazine. Locally, Chris serves as Chairman of the Helena Alabama Beautification Board where he has spearheaded efforts to create a sustainable landscape in one of the top one hundred places to live in the United States. His writing is seen at About.com and on his popular website; RedneckRosarian.com, where he chronicles his gardening adventures and explores an intrinsic mix of life, faith and gardening. An agent of change with over 20 years’ experience in process innovation, Mr. VanCleave is leading the charge to reinvigorate horticultural societies and helping them to reach their full potential in the social media age.
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11 Responses to The Key To Boundless Possibilities

  1. Darling Chris, you have found your ministry within this blog. May the best come your way in 2015. Are you really moving???

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    • Diane, for now we are staying put. The thought of a shiny new house is appealing, but the garden we have created and out awesome neighbors have kept us here. I am so glad that we met. Your kind words mean the world to me. Blessing to you for 2015.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Alicia says:

    What a wonderful post. I really needed to read this today:) Thank you so much for the beautiful photos throughout the year and for tying in your gardening skills with the way our Master Gardener works on us!
    Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cheryl Ellenburg says:

    I ENJOY READING YOUR WEBSITE. HOPEFULLY, I WILL HAVE BIG, BEAUTIFUL ROSES AND BUSHES LIKE YOU HAVE. PLEASE INCLUDE ON YOUR SITE EVERYTHING YOU DO EACH SPRING TO GET READY FOR YOUR BEAUTIFUL ROSES. WHEN I CLICKED ON THE WORD FERTILIZER, THE COMPOST SITE CAME UP. SURELY, THAT CAN’T BE ALL THE FERTILIZER YOU ADD TO YOUR SOIL? THANKS FOR YOUR HELP.

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    • We alternate fertilizers throughout the growing season with a heavy reliance on all natural fertilizers. I have been using Moo Poo tea for many years now as a part of our overall feeding program with excellent results.

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  4. I do sense a pastor living side-by-side with the rosarian. They get along very well and each helps the other, I think.

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  5. CW says:

    The quotation caught my eye and I kept on reading. This post lifted me up, having had a rough past few months. Thanks.

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  6. debsgarden says:

    A belated Happy New Year to you and Tina! This was a great post. There is a surprising amount of gardening to be done in the next couple of months. I am really looking forward to spring, now that the Christmas season is over.

    Stewart Myers recently told me about the Helena Beautification Board helping with planting the American chestnut at Joe Tucker Park. Fantastic! I wrote a post about it, if you want to check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you, Chris, for this beautiful essay on growth and change. It is the pruning, sometimes of roots as well as of branches, which keeps us vital and brings increased abundance. I appreciate your confident reminder to prune away everything which is unproductive in one’s life as well as in one’s garden. It takes courage, vision, and skill to do this well; followed by the TLC of warmth and feeding 😉 I’ve just done a bit of this myself, and take finding your post today as a positive sign that I made some ‘skillful cuts.” This weekend I’ve spent a happy hour or two with David Austin’s 2015 catalog and have been learning about perennial vegetable crops, with an eye to that new raised bed you mentioned 😉 Best wishes to you as we journey into spring. WG

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