Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Flower Power -- What are your fruits?

by Debra E. Marvin

Spring causes a chemical reaction in humans. (Narelle, enjoying autumn right now, will have to think back six months.) I wonder if it’s even more evident in those of us who live in cooler climates? Who could put into words the feeling that manifests itself in quicker steps and brighter smiles? All around us Nature bursts with anticipation. It’s catching.

Oh, and that lovely scent that makes us say "Spring is in the air"--soil bacteria becoming active. Sorry.

I live in a green part of the world—abundant ground water; lakes from small to ‘great’ and rain throughout the year. We have lots of shades of blue, and thousands of greens.
I’m a horticulturalist among other things. That means I’ve studied plants and their world of insects, diseases and the greater environment we live in. I love plant biology.

Their needs are not so different from ours. Food, water, fresh air and a place to call home. And as for ‘procreation?’ (here we could discuss the differences between needs and wants . . . ) Plants are hormone driven, too!

Jesus often used the plant world in his parables and teachings. I could do a whole post on the benefits of a good "pruning" now and then. But let me stick to roots and shoots, seeds, a crown, and how flowers make fruit.

Photosynthesis makes plants the only living things on earth that make their own food source: Last summer’s leaves 'synthesized' energy--let’s call it carbs--which moved down into the roots. Winter comes and roots grow while the rest of the plant looks dead. Spring returns! Hurray. Roots (and hormones) give the go ahead and leaf buds open out to start a new season of energy-making, or flowers appear. Here’s where plant science gets really crazy.

Flowers, whether they are breath-taking or utilitarian aren’t there just for our pleasure but are blatant sexuality on the plants’ behalf. Flowers make seeds or in some cases, fruit to carry those seeds for a new generation. (Conifers are a different ilk, and their "flowers" are 'cones' but that’s just way too much to explain.)

And yes, a cucumber is technically a fruit but I don't want it on my ice cream.

The juncture of the roots and shoots is called the crown. How cool is that?

People may not see your roots but they see your shoots. IOW, We never know a person’s heart but we can see their actions.

If you call yourself a Christian, do your actions go 'through the Crown' so you are living in the truth of your roots each day? If you are rooted in the Gospel, it should be apparent. Are you willing to produce the fruit a hungry world needs? Does that fruit contain the seeds for a new generation?

And just because I love this song ...
The video I've included gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes. Please share it with me as I dedicate this post to my soon-to-be-born second grandchild!
Indescribable by Chris TomlinFrom the highest of heights to the depths of the sea
Creation's revealing Your majesty
From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring
Every creature unique in the song that it sings
All exclaiming
Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing GodTree photo by Aaron Escobar


  1. I have to admit, Debra, that I hate biology and I'm not great with plants, either! But I love this about the crown, where the roots and the shoots intersect. What a very cool thing, especially as the Bible talks so much about our roots and our fruits. Thanks for giving me new insight on that today!

  2. Good morning, Deb. Thanks for this interesting mini-biology lesson. Very interesting. And the way you paralleled it to our hearts.

    Indescribable is one of my all time favorite songs. So thanks for sharing it this morning.

  3. I think I have a black thumb, I come near plants and they start to wither. But I do so love to admire them... From a safe distance of course.

  4. Ohhhhhh. I love that picture of the tree and all those cool roots. What a great visual. Deb you said: People may not see your roots but they see your shoots. IOW, We never know a person’s heart but we can see their actions.

    Love that! And love the song. Thanks for developing this great post. Good job!

  5. Deb, I had no idea that the roots continue to grow during the winter months. What a comfort when we find ourselves in those cold, dry seasons of life! Love the roots/crown/shoots analogy, too. Great post!

  6. Great post and awesome song!

    I like the idea of gardening but not the reality of it. Our new house (if we ever get into it) has small front and back yards. I'm going to give gardening a shot, but I may always fall back on "desert" landscaping, i.e. lots of rocks!

  7. Good day Inky sisters!

    What? Am I the only one who likes to get her hands in the dirt? Well, I grew up with great soil and veg gardens and decided late in life to follow my heart into studying plants.

    I'm one of those people who enjoy weeding. To a point.

    Hi D'Ann! I struggled with what to write on the 'flower' theme before it clicked; the bible uses the plant theme often, so what could I add to it... I'm glad you enjoyed the reference to 'going through the crown'.

    Suzie- yup. Great song, and I loved this video.
    (We're thinking of you and your trip home btw)

  8. Lisa - I'll take care of the plants, you do your amazing graphic creations that you're so good at. And we'll both work on moving toward that publication goal!

    Hey Jilly. Glad you could stop in--by the way, have you found the formula to get more than 24 hours in a day?

    I do have to be more conscious of my 'shoots' (I'm pretty sure they need sunlight and I've been keeping them under a basket...know what I mean?)

  9. Niki, I'm glad you learned something about plants today. I write curriculum and classroom activity books based on plants and the environment, and I enjoy it a lot. I tried to keep it simple so that no one went running in fear of "plant biology".

    Here's another little tidbit. On an ear of corn, there is one piece of silk for every kernel! This has to do with pollination and, well I won't get started. I can be rather "Cliff Claven" about these things.

    Jen, I love desert landscaping and much as I love green, the idea of forcing a lawn and non-desert plants into such a setting seems silly at times. Xeriscaping is a great alternative--as long as there's some place for kids to run and play. I call that kind of desert soil 'cat litter' compared to my old rich loam.

    I'd be happy to give up weeding for a warmer climate -at least as a 'snowbird'!

  10. I was not expecting a sexy/scientific/spiritual post today. Good connections, Deb. And following through on that analogy, if we're producing good fruit, we should be reproducing as well, as in bringing others to Christ.

  11. Right Dina, and to just get crazy with the theme here, we never know what little seed of faith we drop will grow with someone else's watering and nurturing!

    Just like our blog post here. One person reading one post and being touched by God is worth all the words that we feel may go unread.

  12. What a wonderful post, Deb. I, too, loved the pic of the tree and the parallels you noted. I was blessed by knowing that my roots are growing even in winter, underground and slowly, but they're still growing. God is amazing, isn't He? The One who crafts one silk for each kernel of corn loves me, cares about me, and holds me in the palm of His hand. Humbling, pure and simple.

  13. Susie - good point. We are growing even when things look bleak!

  14. Deb, great post! I love your plant analogy and we have a small vegie garden. Thanks for sharing your insights into plant biology and I'll be thinking about roots growing as we head into winter :-)

  15. Deb,
    I'm still working on how to squeeze out about six more hours a day. But since I haven't been able to do that yet I've decided to go to sleep for the night.

    I think I am going to transplant some of your plant growing skills into my current wip so I can work up an idea I have. :)

  16. Deb, you never fail to amaze and educate me. A strand of silk for each kernel? Wow. BTW, I think it was Lisa who said she has a black thumb. Me, too! I can't grow anything.

    And Deb, thank you for praying for my travels on Tuesday. Just letting you know, it's next Tuesday that I'll be on the plane. For this week, I'm still in school, studying hard and doing lots of homework.


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