Circle of Life

I received this gardening joke from a friend and knew I had to share.  Hope it brings a bit of laughter to you today.

A conversation between God and St. Francis

God:  Frank you know all about gardens and nature, what in the world is going on down there on the planet?  What happened to all the dandelions, violets and milkweed I started eons ago?  I had a perfect no maintenance garden plan.  Those plants grow in any kind of soil, withstand drought, and multiply with abandon.  The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts butterflies,  honey bees and flocks of songbirds.  I expected to see a vast garden of flowers by now.   But all I see are these green rectangles.

St. Francis: It’s the tribes that settled there, Lord.  The suburbanites.  They started to call your flowers ‘weeds’ and went to great lengths to kill them and replace  them with grass.

God:  Grass?  But it’s so boring.  It’s not colorful.  It doesn’t attract birds, butterflies and bees; only grubs and sod worms.  It’s sensitive to temperatures.  Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

St. Francis:  Apparently so, Lord.  They go to to great pains to grow it and keep it green.  They start each spring by fertilizing the grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

God:  The spring rain and warm weather must make the grass grow really fast.  That must make the Suburbanites happy.

St. Francis:  Apparently not, Lord.  As soon as it grows a little, they cut it.  Some times twice a week.

God:  They cut it?  Do they then bale it like hay?

St. Francis:  Not exactly, Lord.  Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

God:  They bag it?  Why?  Is it a cash crop?

St. Francis:  No, Sir..  Just the opposite, they pay to throw it away.

God:  Now, let me get this straight.  They fertilize grass so it will grow.  And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

St. Francis:  Yes, Sir.

God:  These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat.  That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

St. Francis:  You aren’t going to believe this, Lord.  When the grass stops growing so fast they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow and pay to get rid of it.

God:  What nonsense, at least they kept some of the trees. That was a sure stroke of genius, if I say so myself.  The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer.    In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes.  It’s a natural cycle of life.

St. Francis:  You better sit down, Lord.  The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle.  As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

God:  No!  What do they do to protect the shrubs and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

St. Francis:  After throwing away the leaves they go out and buy something which they call mulch.  They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

God:  And where do they get this mulch?

St. Francis:  They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

God:  Enough!  I don’t want to think about this anymore.  St. Catherine, you’re in charge of the arts.  What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

St. Catherine:  ‘Dumb and Dumber’, Lord.  It’s a story about…..

God:    Nevermind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.

What other things do you see that make you shake your head?

29 thoughts on “Circle of Life

  1. Truer words were never spoken. They even have neighborhoods that fine you for allowing weeds to grow where grass should be. We were required by fire marshalls to rake in the spring to get rid of pine needles and leaves. Most did that in the fall. I left it till spring to protect the trees. Fire travels under the pine needles. What a crazy world we live in. Loved this post!


    • Marlene, how horrible that you can be fined for not raking your pine needles and leaves!! Good for you for defying them. Pine needles add much needed nutrients to the soil, I go around and collect fallen needles to spread in the garden beds and add to the compost. I once lived in a park that when sold the new owner came by to measure our “lawns” we were in the middle of the country so we didn’t really have grass. If your lawn was longer than 1/2 an inch you got fined. In the spring it drove me nuts because we had so much land just when I would finish it (it took 3 days) it was time to start all over. My life was controlled by that man. I couldn’t wait to move.


    • Glad you enjoyed it. I shake my head watching the fertilizer being spread and get angry when I see the bags of leaves at the curb each year, but never looked at it in this context before. Maybe between us someone will see this and think about that perfect lawn they have and make some changes.


      • It’s stupid! Lawn clippings are brilliant for composting and compost is brilliant for fertilizing.
        We have green bin recycling here in Australia although not in Ballan and so grass clippings, leaves, chopped branches and more can be sent to the tip/transfer station and mulched or composted. I’m not sure where it goes to from there though.


        • I only wish we had green recycling here, although I wouldn’t use it other than for the roots and seeds of the weeds I pull. Most everything goes into compost for me. I cover my strawberry beds in leaves for winter as well. Nature was created to take care of itself and left alone it would do nicely, the least I can do is use what is free and natural.


          • I’m working on that, Jessie. According to our towns rules (I live within the town limits) all burning has to be done inside a container and on a pad. It can be concrete, brick or any other surface that could withstand the heat. It’s to prevent a fire from spreading if the ground conditions are dry. I have that covered, but now it’s a matter of getting the landlord to agree. He is concerned that someone living here, we have university students, families and older adults, might leave a fire unattended or build it too high. Even though the field is a long ways from the building. As soon as I get approval from him I can start to burn the roots. I’ve made a lot of changes here in the 2 years I’ve lived here so I am trying not to push too much too fast, I’ll get it eventually.


          • I think what you’ve done and what you are doing is absolutely awesome! And to set such an example that others want to share your field is incredible.
            Change is such a hard thing isn’t it. Trying to make a change that may not be easy for ourselves (I’ve made some big dietary changes of late) or to convince others to let us make changes or to make changes themselves. Then of course the government red tape. One day though…


          • It is awesome to see more people deciding to join in and get their hands dirty in the gardens. The other fantastic thing is that everyone who gardens out here shares their bounty. I can’t tell you how many times I have had a knock at the door delivering some of the food they have just picked. It’s how life should be. Yes, changes are hard. I’ve made quite a few over the years, but in the end they are worth it, aren’t they?


      • So far I’ve gotten potatoes, basil, and zucchini!! The carrots didn’t grow, and I think my spaghetti squash plant is on strike. Tomatoes aren’t doing too hot either, but overall it has been a success. I cannot wait to do better next year! I love digging in the dirt!!


        • Even if that’s all you got I’d call that a success too. My carrots did fine, this is the first year I was successful. I was told they needed some sand mixed in and can’t be in rocky soil. So that’s what I did in a raised bed and they did fine. My spaghetti squash is taking a long time, but I finally spotted the beginnings of one. I have flowers all over it so I’m still hopeful. I lost a lot this year as well so don’t feel bad. The poor plants just don’t know what to make of this season.


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