Monday, May 10, 2010

My Teaching Garden

I have multiple scratches all over my arms and legs from a lost battle with a stubborn rose bush.  My manicure is now dirt-stained.  There's a blister the size of a quarter on my left palm, the result of some over zealous soil-tilling.  When I try to bend over to step into my jeans or tie my shoes, my lower back screams in agony, reminding me of all those bags of soil and mulch I lugged from the car to our backyard.

But, my flower garden is finished!! And this morning, as I sip coffee on the back deck and gaze out at my roses, impatiens, crepe myrtles and dahlias, I know it was worth every single ache and pain.

I love gardening!  I wrote this post a while back about how I first discovered this wonderful botanical hobby, and I'd love for you to read it if you get the chance.  Gardening actually makes me feel closer to God. I imagine He and I have this partnership going when it comes to my flowers.  I aerate and fertilize the soil, plant and water everything, and He makes it bloom and grow!  Although I DO wish He'd help out with the weeding every once in a while, I have to admit, I think we make a pretty good team!

But as I tilled and fertilized and planted over the last several days, some other thoughts occurred to me, and I'd love to share them with you today:

I think working in a garden is a wonderful metaphor for life. Think about it, in order to get good results, you're going to have to dig in and put your back into it.  It's not always going to be pretty -- you'll definitely encounter your share of manure.  But in the end you'll realize it was a necessary element, and definitely helped to promote growth.

You'll also run into a lot of pests, but you'll eventually learn the most effective methods to control them, and they won't bother you any more.  Sometimes the work will appear overwhelming, but you'll figure out that if you take it one section at a time, deal only with what's right in front of you, then move on to the next, you will get through it all.

At the end of it, you'll be able to stand back and take a good look at all that you've accomplished.  And even though your muscles ache and you bear the bumps and bruises of some tough times, you'll gaze out at the lovely product of your labor and say emphatically, "It was SO worth it!!"

Thanks for reading!!

40 comments:

Alycia said...

Ever so true. It's definitely an activity that gives a sense of satisfaction, and great joy.

Oh how jealous I am that you can have such a lovely back deck. It'd rot within a week here from the sun and weather.

THE OLD GEEZER said...

Good Morning Joan

Your garden looks wonderful !
You have what my dad used to call a "green thumb"
I love gardens and beautiful well kept lawns, but I would rather pay someone to take care of mine than do the work myself.

Ron

Pam said...

Wow! You've been busy and your work has paid off! It all looks beautiful! It is obviously much warmer by you ~ we're still having frost and I don't dare plant flowers until the very end of May. Take care of that nasty blister and hope your back is fine now!

ReformingGeek said...

Ah, very nice. It looks likes your flowers will get some great sun. I'm so sorry about your "ouchies"!

You made a good point about gardening and life, taking the good with the bad and avoiding pests. ;-)

Lydia said...

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Richard said...

If it was easy, everybody would do it. By the way, it's a trillion degrees down here so the only thing you can grow is hell plants. I saw the devil mowing his lawn and he was sweating.

CentFla said...

It does look awesome baby. Gardening is a wonderful metaphor for life. And yours is as beautiful and well manicured as your lawn. And when the realities of the world put a Septic Tank lid in your yard, decorate it with Seraphim and Flower.

Bossy Betty said...

Ah yes. It IS just like life in may ways, isn't it? Bless you and all the other gardeners out there that make the world a more beautiful place.

KathyB said...

Wow! The garden is soooo much bigger and you have done an incredible amount of work! I can't imagine doing ALL of that yourself. I'm way impressed, girl. Amazing! Big kudos!!!

Julie said...

What a fabulous illustration of life! Gardening really does encompass it all, doesn't it...we plant a seed and use our faith that it will grow--along with plenty of work, as you said!

Hope you had a beautiful Mother's Day--thanks for all you share with your posts--I love them all!

Darlene said...

Your garden looks BEAUTIFUL! We worked on one of the garden beds that hubby had tilled up for me this last weekend. I want to just stand and look at it. I LOVE it!!

Teresa Evangeline said...

Another great post. Yes, a metaphor for life. I am wanting to dig into the earth myself. I think it would be good for my soul... have a really good week.

gregj said...

Sorry about your ailments, but your garden is beautiful.
You don't do things in half measure, do you?
Take time, take it slow, take it easy?

thanks for sharing this.
Greg

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Looks GREAT!

JennyMac said...

SO beautiful! You have really done a great job.

Eva Gallant said...

I can't say that I love gardening....I don't even like it a little. my bad.

