Refresh And Satisfy

 

My friend, are you tired from being stressed with what you are trying to do or are bombarded by so many thing in your life?

Jesus speaks to that very thing.  He and his disciples were visiting Mary and Martha, and Martha was trying to be a good hostess, rushing around and getting a meal for Jesus and his disciples, feeling very distressed and getting disgusted by the minute because there was Mary sitting with Jesus drinking in every word he was saying, and she was left to do all the work alone!  Luke tells us Jesus’ response to Martha, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details!  There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42 NLT)  I don’t think this was about just one incident, but I think this was about the trend in Mary and Martha’s lives.  I tend to be like Martha, always busy.  It seems there is no end to what needs to be done in meeting the needs of daily living or church life that I am involved in.  And it isn’t all about being like Mary at Jesus feet, for us to be consumed all the time with studying and reading about spiritual things.  If we did that people would say, “She/he is so heavenly minded she/he is no earthy good!”  We need balance.

I believe the Lord will give you balance in your life. I have tried to look to him for that end.  Not long ago we had a week of prayer at our church.  The pastor challenged us to let the Lord tell us what we needed to do in our lives to be more connected to him.  At that time the Lord impressed me about something I have struggled with, and that has been a nagging problem.  I have set aside a time each morning after I get up for prayer and study time.  When I would sit down at my desk often something would catch my eye.  A post on my phone or I would look at my email and see something I just felt compelled to check out.  Guess what?, before I knew it, my time was gone or almost gone.  I would rush through my morning prayer, then head to the kitchen to get breakfast for us to start our day.  Every time this happened, I would get this sinking feeling that the devil had robbed my time with God. This happened again and again a bit too frequently.  Each morning I was faced with, “How should I start my time/day?”  The choice was mine.  But when the pastor gave us that challenge the Lord spoke to my heart, “Ruth, I would like you to choose your time with me first no matter what.”  I said, “Yes Lord I will give you my word.”  And when I am tempted out of curiosity to check something out the first thing each morning I remember my promise to God, and realize whatever was trying to get my attention could wait.  I have been rewarded with a special connection with the Lord at my computer or when I take our dog on his early morning walk in talking and listening to God.

I want to share with you an illustration I heard not too long ago.  A fruit tree doesn’t work and fuss about what it needs to do in producing its fruit.  It just stands there with its roots going deep into the ground.  Winter winds and storms come and go, the rain and sun comes and go, but it just stands there rooted into the ground sucking up nutrients and water that it needs to feed it and absorbing the sun in photosynthesis.  What happens, it produces luscious fruit for us to eat.

God will do the same for you.  As you take time to dig deep into God’s word,  soak in his light and love, your life will produce an abundance of fruit to honor him and bless others.  The promise of the our text this month will come to pass in your life.

Love to you,

Ruth

 


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April birth flower,

The flower in this month picture is called: Pearl Pink  (Lathyrus Latifolius)

By April, spring is in full swing, what better to express that than the Sweet Pea.  For nearly three centuries, the sweet pea has maintained its position of being a popular garden flower and in the course of that time this sweet scented and free blooming plant underwent many changes – resulting in many varieties of the plant.

If we compare sweet pea varieties that are grown today and the first sweet pea plants that were sent to England from the island of Sicily we would say they didn’t appear to be worthwhile garden plant,

English gardeners call sweet peas “the Queen of Annuals.” These charming annuals or perennials are unique among garden flowers with their vivid colors, fragrance, and length of bloom in the garden. The flowers have an air of romance about them in both their scent and appearance. Sweet peas’ fragrance is sensuous, a captivating blend of honey and orange blossom, with an intensity that varies from one cultivar to another.   Because sweet peas on the market today are heavily bred and cultivated they come in all colors except true yellow, the sweet pea offers one of the widest color ranges in the plant kingdom, including crimson reds, navy blues, pastel lavenders, pinks, and the purest whites, bicolor, striped petals, and streaked or flaked flowers.   There are also doubles and those with ruffled petals, looking  like little butterflies all aflutter.

All sweet peas derive their name from the Greek word lathyros for pea or pulse, and the Latin word odoratus meaning fragrant. Sweet peas are the flowers most closely connected to the month of April.  Their array of colors makes them a great choice for brides maids bouquets and flower arrangements.  They can also be used pressed in dried floral decorations and are often dried to use in potpourri bags.

 

Significance, Meaning And Symbolism:

Sweet peas signify blissful pleasure, delicate pleasure , innocence, youth, tenderness and Purity, on the other hand they are also used to say good-bye by symbolizing the wish for a good journey or bon voyage.  It may also be used to indicate someone leaving after a positive experience which explains the message “Thank You For A Lovely Time” attached to the flower.  Perhaps Shakespeare had sweet peas in mind when he wrote the immortal words: “Parting is such sweet sorrow.

