A Welcome Weed

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The first plant to come up in my wife’s little garden, this year and last year, is the purple deadnettle.

Hi, Mr. Nature here–and it’s called the “dead” nettle because it doesn’t have a sting like the real nettle. It’s a member of the mint family, memorable for its delicate purple flowers and its leaves that are arranged like a stack of dishes. It grows all over the place, around here.

Bob Bakker–the scientist who, more than anybody else, popularized the concept of warm-blooded, active dinosaurs–once told me one of the things that most draws him to God is the self-evident delight which the Creator takes in His creation. I agree! Even this fallen world, the Father stocks with beauty. Even the weeds!

I was happy when I read that a lot of people have come to appreciate the deadnettle for its beauty and are now planting it on purpose, usually as a border for a garden, and because it so delights our eyes.

Give thanks for the beauty of God’s handiwork: it tells us something good about its Maker.

2 comments on “A Welcome Weed

  1. That’s quite an observation, Lee. I believe it too; our God enjoys His creation and takes delight in it.

    I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a Purple Deadnettle, but I’ve spent very little time East of the Mississippi River. I’ve heard that there are actually people out that way that don’t have huge barrel cactus in their backyards. 🙂

    Just to demonstrate the diversity of creation, my biggest weed problem is the mesquite tree. They reproduce like rabbits and send roots most of the way to China before they even begin to appear above ground. I’ve dug 2-3 feet deep trying to uproot a tiny sprout and never did get to the bottom of it. In Texas, they spray diesel fuel on the roots, wait 30 minutes, then set it on fire, in hopes of burning the roots out. I do NOT endorse this practice for either mesquite or deadnettles.

    But the deadnettle is pretty and reflects the Creator’s glory.

    When I was a kid, in Minnesota, dandelions were ubiquitous. Every spring the ground was covered in these brilliant yellow flowering weeds. I loved them, but then again, I wasn’t a homeowner trying to keep a lawn groomed. IIRC, my father used some sort of weed killer to stem the dandelion offensive, but in the end, they always managed to stake a claim, somewhere on our little acre of semi-rural splendor. They may have been invasive, but they were very decorative when in flower.

    I’ve always known that our world is in a fallen state and I realize that things are not entirely as God intended. In the Restitution, I’m certain that we will see a much different balance to the natural world and we won’t have the challenges we have today when trying to keep a lawn, or tend a garden.

    Where I live, a lawn is sort of an abstract notion anyhow. Directly behind my house, there is a fenced area with a bit higher proportion of grass than the rest of my acre. I have to mow it a few times a year. During the rainy season it can grow 6-10 inches in a week. The rest of the year, it’s essentially dormant. Having a lush green lawn with densely packed grasses just isn’t about to happen unless one has one heck of a great well and a lot of time and money to expend.

    Instead, we have native grasses, weeds, mesquite and cacti. Hit a small cactus with a lawnmower and it will stop a 4.5 HP engine almost instantly. Lawn mowers lead short, but adventurous existences in these parts. 🙂 A few years ago, one of my neighbors hit a baby rattlesnake while on her riding mower (in my yard, BTW). While it’s far from my first choice in locales, this is an interesting place to live.

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