by Beth Murschell
My mental images of mankind’s original garden, alas, have been shaped by Sunday school curricula—coloring pages, flannel graphs, and children’s books. Still, I can’t help thinking the garden was more similar to the tropics of today than to the formal English gardens, all stiff upper-lip ornamentation and sundials. Adam and Eve may have left the garden, but the love of growing things remains strong in our collective consciousness.
As optimistic but unskilled gardeners, my husband and I have seen quite a few plants come and go over the years here in South Florida. During the worst drought, we lost a rather nice vegetable plot and haven’t had the heart to try one again, except for the tomatoes we grew in an EarthBox. (It was a bumper crop, which was enjoyed by insects who had weapon, motive, and opportunity.)
No, our greatest success has been with epiphytes. These can grow on trees (Spanish moss, orchids, or staghorn ferns) or in the air like orchids or staghorn ferns or on the ground like pineapples. These kinds of plants require little from us—“they toil not, neither do they spin” (Matt. 6:28, KJV). The rose bush, however, rebounded only after a near-death pruning.
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