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Gardening: An Instrument of Grace…

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“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: An Instrument of Grace...

Gardening: An Instrument of Grace...

Gardening God‘s Way by: Author Unknown
Plant three rows of peas:
Peace of mind
Peace of heart
Peace of soul

Plant four rows of squash:
Squash gossip
Squash indifference
Squash grumbling
Squash selfishness… Contd

The weather has been quite warm of late… and naturally, many of us have turned our eyes and minds on our gardens. My crocuses are blooming their purple hearts out. Our Vinca, Snowdrops and Lenten Rose have bloomed since January and are not showing signs of exhaustion or boredom yet… So, I look at the garden and see the grace in these life forms; resilient, graceful, colorful, and stronger than their delicate foliage would suggest. I found the poem I added and thought it would be perfect; we can grow as we sow… Today, the temperature was in the low 60s, and the high 60s are expected tomorrow. Gardening season is almost here.

“A garden is a complex of aesthetic and plastic intentions; and the plant is, to a landscape artist, not only a plant – rare, unusual, ordinary or doomed to disappearance – but it is also a color, a shape, a volume or an arabesque in itself.” Roberto Burle Marx

Gardening: An Instrument of Grace...

Gardening: An Instrument of Grace...

Plant four rows of lettuce:
Lettuce be faithful
Lettuce be kind
Lettuce be obedient
Lettuce really love one another

No garden without turnips:
Turnip for meetings
Turnip for service
Turnip to help one another… Contd

Someone once said that gardening is the closest we come to being present at creation… True. I watch our garden and it reveals some of its secrets to me. The Daffodils shoots are showing, and soon the garden will be abloom with yellow flowers kissing the heavens and the earth; reminding us that spring has arrived… I must confess though, that it arrived early and never left this warm winter season. Soon, our Forsythia shrubs and Magnolia trees will bloom and all will be well with the world. As if all isn’t well with the world now, but who knows what tomorrow will bring.

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.” Luther Burbank

Gardening: An Instrument of Grace...

Gardening: An Instrument of Grace...

Water freely with patience and cultivate love
There is much fruit for your garden
Because you reap what you sow… Contd

When I went searching for garden photos on Wikipedia, I was pulled in by the amazing and wide ranging styles of gardens showcased from around the world. How could a hobby that many do out of a simple love for the earth be transformed into intricate, architectural designs that could take our breath away? My mother gardened, and I learned much about flowers and plantings at her feet. My dad came from farming stock, and I learned about harvests and crops and all that comes with the world of farming… Gardening is a lighter term or version of  the heavy lifting done on farms. It takes grace.  More below. 😉

“In search of my mother’s garden, I found my own.” Alice Walker

Gardening: An Instrument of Grace...

Gardening: An Instrument of Grace...

To conclude our garden
We must have thyme:
Thyme for God
Thyme for study
Thyme for prayer
Thyme for each other
Thyme for friends

Today, the deer stopped by to say hello to my garden… They usually spend winter with us but bring their babies to the garden in spring. They do it with impunity; every year they arrive expecting new tulips but I no longer plant them. We have had our battles in the past. Years ago, I decided to build a garden that would remind me of my mother’s colorful floral haven. I planted 1000 tulip bulbs and 30 different perennials. The deer came, around this time, and ate them all… free lunch. Well, in the first year they ate 70%. Over the next 2-3 years, they ate the rest. Now they see my Azaleas, Japanese peonies, and bleeding hearts and they wonder what happened to their free lunch… Grace has sustained what’s left of my garden and I know grace will find them lunch… elsewhere.

What are your thoughts? Do you garden? What have you planted this year? Do you know rotate your plantings? How do you celebrate your harvest? Do share! Thank you. 😉

Positive Motivation Tip: Look around your garden and be thankful for the harvest… God’s blessings come in mysterious ways.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Butchart Garden, Turnip, Pieskowa Scala LBurbank Gardens  Palace Gardens, RikugienChinese Garden, Cyprus Garden, via Wikipedia and/or via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

59 Comments leave one →
  1. 08/03/2012 12:14 am

    Reblogged this on Milenanik3's Blog.

    • 10/03/2012 1:56 am

      Ty for the reblog… deeply appreciated. 😉

  2. 08/03/2012 12:24 am

    Each time I came here I feel lovely.You have nice and calm soul.
    Make me wonder where does Your love come from?Now this article about gardening.Beautiful.
    I have little garden of spices.Make me feel connect with Nature,whole universe,even with God.It is the best cure for wounded hearts.Everyone should try and have little garden no matter how small.I often talk with my plants,they are lovely companion,so tender,so beautiful.Above all they are my real friends.
    Wish You joy&Love,

    • 10/03/2012 2:05 am

      TY Milena… gardening is healing and meditative so I can relate to what you are saying .! 🙂

  3. 08/03/2012 1:30 am

    Gardening…dull 🙁 That’s what cement is for 🙂

    • 10/03/2012 2:06 am

      I hear you… that is what makes life fun; we can all find what interests us and do it. TY! 🙂

  4. 08/03/2012 1:30 am

    love the pictures and colours, but especially your verse that you have put together to accompany them… 🙂

    • 10/03/2012 2:11 am

      TY for your feedback… I found that poem and it truly inspired the post. 😉

  5. 08/03/2012 1:31 am

    Reconnecting to the source! 🙂

  6. 08/03/2012 1:44 am

    Maybe gardening works on us because it makes us accept that we have to do our part if we want to reap the harvest, but after we do that we have to accept that the results may be largely outside our control?

