Another Lesson Learned

Here’s a “before” picture of our butterfly bush, taken in May 2011.

By the end of August, the storms had taken a toll on it. Many of the leaves looked like they had been through a shredder. The right side of the bush was beaten down, the branch split. It looked like a house divided. 

I considered cutting off the broken section, but couldn’t quite bring myself to do it. I thought once it showed signs of dying, it would be easier to part with.

A few more storms have passed this way, and the main body of the bedraggled butterfly bush is showing its faded glory. 

October came and went, and not much attention was given to deadheading. Regarding it from the back door this week, it looked so forlorn. It was one of those 70+ degree days, and I needed an excuse to go outside, anyway, so I took the pruning shears and set out to shape it up a bit. The above picture is what I saw from the house, but this is what I found on the broken down side. Still lush and green, and loaded with blossoms. 

So, I learned another life lesson: Don’t give up when the storms of life beat us down, the harsh winds stripping away things we think we need, bending us out of shape. Where there is life, there is  hope. There is always hope. 

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified. Is.61:3

40 thoughts on “Another Lesson Learned

  1. Butterfly bushes are interesting. I usually try to remember to cut mine back to the ground in the early spring, so it doesn’t “take over the world”! Winds can really beat them up badly.
    Love the picture of that gorgeous bloom!


    1. I didn’t cut it back that far last winter, just to see what it would do. I liked how my niece’s looked when it didn’t get cut back, but it’s in a sheltered area. Mine will definitely get a good pruning this time around. Thanks, I love finding little flowery surprises like that, and sharing them.


  2. Patti, thanks so much for this! I needed this “life lesson” reminder today.

    (And I didn’t prune my lilacs back very well after the spent blooms over the summer. Do you know…do I still have time to do that?) You’re my go-to gardner guru. 🙂


    1. Thanks, Cynthia. Lilacs should be pruned immediately after blooming, later pruning will cut off the new growth which provides next year’s blooms. Your go-to gardener guru had to go to Google! lol I tried transplanting a lilac from my mom’s garden, but it didn’t make it. Our zone is iffy for them, would need the right hybrid. Since hubby pruned our azaleas late this year, I shall look forward to seeing pictures of your lilac next year.


      1. Thanks so much, Patti, for the info! I pruned many of the spent blooms off, but certainly not all like I should have. Other things took precedence.;)

        I did notice that when I started doing it on a regular basis, that the next season’s blooms were much more lovely and there indeed were more!


  3. Love your lesson this morning. I’m studying the life of Joseph and I love how your story parallels Joseph’s life. There is always hope for which I am very thankful.


  4. So envious of your before and after butterfly bush. Even after several years, mine never gets very big, but the few half dozen spikes I get every late Summer I cherish all the more…has to be another life lesson in that …thanks for sharing your life lesson: very, very true. Charles Spurgeon always draws upon the metaphor of how a master jeweler has to strike hard blows to the precious stone to reveal its beauty and worth. Your story of the butterfly bush reminded me just of that.


  5. Absolutely!! We might never have asked for the trials Sarah and TJ have been and are going through, but they will spend eternity together, and she now understands why that is so important. I firmly believe that God will use TJ in some way – perhaps in a jail ministry!


  6. Patti, that’s what I call a living demonstration of not giving up. It also gives me hope for my pansies which I am nursing back to life after their planter was blown over by the recent heavy winds.a couple of weeks ago. Thanks for sharing this..
    PS: I love the Scripture Verse!


    1. I’ve learned a few lessons out in the garden. There’s a lot that goes on in a season. I like seeing through different eyes, and sharing. Thanks, glad you enjoy those flowers as much as I do, Janna.


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