Winter Buddies

Winter storm “Hercules” may be dumping 15 inches of snow outside, but look what’s going on inside.  The very short day lengths, cooler temperatures, and indoor plant lights make gardening possible and some plants actually prefer it.  These “winter buddies” are budding now and will blossom shortly.

winter buddies


Many orchids bloom in the winter, among the easiest to grow is the Phalaenopsis (moth orchid) and mine are sending up stalks right and left, preparing for their January to April natural bloom season.  Soon there will be flowers all along their graceful stalks.  The cymbidum orchid pictured shows the sap secreted alongside every flower’s pedicel.  It’s part of how they grow so I am careful to have a tray below it to keep my furniture protected.

My clivia is another winter bloomer, but it is presently sitting in a cold closet waiting until its chilling units have been reached.  Then, it will send up majestic stalks of brilliant orange flowers sure to cheer any dreary day.  Some plants are daylight sensitive, others need what are called chilling units (a combination of temperature and duration) to form their flower buds.  Many spring bulbs, clivia, cymbidium orchids, and cyclamen all require chilling units to form their flower buds.

Buds and flowers have a way of encouraging us, even when facing challenging times.

In Scripture, we read about the priest Aaron (Moses’ brother) being challenged in his authority by other Israelites.  So God set up a proof of Aaron’s priestly authority.  The proof was in the budding of an almond branch–of all the proofs, it was the budding of a branch!  Each of the tribes selected an almond branch staff and then we read:

Numbers 17:1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and get twelve staffs from them, one from the leader of each of their ancestral tribes. Write the name of each man on his staff. 3 On the staff of Levi write Aaron’s name, for there must be one staff for the head of each ancestral tribe. 4 Place them in the Tent of Meeting in front of the Testimony, where I meet with you. 5 The staff belonging to the man I choose will sprout, and I will rid myself of this constant grumbling against you by the Israelites.” 6 So Moses spoke to the Israelites, and their leaders gave him twelve staffs, one for the leader of each of their ancestral tribes, and Aaron’s staff was among them. 7 Moses placed the staffs before the LORD in the Tent of the Testimony. 8 The next day Moses entered the Tent of the Testimony and saw that Aaron’s staff, which represented the house of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds.

God goes over the top because not only had the staff sprouted, but it blossomed and produced almonds!  Eventually Aaron’s staff–proof of his priestly authority–was kept in the ark of the covenant along with the gold jar of manna and the stone tablets of the covenant.

Budding, blossoming, and fruiting are but a few ways God reminds us of His faithfulness, His sovereign control over nature, and His abundant blessing.

Categories In the Garden, Inspiration | Tags: | Posted on January 2, 2014

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