1068. Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. ~Lindley Karstens

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 7.03.47 PM.png

A garden is a grand teacher.
It teaches patience and careful watchfulness;
it teaches industry and thrift;
above all it teaches entire trust.
~Gertrude Jekyll

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 6.37.07 PM.png

Garden Magic

This is the garden’s magic,
That through the sunny hours
The gardener who tends it,
Himself outgrows his flowers.

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 6.42.51 PM.png

He grows by gift of patience,
Since he who sows must know
That only in the Lord’s good time
Does any seedling grow.

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 6.44.31 PM.png

He learns from buds unfolding,
From each tight leaf unfurled,
That his own heart, expanding,
Is one with all the world.

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 6.37.50 PM.png

He bares his head to sunshine,
His bending back a sign
Of grace, and ev’ry shower becomes
His sacramental wine.

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 6.35.06 PM.pngAnd when at last his labors
Bring forth the very stuff
And substance of all beauty
This is reward enough.
~Marie Nettleton Carroll

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 6.41.28 PM.png

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. ~Genesis 1:15  ✝

**All images via my garden in 2015

904. Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace. ~May Sarton

    Gardening time is time that involves itself in the moment,
that focuses on the soaring stateliness of trees and
the minute scale of the tiniest blossom.

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 6.07.00 PM

The time that began in a garden is the kind of time I go to my garden to find again. It’s the time the way God created it: as a servant and not a master.

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 6.06.35 PM

This kind of time is a container for worthwhile work, a resource for creating the beautiful and feeding the hungry and growing soul. It is measured in drifting or purposeful hours, in day and then night and then day again, in slowly rolling seasons, each with its special purpose under heaven.

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 6.07.18 PM

Garden time required daily attention but does not require that everything be done in a day. I go to my garden to rediscover that kind of time. And I have to take time out from the other kind of time to discover it.

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 6.05.36 PM

It’s great to get away from the rat race, the conveyor belt, the traffic jam, to be renewed and refreshed in the company of growing things; it feels like a day in the country. ~All pasages by Emilie Barnes

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 6.07.34 PM

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. ~Genesis 2:15  ✝

**A friend and fellow blogger asked me to post pictures of my garden. And so I spent some time looking through old photos this afternoon. But here’s the thing, my “garden” is actually in flower beds all around the house and along the fences. The largest portion may be in the backyard, but it is separated by other beds and sections of the yard so finding a photo the covered it all quickly became an insurmountable problem. Then I also realized that what might be blooming in some photos is not blooming later in the year. So it really is a moveable feast as it were, and now it is waning rapidly, not so much because the temperatures have lowered all that much but because we haven’t gotten rain in months. So I’ve already started cutting down spent perennials, pruning roses, and pulling down vines that have nearly bloomed out. Sadly right now there is only a smattering of things worth seeing, and it’s hasn’t even gotten cool enough for any leaves to start turning their lovely colors. There are only the dead and brown ones from the heat and lack of rain. However, I did go back and found some pictures that give an idea of the splendor around here at times.  Another thing, look at the white trellis in the third photo; it is now completely covered with spent autumn clematis vines and morning glory vines that are both waning fast. In the last photo, the black round trellis in front of the metal sunflower is also covered in waning morning glories. So the garden really does alter its appearance from month to month and season to season as some things perish and new things are planted. A garden at any given moment is just a work in progress.

380. Flowers are the alphabet of angels, whereby they write on the hills and fields mysterious truths. ~Benjamin Franklin

Yet, the great ocean hath no tone of power mightier
to reach the soul, in thought’s hushed hour,
than yours, ye Lilies! chosen thus and graced!
~Mrs. Felicia D. Hemans

Image

Lilies, beautiful lilies, I adore them! And I feel sure they’ve written “mysterious truths” on many a hill and field since they’ve been cultivated for thousands and thousands of years. Lilies were the holy flower of the ancient Assyrians, and there’s an ancient legend that says the lily sprang up from the tears Eve shed as she left the Garden of Eden. It has also been written that the lily-of-the-valley grew up from the tears shed by Mary over the death of her son, Jesus, the Messiah. The word lily in French is lis and the fleur-de-lis may be a stylized representation of a lily. However there’s been much controversy and debate about whether the stylized flower is a lily or a wild yellow iris instead. Despite the disputes, at some point in the Middle Ages, the fleur-de-lis did in fact become a religious symbol associated with the lily. That may have stemmed from words in the Song of Solomon and other passages of scripture or literary works since Christ has often been depicted amid stylized lilies.