Jingle said...

creative and beautiful!
Happy Monday!

Claire said...

Gorgeous!! I too have learned a love for gardening recently, we do what we can, since we rent, but I'm excited to move, just to garden my "own" yard! What did you plant in there???

blueviolet said...

I wish I shared that love. I adore the end results but the work is just not enjoyable to me at all. Part of it is that I don't really know what I'm doing though!

lifeshighway said...

Your garden looks wonderful. Mine is also in full glory before the southern sun beats it down into submission. Been a gardener for many years. Every time we have moved, the landscaping has been a new adventure.

Jenny said...

Hi Joan, what a lovely, graceful garden bed. I can't wait to see this overflowing with colorful blooms!

Such a good tired gardening gives you!

Happy Monday!

Feeling Just Right said...

I never once doubt why i love reading you! You make my heart grow! hugs.

PinkPatentMaryJanes said...

How lovely! I adore your new garden, and yes, you're so right about gardening being a metaphor for life x

Erika said...

So after we get settled in our new place and I FINALLY get a planter together on my porch you'll be able to give me advice, right? I can keep my pets healthy but I have never done well with green things.

Daisymum said...

I totally agree with you!!I love gardening, although I don't have a garden at my house, I treat my kids as if they were my plants. I feed them, talk and sing to them, sometimes I pull weeds around them, I give them support as needed, but one thing I don't do is pinch off the spent blooms. They may complain about that! I miss gardening at USF, but I don't miss the hours!

Krista said...

What a beautiful, relaxing post! I don't garden (I rent... no point doing landscaping yet) but can see how it would be very therapeutic. My mom has great gardens and I love wandering through them with her. She always tries to teach me (because I am always curious) about what things are called but I just... don't get it. I forget. I can identify a petunia, and pansy, iris... I think that's about it. LOL

Oh and carrots and peas. And potatoes. Brocolli is kind of obvious. ;o)

Also - I feel like gardening isn't *like* life. Gardening IS life! It has the whole cycle built right in, whether you're good at it or have a brown thumb like me! If you have a brown thumb, the cycle just goes a little faster, and you don't get such a bounty. ;o)

Getting My Words Out said...

TRUE, so true. What's really funny about this post--I have a HUGE--I mean like 5' tall--UGP (unidentified growing plant) in one of my flower beds. Dwayne thinks it's a week and wants me to dig it up, but I'm terrified because I once spent a full day digging up what I thought was a weed, only to discover it was a well established hydrangea bush!! Hhhmmm...I wonder what that says about my life in general!!??? :D

Wanderlust said...

Gorgeous! Want to come work in my garden? Though, I suppose the metaphor breaks down if you hire out your own life work, eh?

Melissa@Suger Coat It said...

It looks awesome! Well done you.

there's something for you at SCI Miss Popular! lol.

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

wow, that garden looks awesome!
Love gardening!
Hope your day is a great one!!
Betty xx

Danielle said...

I love the sense of satisfaction from finishing a big job like that! I've just moved house and don't really have a garden worth talking about ... but I'm looking forward to *trying* to make it look as pretty as possible ... hopefully with as much success as you have had! :)

Writing Without Periods! said...

This is beautiful. I wish I had a garden. I live in the desert...I have cacti and a brown thumb. Really pretty yard you have.
Mary

Langdowns said...

I love that you love gardening. I wish I loved gardening. I love to sit on a deck and look out over someone's garden ... but the whole aching back, scrubby hands, broken nails and sweating is a bit of a turn off when it comes to actually doing it. DOn't get me wrong ... it's not that I haven't tried. I just have a very brown thumb. Best wishes for your fabulous garden!! May I come nowhere near it ...

Squashys Girl said...

love your blog.

tagged you for an award on my new post you'll have to stop by and check it out

Melissa said...

Your garden is beautiful. I envy you this hobby, I wish I could maintain a garden. Sadly, I've been dealt the blackest of thumbs.

Off to read your other post.

Lady Ren said...

Wow- that sounds like a lot of work- your garden looks amazing though- Good job!

Rachel said...

Love the life lessons, and the garden is beautiful!

My poor mother-in-law knows me well... when giving me a lovely hanging basket for my birthday this week, she said sweetly, "you need to water it" :)

Green Monkey said...

that was FANTASTIC.... therapeutic and uplifting, not to mention visibly lovely. :))))))

Chell... said...

oh! How pretty! I am so jealous! The option for my own lot to cultivate is not there for me this year unfortunately. :(

Shan said...

That's a lovely yard you've created!

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