The Gift of Your Garden

Anna's daffodils...A garden, whether it be a quarter acre plot or a small flower box, evokes many emotions in those who tend it. With the hurried rush of Spring about to explode around us, reflect with me for a moment on how you value your garden… upon what your garden means to you.

Obviously, the garden gives joy and happiness, not only to its nurturer, but to any who may pass by and sigh at the beauty and perfume of a newly opened bloom.

Sometimes, there is frustration and disappointment when a plant simply refuses to flourish where you’ve planted it. Occasionally, there’s even a bit of hostility (just ask jodi how she feels about goutweed) toward some parts of our gardens. But overall, most who garden would say that it is the satisfaction, the sense of accomplishment, the miracle of growth, that keeps their hands in the soil.

A garden’s value is not only in what it produces, but in what it teaches. It gifts us with an inner peace and solitude as we work, and forces us to pause. It teaches diligence, determination, patience and gratitude.

It even teaches faith. Yes, faith. Imagine the anxiety of a farmer, planting acres of crop, without faith that his investment will bear fruit. Or how stressful the purchase of that four-foot Blue Spruce you’ve longed for, without faith that it will set out roots and thrive.

A garden can recharge our senses with its riot of colour and shape… with the twitter of birds and buzz of bees… with the fragrance of blooms and rain-washed foliage… with the warmth of the earth and with the cool shade of a tree… with the crunch of a new carrot or the fuzzy sweetness of the first peach.

Gardening has been a joy for me for many years and has often been an almost ‘spiritual’ experience.  We all have our own definition of “God”, and whatever that may be for you, I find this quote to be wholly appropriate:

“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

Finish this sentence with just ONE word — think about it.

THE GREATEST GIFT MY GARDEN GIVES ME IS ______________________ .

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19 thoughts on “The Gift of Your Garden

  1. Lovely post Nancy and so well written and from the heart, which is always the best way to start. ;-)

    Gardeners are optimists who believe in the future. Why else would we plant bulbs, shrubs, seeds and even trees?

  2. Oh Nancy, thanks for the reminder that I really do enjoy my garden for all that it provides. This despite my frustration that it’s not giving up too much right now. Ha!

  3. JOY!

    A lovely, thoughtful post Nancy.

    Joy seems the most appropriate word for me today. I’ve extended the boundaries of my garden by planting bulbs etc on the public land next to it (I call it my guerrilla garden), so it’s awash with daffodils, muscari and hyacinths at the moment. I was working in my garden today when some of the carers from the local old folks home came by (on the public land) wheeling their charges out for a breath of fresh air and some sunshine. And I could hear the exclamations of pleasure from both the carers and the cared over all of the flowers they could see. I have such a warm glow in my heart over it I could burst with JOY!

  4. Dear Nancy…Joy. That is what my garden gives me and thank you for asking and for caring. An excellent post my friend! warmest, gail

  5. Nancy .. you know I have to make a joke before I get serious .. but wow ! do I have a fan club or what girl ! LOL
    Sorry .. I just had to do it .. phew ..
    The blank is easy to fill for me .. “HOPE” plain and simple : )
    Great post !!

  6. LOLOLOL …. VP you are too right girl .. how could I NOT say anything ? LOL
    Now be good, sit up in your seat and pay attention in class .. and stop passing notes to me before we both get in trouble girl ! hehehehe

  7. Nancy, I was just thinking about this today- If I could sum it up with one word, and that is very hard mind you, it would be peace. This has changed from time to time. Every time I wonder around my garden I am in awe of what really goes on. The timing alone is amazing and I think to myself that nothing this creative, beautiful, and perfectly synchronized could ‘just happen’. This all leads to thankfulness that even when I goof, the plants know what to do. Which leads to the peace. Very good post- know that it is appreciated and I enjoyed it very much! Happy spring.

  8. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to comment. My one-word answer to the blank I encouraged you to fill in would probably be WONDER. Though as many of you pointed out, it’s difficult to choose just one word. But I never cease to be amazed watching a seed germinate or a beautiful bloom unfurl…it truly does fill me with WONDER at what an amazing Universe we live in. In that vein, if I could choose another word, I believe it would be HUMILITY — the miracle of the garden puts into perspective, for me, just how little control we have over the seasons, the sun, the rain, and so on. That’s not to say the garden makes me feel “insignificant” — quite the opposite. :-)

    JOY, HOPE, SERENITY, PEACE, WONDER … isn’t it amazing?!!

    (Joy and VP, settle down or I’ll have to move you to the front of the room!) :-)

  9. My thoughts have spanned the spectrum of words I could use to describe my feelings about what gifts my garden gives to me–it allow me to have a place where I am Needed, where I can be Myself, where I am given Freedom, even a sense of Personal Control over something, to be in Charge (partially, but with the knowledge that nature usually knows best and will usually do what it wants to do despite my efforts!)…as I write this I’m still thinking about a word I can fully sum it all up with. Perhaps for me, other than being needed by some people in my life…my garden gives me {{{Reason De’etra}}}.

    I think that’s it, Nancy!! As your quote above implies…it’s where I find God:-)

  10. P.S. The photo of your grandson, that sweet little guy, shows so much that he’s growing and changing from other photos you’ve had there. He is adorable. There is light & love in his eyes:-)

  11. TRANQUILLITY

    Nancy, I’m catching up with some blog reading while out of town this past week. I was just going to leave a comment on your latest post, but I had to leave one here–such a thoughtful, reflective post that sums up all that gardening means to most of us. It’s hard to sum up the feeling in one word–joy, inner peace also come to mind. Somedays, too, it gives me aching muscles:) But there’s a satisfaction that comes with those aches and pains, too.

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