    • 10/03/2012 2:12 am

      Exactly… We plant the seeds and the universe supports our effort in whichever way it deems best… Lots of lessons in gardening. TY 🙂

  7. 08/03/2012 3:20 am

    I loved having a garden in apartments that allowed me to use the yard. I miss it so much. The last one I had was at one of my sisters buildings, so I when I visit Chicago, I go see my garden which is halfway thriving without me. I can’t wait until we buy a place of our own where I have a yard. I’m thinking a rental here in NYC and a little house in PA. somewhere.

    • 10/03/2012 2:13 am

      Hey Rose! That would be lovely… You can still do those window boxes I see all over the city. They are so pretty. 🙂

  8. 08/03/2012 7:04 am

    I love gardens and planting. My husband and I have an arrangement… I design it and help plant it, then he maintains it. Perfect! He likes digging in the dirt and I love cutting fresh flowers for my table and harvesting fresh veggies.

    • 10/03/2012 2:14 am

      I thought of you and a few other gardeners when I wrote this one… I know your love for it is deep… 🙂

  9. 08/03/2012 7:17 am

    Your photographs are breathtaking. I love flowers and the gardens you have pictured no doubt were the result of countless hours of lots of TLC. Wonderful share. Thank you!

    • 10/03/2012 2:15 am

      Aren’t they amazing? I wish they were mine… but I can imagine the many hours spent slugging away in those gardens. TY! 🙂

  10. 08/03/2012 7:43 am

    Whenever I want to feel absolute peace I think of my first mother-in-law’s gardens. I did not appreciate how much work went into them I just remember what a beautiful place it was to be.

    • 10/03/2012 2:16 am

      It must have been amazing. The best gardens have that effect… TY! 🙂

  11. 08/03/2012 7:55 am

    I enjoyed reading your post about gardening. I don’t have a garden at the moment, but hope to be able to acquire one again in the future. But in the meantime it’s fun to feel my hands get a little dirty – spiritually. There is something very meditative about gardening.

    • 10/03/2012 2:19 am

      TY for your comment and I bet your garden would be magnificent when you do start one… Gardening is meditative and frankly, I see it as a form of prayer. 😉

  12. Bree permalink
    08/03/2012 8:13 am

    Gardening is calming and tending to plants, even indoor ones, brings out the compassionateN maternal side of me. This is a meditation on gardening – calming.

    • 10/03/2012 2:20 am

      TY for your calming voice… I love the earth and appreciate the positive feedback on this topic. 🙂

  13. 08/03/2012 9:49 am

    I love gardens and gardening. I’m going to start thinking of the pleasure as “an instrument of grace.” That’s so lovely. My little seedlings have all popped through this week and if weather permits, I’ll be outdoors planting a spring garden. And meditating as I do! Debra

    • 10/03/2012 2:23 am

      Good for you… many of mine have popped their heads up but I no longer have the lush garden of years ago. We have a lot of wildlife and, over the years, they have decimated my garden… It’s still productive but with fewer showings. TY! 🙂

  14. 08/03/2012 10:13 am

    Nice gardens!
    Nice post!

  15. 08/03/2012 10:38 am

    can’t wait!

  16. 08/03/2012 11:04 am

    Beautiful pictures!

  17. 08/03/2012 11:04 am

    Wonderful article Elizabeth! My little backyard garden isn’t nearly as large, or as beautiful, as the ones pictured on Wikipedia and Flickr. But, I love gardening… it’s my yoga.

    • 10/03/2012 2:26 am

      I love gardening too and mine is under tender care as the animals continue to eat everything that isn’t poisonous. 🙂

  18. 08/03/2012 11:56 am

    I know my plants and love to visit gardens but home only has a very tiny one!

    • 10/03/2012 2:27 am

      And that is fine too. TY! 🙂 I have indoor plants and some outdoor ones and I love them all… 🙂

  19. 08/03/2012 11:56 am

    First, let me comment briefly on your post “Inspiration: Why Happiness is LIke a Butterfly”. I must do it here on this next post, because the Netgear Firewall on this system where I am working does not allow direct acces to anything with the syllable “butt–” in its title. I could still read it of course but pulling up from your blog title. I LOVE this quote you began with:
    “Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder…” Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau is SO one of my top five favorite American authors before the 20th Century! Walden Pond is my idea of Heaven on Earth, if you really want to know. I am learning to just be very still and focus on the sky, the leaves, the birds to have the butterfly of happiness alight on my shoulder! Bless you for this post!

