April 30, 2014

Plant flowers where you think they will grow

Deuth,-Dave-colorBy David W. Deuth, CFSP
President, Weerts Funeral Home

There’s no doubt about it. The winter of 2013-14 will go into the history books as one of the harshest ever recorded – here throughout the QCA and most everywhere else as well.

Yearning so earnestly for the springtime as we have this year, it seems the best we’ve been able to muster so far have been one-day teasers of mild and windless days here and there. As this May issue goes to press, we are just now beginning to foresee some promise of consistently warmer weather that will rejuvenate and warm the soils in preparation for the growing season.

One can’t help but notice that numerous trees throughout the Quad Cities – and evergreens in particular – have not weathered our harsh winter very well at all. Large brown patches are abundantly evident and, in many cases, the entire tree or shrub appears to have been lost. We’re hopeful, as many of you must be, that some of our trees and shrubs will regain their fullness of health and beauty before autumn!

I have to admit that I’m agonizing over the thought of having to remove any of the affected ones if they don’t rebound; I’m fond of the greenery. The early challenge, I’ve decided, will be to determine which trees and shrubs are irrevocably affected and must ultimately be removed . . . and which ones may actually have enough essential root system and stored nutrients to have the potential to be effectively revived.

During a recent drive along Route 84 between the Quad Cities and Savanna, Illinois, I commented to Linda how absolutely amazing it is that such large trees have grown out of nothing but rock along this scenic roadway . . . and how, by comparison, some otherwise healthy shrubs planted in the good soils of our own yard are not looking nearly as healthy as some of the trees that have grown from nothing but a rock bed!

All kinds of good allegory, Biblical and otherwise, will certainly affirm that there is good truth in the notion of planting things in good soil. Proper soil. And yet, as our recent harsh winter has clearly demonstrated, there are factors extending far beyond just the quality of soil that become
necessary for the tree, shrub or plant to thrive . . . or sometimes even survive. Consider the significant drought before the winter, the extremely cold temperatures and deep-driven frost line, the extensive salt and other roadway corrosives being splashed upon the plants and trees from passing
vehicles. You get the idea. Environment also plays a critical role for the plant to grow and thrive and survive.

So as I’ve pondered the difficult decision of whether or not to remove some of my shrubs that don’t look so healthy these days, you might imagine my pause taken upon reading this lesser-known quote from the quiet introspections of Abraham Lincoln: “I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.”

Not that it’s at all fair to compare our winter-ravaged ailing trees and shrubs to thistles, mind you; not at all. Rather, my contemplation from this slice of Lincoln’s wisdom has focused more upon the qualifier he chose by addendum: “where I thought a flower would grow.”

At the end of the day, I decided it’s worth noting that trees can grow from rocks. And thistles seem to pop up just about anywhere.

But sometimes, as Lincoln has aptly reminded us, it’s entirely up to us to pluck the thistles and plant the flowers . . . wherever we think the flowers would grow.

Remember Well.

David W. Deuth, CFSP, is a funeral director and is the owner of Weerts Funeral Home in Davenport and RiverBend Cremation and Quad Cities Pet Cremation in Bettendorf. He can be reached at 563.424.7055 or by email at Dave@WeertsFH.com.

Filed Under: Personal Growth

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