Thursday, August 9, 2012

Root Bound

Chives this spring

I'm not a very good gardener.  I've surpassed a black thumb over the years and am somewhere between brown and olive green, but it's definitely not a green thumb yet.  Every year Hubby tells me no more garden and every fall I say that I'm not doing a garden again.  Yet, the spring finds me outside preparing the soil, buying seeds and plants, and expanding my garden.  Every year I learn something new that improves my garden.

This year's success was transplantation.  The first year of our marriage, Hubby planted chives in a large pot.  In the fall he put it away in the garage, brought it back out in the spring, and every year they came back.  Ten years later the chives are still growing strong.  In the same pot.

This summer I noticed that the chives were starting to die in the direct sun so I tried putting them in a shadier spot.  That didn't really help.  So then I thought maybe they had just outgrown their pot and were root bound.  My mom has chives right in the ground and they looked much better than mine did.  So I did something risky that made Hubby cross with me because he thought I was going to kill them.  I transplanted them.  I didn't even break them up because the roots were so entangled. I just took the whole mess of chives out of the pot and put it in the ground.

They didn't do much for a long time.  I kept watering them praying they'd come back.  We really like our chives on our potatoes.  I didn't want Hubby to be right.  When I left for vacation the chives were just starting to green up a bit, but nothing spectacular.

When I came home, they were all green.  They look like lush grass just begging to be walked on.  They are happy little chives, very thankful for having a new space to spread out their roots and to take in more water and nutrients.  They are thriving in their new home.

Happy chives in their new home

I took a risk transplanting my chives.  They might have died from transplant shock.  They have been in that pot for ten years.  They were comfortable there.  But they were bound by the pot they were in.  They had no more room to grow, no ability to take in more water or nutrients.  Their roots were all bound up in such a way that they were starting to kill themselves.

I lead a pretty comfortable life.  I like things the way they are and have been known to resist change a time or two.  When I am asked to do something new, I've been known to go into it kicking and screaming convinced that it's not worth the risk.  That I might die (okay, not literally die but that it will make me unhappy or uncomfortable or look foolish).

But if I don't take risks and try something new, I will never grow beyond what I am today.  I will always be bound by this little box that I am comfortable in until I get root bound and start to slowly kill myself.  And that is why I try to regularly do new things to keep that from happening.

I learned how to touch worms and bait hooks and have taken my kids fishing three times by myself already this summer.  I learned how to stay home alone when Hubby is gone overnight rather than running to Grandma's house.  I pulled my kids out of school and am teaching them myself.  I ran for village trustee four years ago and will finish my term in November.

These changes haven't always been easy, but when God asks us to transplant ourselves, we need to say yes if we want to continue to grow.  

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