    • 10/03/2012 2:28 am

      TY for your feedback… I love the Thoreau quote too. It is perfect. Interesting how companies pick key words to block. 😆

  20. 08/03/2012 12:01 pm

    Dear ones, I love gardening and am enjoying some of my latest spring bulb additions just now starting to bloom. They remind me that timeliness of planting, faithfulness in feeding, discernment in choosing the proper spot regarding shade and sun and soil type and drainage, and wisdom in just standing still and practicing sheer joy in the beautiful results are all requirements for proper gardening! These same principals are applying in my Christian walk, especially this blessed Lenten Season!

    • 10/03/2012 2:30 am

      That is true… We learn a lot from gardening that are teachings on life itself. TY! :-0

  21. 08/03/2012 12:07 pm

    Reblogged this on ChristianBlessings and commented:
    Dear brothers and sisters and all inquirers: I cannot resist sharing with you this most wonderfully inspiring and wise post today from Mirth and Motivation. Gardening in God’s fields is trully productive of much bounty when these guidelines are followed. Please join this ol’ Mississippi farm girl and Christian since the age of five in soaking up this inspiration today! The verses by the unknown author about peas and squash and lettuce and turnips and thyme are well worth memorizing, folks! Bless you all very much. I will be sharing in a few days a most successful questionnaire prepared by a pastoral friend of mine here in NW Alabama! This questionnaire has brough 16 prisoners in Alabama in various locations to a saving knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Hallelujah! I will add my own comments telling about how conversations with this pastoral friend strengthen and encourge me in my own Christian journey.

    May your gardens grow over the rooftops!

    • 10/03/2012 2:30 am

      TY for the reblog and feedback. I will visit and comment. 🙂

  22. 08/03/2012 3:38 pm

    Yes, we have a garden. When I was a kid, I lived on a crop farm, and we also had a large garden in our yard full of many different kinds of vegetables. I was spoiled because I often had fresh home grown vegetables. I still grow a vegetable garden – can’t beat home grown vine-ripened tomatoes! We also grow many flowers. I have to get the deer resistant kind because our area is full of deer, but I love cutting fresh flowers from the yard to display in the house. Garden growing time is almost here, and I often find it to be relaxing, satisfying, and more healthy eating. I can do without the weeding, though.

    • 10/03/2012 2:37 am

      I can do without the weeding too… It is hard work but the joy of seeing your effort grow is indescribable. You comment about your crop farm brought back good memories here too. TY! 🙂

  23. 08/03/2012 7:03 pm

    What a lovely post Elizabeth, and to be talking about something as close to my heart as gardening (besides animals of course!) I love gardening. Being in my garden brings me peace and serenity and I’d say it’s my most favourite place to be!
    At the moment I’m growing lettuce, rhubarb, green beans, peas, pumpkin, strawberries, shallots, leeks and a few other bits and bats. I love picking them and putting fresh produce on the table to enjoy. One of life’s greats pleasures!

    • 10/03/2012 2:38 am

      Yes, I remember you are an avid gardener… It is calming and offers many rewards to us. TY! 🙂

  24. 08/03/2012 8:14 pm

    I truly LOVE this post, the analogies, the stunning pictures, everything about it.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and pictures.

    • 10/03/2012 2:39 am

      TY for your feedback… I really enjoyed the process. 🙂

  25. 08/03/2012 10:27 pm

    This is a lovely post 🙂
    The photos the verse your commentary
    all very heart warming.
    I love gardening, love to see God’s creations in the way plants grow, the spectrum of color and variety … 🙂

    • 10/03/2012 2:40 am

      Gardening truly is a doorway to heaven. TY for your comment, I appreciate it !

  26. 09/03/2012 6:12 am

    Flowers in spring . . . so happy! 😀

    • 10/03/2012 2:41 am

      I love spring flowers too… not so much the showers. 🙂

  27. 09/03/2012 12:33 pm

    My grandfather was a horticulturist which is probably how I became interested. I am a master gardener for our county and on any given day can spend sun up till sundown in our garden.I’m one of those people who enjoys weeding!

    • 09/03/2012 12:51 pm

      I’m impressed! My mom gardened too but I not a master at it… I love seeing things grow and that satisfaction is indescribable. Unfortunately, there is much competition with wildlife for the plantings I love. 😉

  28. 10/03/2012 9:24 am

    . . . dreaming of gardening here.

  29. 11/03/2012 6:55 pm

    I love looking at the serene green landscapes. In Nevada, right now it is all brown and dead looking by comparison. Maybe a plastic garden will do the trick 😛

  30. 29/12/2013 3:39 am

    Perfect. I arrived here looking for motivation to continue clearing the overgrown mess that will become my first homestead. Its freezing and foggy and I knew it would really take something to get me out there. This was it. Thank you.


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