 

Meaning of Different Colors

RED – Red is a strong color, which is associated with love, courage, and desire.
WHITE – White means innocence, calmness, and gratitude.
PINK – Pink is the color of youth, linked with happiness, joy, and beauty.
PURPLE – Purple is a very royal color, which symbolizes admiration, respect, and pride.

 

History

Although the exact origin of the sweet pea is uncertain, the original Cupani variety, a bicolor with purple upper petal and deep blue winged petals, is available to gardeners still under the name Cupani! Origins aside, a hundred years after their “discovery” there were only six colors available in Europe until the mid 1800’s.

Many places have been suggested as being the home of the original sweet pea stock, among these the Italian island of Sicily, the island of Malta, China and Sri Lanka may be mentioned. It is known that Francisco Cupani, recorded the sweet pea as being a new plant in Sicily way back in 1695.  At that time it was also known as the “Queen of Annuals,”  Cupani sent seeds in 1699 to Dr. Casper Commelin who was a botanist at the medical school in Amsterdam. Two years later, Commelin published an article on sweet peas.

One of the theories about the origin of sweet peas is that these plants originated in the island nation of Ceylon – modern day Sri Lanka. The biological name, Lathyrus zeylandicus was used to describe the pink and white-flowered species of sweet pea by the taxonomist Carolus Linnaeus in 1753, the plant he described was believed to have come from Sri Lanka.  Dr Keith Hammett, botanist and sweet pea collector collected the seed of wild sweet peas from Sicily in the 1970’s and these are now grown under the name ‘Original’ or ‘Cupani’s Original’ in many places around the world.

Cupani Original Sweet Pea has many features that mark it out as distinct from the later grandiflora types. Flowers are noticeably smaller, the flower color and fragrance are both more intense, and there are only two flowers per stem. All this matches the original description given by Cupani and used by Linnaeus in volume 2 of his Species Plantarum in 1753.  It is significant that Linnaeus places Lathyrus odoratus in the section Pedunculis bifloris, or two flowered Lathyrus species.  The form known as ‘Cupani Original’ was selected by Dr Hammett out of all the material available as being genetically the most primitive, and as matching the earliest description and illustration.

Professional plant breeders as well as amateur plant enthusiasts and hobbyists continue to introduce many new varieties of the sweet pea flower in the market. The market for flowers is actually one major driving force responsible for the continuous introduction of new sweet pea varieties; this is because every major retail seed company, and the sweet pea specialists and professional gardeners, tend to promote and develop unique and unusual sweet pea varieties of their own.

A Scottish nurseryman Henry Eckford (1823–1905) cross-bred and developed the sweet pea, turning it from a rather insignificant if sweetly scented flower into a floral sensation of the late Victorian era, thus he gets most of the credit for developing and hybridizing the plants.  Because of his work he is known for turning the sweet pea from a relatively unknown wildflower to one of the most popular flowers of the Victorian era. As reward for his hard work, Eckford was granted a Victoria Medal of Honor by the Royal Horticultural Society. As they say, the rest is history.

North America’s enchantment with sweet peas goes back more than a century. In the 1930’s box cars of sweet pea seeds were shipped from California producers to their customers east of the Rockies. The love of this fragrant garden climber was widespread in North America from farms of the plains to country gardens in the northeastern United States.

 

Superstitions, Folklore & Legends:  

Superstitions say that the sweetpea grows rapidly if it is planted on Good Friday

In France, it’s a superstition where the sweetpea is believed to be a good omen for the brides. The sweetpea will cause everyone around her to tell her the truth and give her persistence for purpose. This will carry a pure woman past all temptations and evil and give her strength to do what is needed regardless if other people will talk about her and regardless of pain

 

In The Garden

Depending upon the variety, plants can grow from one to ten feet tall!  No cutting garden is complete without at least one row of fragrant, nostalgic sweet peas.  If you’re thinking about growing sweet peas, you have an option of bush types, sturdy plants that top out at no more than 3 feet and need very little support, or vining varieties, which scramble happily up a fence or trellis. Grow them over arches, teepees and trellis and plant them with your runner beans to draw lots of insect pollinators into your veggie patch.  You can also choose from varieties that bloom in early spring, or summer.

 

The butterfly shaped sweet peas enchant us with their fragile, seductive fragrance and make great bouquets. These pea-like flowers grow in many lovely colors and are suitable for an annual boarder, a woodland garden, and a trellis or arch.   Gather the flowers in the morning when the dew is still on them.

This is when their scent is the sweetest.  Growing sweet peas is akin to making piecrust. Some people have the knack, others don’t. Sweet peas are quite hardy, growing from large, easy-to-handle pea-like seeds. Still, they’re a bit tricky because they are slow to germinate. It’s worth experimenting with different seeds each year.