Image

My coming to faith did not start with a leap but rather a series of staggers from what seemed like one safe place to another. Like lily pads, round and green, these places summoned and then held me up while I grew. Each prepared me for the next leaf on which I would land, and in this way I moved across the swamp of doubt and fear. ~Anne Lamott

Image

My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the beds of spices, to browse in the gardens and to gather lilies. ~Song of Songs 6:2 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

318. Water is the driver of nature. ~Leonardo da Vinci

Be praised, My Lord,
through Sister Water;
she is very useful,
and humble,
and precious,
and pure.
~St. Francis of Assisi

Screen shot 2014-03-06 at 5.17.05 PM

The sight of water, be it in a pond, a river, the sea, a fountain, or even a drop from a spigot touches something deep in “the temple of my inner being.” I love to sit quietly and watch water fall or splash or ripple or break like the waves on a seashore. And if I peer down long enough into the mysterious depths of a body of water, my mind conjures up images of earth’s origins, and subsequently the Garden of Eden comes alive in my soul’s eye. Even gauzy reflections which quiver and quake in a puddle or body of water seem to possess a captivating life, a compelling story, a gripping sanctity of their own.

Although I know not where it rests in the human psyche, I believe somewhere therein mortals recognize familiar things not necessarily of this world, things they appear to know without human tutelage or logic’s reason. In the same way a child instinctively recognizes its biological mother even after the umbilical cord is severed, I believe we, who are temporarily separated from the Holy Source of our being, retain a sense of the Father’s parenting presence because we belong to the Lord and are inextricably a part of Him. It could be that’s why earth and its waters not only call to me but also comfort me.

…by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. ~2 Peter 3:5  ✝

Thank you, Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us!

**Photo via Pinterest

206. The more I wonder, the more I love. ~Alice Walker, author of THE COLOR PURPLE

It seemed to my friend
that the creation of a landscape-garden
offered to the proper muse
the most magnificent of opportunities.
Here indeed was the fairest field
for the display of the imagination,
in the endless combining of forms of novel beauty.
~Edgar Allan Poe

Image

Image

Purple, the most powerful wavelength of the rainbow, can be seen sometimes simply streaking the heavens, and it is mentioned at least 25 times in the Bible.  Over the ages the color’s “novel beauty” has symbolized magic, mystery, spirituality, the sub-conscious, creativity, dignity, and royalty; statistics show that it has evoked all of those meanings more so than any other color.  And yet the color purple is a rarity in nature so much so that its earliest dyes could be made only at great expense rendering it a color to be worn solely by kings, emperors, nobility, and priests. So when I find samplings of purple in my yard as I did yesterday, it feels as if honored guests have arrived at my “table.”  Add to that the fact that pigments from these particular guests have been found in prehistoric depictions dating back 50,000 years and that those depictions were found where the Garden of Eden could have been, then the honored guests become not only venerable ones but also sacred ones.  I sent out the invitations to these purple invitees last August after happening upon Crocus Sativus corms at a local nursery.  Since I had long wanted to try growing the plants from which the spice saffron is obtained, I came home and immediately planted my 6 little corms and then came the watching and waiting for signs of life.  But as the leaves began to fall and collect in the beds and I was spending less time outside, I’d almost forgotten about them until yesterday when I went out to get the mail.  To my surprise I spied two of the beauties with their three crimson stigmas (saffron threads) pushing up from under a layer of leaves.  Like a child I literally squealed with delight; it was as if I’d stepped into the Lord’s holy presence as He walked in His garden.

They put a purple robe on Him(Jesus), then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on Him.  ~ Mark 15:17  ✝