********** A Christian Journal **********

Growing in the Spirit of Jesus Christ

Friday, July 2, 2010

July 02, 2010 (gardening again)

“I think that if ever a mortal heard the voice of God
it would be in a garden at the cool of the day.”
- F. Frankfort Moore
(A Garden of Peace)

Years ago, as a teen (late 50’s – early 60’s), I worked my summers
in a rather large “truck garden” (about 2 acres or so)…
you name it, we probably grew it.
In addition there was several different fruit trees,
nut trees, berry bushes, and a couple of grape vines.

The vegetable garden was maintained by my father
and I along with a neighbor, his wife, and son.
My mother also helped in the garden, although
she did most of the canning and freezing
for our family.
The trees, bushes, and grape vines
were my responsibility alone.
Then there was the grass mowing,
which if done in the same day,
took most of the “entire” day.

After my father passed away,
so did most of the gardening.
Eventually my wife and I sold the place
and looked for a larger house (1980)
for our growing family and
less yard to maintain.
All that gardening at a young age
left me somewhat jaded.
I had little desire to garden again.

Looking back…
my gardening experience was a character builder
and physically, mentally, and spiritually therapeutic.
There is a lot I miss even though it was
back breaking work.

“I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day,
and stand in deep contemplation
over my vegetable progeny
with a love that nobody could share or conceive of
who had never taken part in the process of creation.
It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world
to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil,
or a row of early peas just peeping forth
sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green.”
- Nathaniel Hawthorne
(Mosses from and Old Manse)

As it turned out it also lent itself well
to my chosen profession…high school biology teacher
(majoring in botany during post graduate studies).

After we moved and during the next 30 years
I did some minor landscaping around the new homestead…
planting 8 trees, a row of lilac bushes, a forsythia hedge,
some flowers, etc. Not much working in the dirt
considering the long time span.

This year the forsythia hedge, which was getting
unmanageable for me, was removed
and I developed an interest in perennial,
native wildflowers. Not wanting to spend
a lot of money, the wildflowers selected were few.

Eventually, I hope to expand the plantings over an
8 by 40 foot section bordering one side of the property…
that is if the “native” animals
don’t treat it like their personal salad bar…
more on that later…

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
- Dorothy Frances Gurney
("Garden Thoughts")


  1. One is nearer God's heart - what memories that brings back for me. Lovely piece.

  2. I'll tell you this post makes me want to get out in the yard and get to work. The last time I had this feeling I went out and bought some his and hers gardening gloves. As soon as I got in the yard a black snake wiggled it's way on the side of my house near the flower patch and that was the end of my gardening experience. My gloves didn't even get the chance to get dirty!