For best germination, Sweet Pea flower seeds need to be scarified before sowing. Nicking the seed with a nail clipper breaks the outer coat of the perennial Sweet Pea seeds so it can absorb water immediately. By doing this a larger percentage of the seeds will germinate and they will sprout a few days earlier. After nicking the seed, soak the Sweet Pea flower seeds over night in tepid water.

Sweet peas are one of the easiest flowers to start from seed. Sweet peas are commonly direct seeded in the garden. Give them a site with full to partial sun and deep, rich, loamy, moist but well-drained soil. Add plenty of organic matter (compost, well-rotted manure, leaf mold, or humus) to enrich the soil and make it more friable. Sweet peas are most successful when they are started at times with cooler temperatures. Each region has its own unique “season” for growing sweet peas

 

Recommended Varieties of Sweet Peas

April in Paris is a fragrant modern variety with large creamy-yellow blossoms and lilac shading.

The deliciously scented ‘America’ is an heirloom, dating to 1896. Its petals unfurl to show stunning wavy red and white stripes.  Breeders now offer varieties with old-fashioned perfume as well as heat resistance. Look for heirlooms like the  collection from Sicily. This strain blooms in shades of white, cream, pink, lavender, and purple.

Sweet Pea (Lathyrus Latifolius Pearl Pink) look lovely scrambling over a sunny wall, or growing up an old fence. Despite its lack of scent, Everlasting Pea Vine is one of the finest cut flowers and is always a colorful addition to the flower garden.

Sweet pea ‘Pastel Sunset Lathyrus odoratus  An annual – The soft pastel shades in this enticing sweet pea mixture were chosen to blend and complement each other by English growers who have been experts at sweet pea seed cultivation for generations. When grown together, these soft hues create a beautifully textured color melody. Pastel Sunset includes classics like rose-pink “Sylvia More,” creamy “Jilly,” lavender-blue “Chatsworth” and other cultivated varieties in sweetly scented shades of pink, peach and almond.

When the hybridists felt they’d cracked the plain colors, they moved on to “stripes” and “flakes”. William Unwin and later his son Charles bred lots of these.

If you have not grown sweet pea flowers, I found a website called Plant Answers gives a lot of detail about growing sweet peas. http://www.plantanswers.com/sweet_pea.htm and another site Gardening Know How  https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/sweet-pea/care-of-sweet-peas.htm.  I am sure you can find a lot more sites if you Google “growing sweet peas.”

 

Are Sweet Peas Edible?

Unlike the edible pea, there is evidence that seeds of members of the genus Lathyrus are toxic if ingested in quantity. A related species, Lathyrus sativus, is grown for human consumption but when it forms a major part of the diet it causes symptoms of toxicity called lathyrism. In antiquity sweet peas were associated with blissful pleasure because of its purported aphrodisiac effect.  Most of the ornamental sweet peas are not edible and produce toxins even though the flower looks similar to the garden pea.

With the growing interest in edible flowers, it is very important to be specific with the name. Although garden peas, (Pisum sativum) such as English peas, edible podded peas and snow peas are edible, sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) are poisonous – especially the flowers and seeds.

“The odor of the sweet pea is so offensive to flies that it will drive them out of a sick-room, though not in the slightest degree disagreeable to the patient.”
–A tip from The 1899 Old Farmer’s Almanac

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References:

http://www.almanac.com/content/april-birth-flowers

http://www.herbs2000.com/flowers/s_history.htm

http://www.lathyrus.info/sweetpeas/cupani

http://www.floretflowers.com/resources/how-to-grow-sweet-peas/

Learn About The History Of Sweet Peas

https://www.reference.com/world-view/meaning-sweet-pea-flowers-ace18a62cf770b7#

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_pea

http://www.outsidepride.com/seed/flower-seed/sweet-peas/sweet-peas-pearl-pink.htm

http://flowerfreshonline.com/sweet-pea-flower-history.html

https://www.sarahraven.com/flowers/seeds/sweet_peas/lathyrus_odoratus_prince_edward_of_york.htm

https://www.sarahraven.com/lathy rus_odoratus_painted_lady.htm

https://www.sarahraven.com/articles/the_sweet_pea_story.htm

http://www.plantanswers.com/sweet_pea.htm

https://www.babiesonline.com/flowersbirthmonth/

http://www.whatsmybirthflower.com/april-birth-flower/

https://www.sarahraven.com/lathyrus_odoratus_painted_lady.htm

https://www.sarahraven.com/flowers/seeds/sweet_peas/lathyrus_odoratus_prince_edward_of_york.htm

http://www.plantanswers.com/sweet_pea.htm

http://livingartsoriginals.com/flower-sweetpea.html

http://www.auntyflo.com/flower-dictionary/sweetpea

http://www.vancouverflorist.com/flower-meaning.aspx

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/symbolic-meaning-of-sweet-pea-flower.html

Care Of Sweet Peas – How To Grow Sweet Peas

 

 

 


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