In April we scarified the lawn. We even bought a new machine to do it. Out came so much dead grass and moss and weeds, and in flew the blackbirds to peck the disturbed earth and fly off with beaks full of worms. I think we wanted to keep the worms. All I can say is that the lawn now looks AWFUL. Which is why I have shown you a picture of tulips instead. The tulips are wonderful. It always surprises me. You take these dead looking bulbs - all dry skin and withered roots - in the autumn and then push them into the earth and make sure they are buried deeply. Completely covered. Gone. For months I had pots standing in the garden with nothing in them. So I covered them with a layer of gravel. They looked completely barren.
The green shoots started to appear in Winter (well it was Winter here!) and I was sure that they would be frosted off and shrivel up. Then suddenly there is this amazing show of beauty and colour. The tulips have certainly been the star of the garden this May. You can see why, once upon a time, they had a weight for weight value higher than gold.
The tulips are looking glorious - unlike the lawn. So why the scarifying? Why do something so destructive and disturbing - even to a lawn?
Because it has to be done if you want to keep the grass growing and healthy. The lawn will look bedraggled for a bit, but with a good application of “weed and feed” it will soon be growing green and strong again. If you leave the dead grass it smothers the new growth and if you leave the small weeds they just grow bigger and stronger and take over as much earth as they can. I once did that. Happy with the effect of “green” even if it was mostly moss and weeds I left the lawn for some years. Then concerned about the weeds I applied the patent “weed and feed.” Result? A landscape of bare earth and true barrenness with the odd wispy patch of grass. Whoops! The lawn had disappeared and now needed really major work - a thorough digging over and re-seeding was in order – months or years to full recovery. Or maybe the only solution was digging the whole thing up and bringing in new turf.
That’s why they call God the Gardener (John 15:1). When He scrapes the mess and dead stuff out of our lives and throws it away we don’t like it. It’s disturbing, and makes us look worse than we did before. But He knows what He’s doing. He does it to bring new life and health and growth – the end result will be even better than the beginning.
And when we feel dry and dead and lifeless why does he make it worse by burying us alone somewhere dark and cold? Because he knows what He’s doing. It’s the only way to bring out the full potential of the life hidden deep within. Come the spring the tulips will be glorious. As you can see.