Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Common red Geranium at church.


At our church is a common garden variety type, red Geranium, standing against one of the verandah posts, sending out a bright red display of blooms, in an otherwise dull and monotonous sea of green grass.

Late last year it looked in bad shape and I wanted to prune it back hard and let it regrow; but was reluctant to do so as it was still producing a vast display of, both existing, flowers and potential flowers, some still just buds.

So resisting the desire to heavily prune it back and let it grow again, I simply removed all the dead flowers and dead or spotty leaves which made a remarkable difference to its look. It is still flowering magnificently and with the damper weather of late is looking a lot better. It still needs a shape prune a little later on, but for now it is displaying its talents beautifully.

The geranium is another of the old time original garden favourites that has fallen out of favour among many today, especially the young, because of its commonality and scraggly growth habits. However in some quarters it is having a comeback due to selective breeding of new and smaller varieties over an amazing range of colours and shapes.

Geraniums are related to the Pelargonium Species and are in fact a sub species of the Genus Pelargonium. An interesting fact for you: All Geraniums are Pelargoniums; but only a few Pelargoniums are in fact Geraniums.

Geraniums have a variety of coloured flowers and shapes. There are single blooms, like the red one at church: then there are semi double and double flower heads. Then there are rosebud types with one even being called Apple-blossom Rose Bud – a name that describes both the colour and the shape of the bloom.

As well as different colours and shapes of the flowers, you can get different coloured Leaf varieties, scented leaf varieties and even Ivy shaped leaf varieties. But when most people mention Geraniums, they mean the common Zonal Type, like the common red geranium at Church.

Geraniums (and pelargonium too, to a lesser extent,) will grow under most conditions but if grown in too much shade will not flower very well. They are also good for hot dry places too, once they are established.

Both reproduce relatively easy from seed; and very easily by cuttings. In fact geraniums would be among the easiest of plants to reproduce by cuttings. Often you will see geraniums growing in vacant blocks or on the side of roads or any other place that lazy people have dumped their garden clippings. With the right moisture conditions they really are that easy to grow from cuttings or slips, as cuttings are sometimes called.

They are easy to grow with very little care or attention needed. Occasionally they do need a little fertilizer or other nutrients. However, too much fertilizer makes the plant soft and all the nutrients goes into producing growth of stems and leaves but not flowers. Not enough fertilizer stunts and delays growth, yet they will struggle on; like the common red geranium at Church.

Despite all its good qualities a lot of people dislike them because:

  1. The older varieties in particular tend to be rather scraggily in growth if not regularly checked.
  2. Although the flowers themselves have no aroma the plants themselves have a particularly strong aroma. One I don’t mind but one that some find offensive and overpowering.
  3. Another reason they are dislike is because they are so common.

Well that’s enough about Geraniums, what about you?

Are you freely reproducing yourself with new Christians being added to the Kingdom of God – are previously lost souls being saved through your lifestyle witness of word and deed?

Are you giving off an aroma that is attractive to those looking for salvation?

Is your Christian aroma offensive to those who openly hate the Lord and His?

Are you in need of a good hard pruning?

Or have you fed on the word too long without giving any out and a re now soft and weak?

Are you basically in good shape? Yet still in need of a little pruning and shaping to be at your best?

Or do you simply need a little cleaning up and TLC?

Are you proud to be called common or ordinary?

Are you satisfied at being a common red geranium or do you secretly desire to be something more exotic, even if that is not what God has called you to be?

So what do you do now? And where do you Go?

Go to God in Parayer and go now: Walter

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