By Guest Author Karen Barstow
Flower gardening is something which has brought me pleasure and comfort throughout my life, something which, no doubt, I inherited from my maternal grandmother and my mother. I imagine that many do flower gardening only because they want their homes to look pretty for those who visit. But flower gardening for me is far more than just enjoying the beauty of my efforts. It is where God, the Holy Spirit, and yes even Jesus talk to me and I to them. In the rhythms and seasons of the year with plants blooming, it is impossible not to see God’s glory and the miracles that spring to life by His design.
As annuals are planted, bloom and die off, we see that change is part of His plan for us. In perennials we are reminded that He is always there, even sometimes when we have taken His unconditional promise to always be there for granted. In planting bulbs, there is always that long period of waiting to see what and when will appear. Bulbs remind me to wait on the Lord—He has a plan; it may not happen when or how I planned but His plan is far above mine. Some plants, like my roses, take a lot of care—feeding, watching and treating for pests—and of course all plants require watering and weeding. Our faith is like these plants—we must always water, watch for Satan who tempts us, clear out the weeds in our lives which keep us from living as Jesus would have us do. And now there are so many new plants of which I had never heard, a reminder that there are always new friends, maybe very different ones whom God places in our paths and whom He wishes us to befriend.
I especially like flowering shrubs where there is room and the right amount of sunlight or shade. Shrubs may be more difficult to plant originally but like the building foundations of our faith, we can trust them to bring color and delight into every different season of the year.
Flower gardening is far more than a break from household chores (which I never liked anyway). It is more than digging in the soil, enjoying the beauty of your efforts. It is a time for peace and reflection, time for a grateful smile as you realize you are not in this task alone. I truly hope that is why you garden or what you have learned in gardening.
I am pretty sure you may know a favorite song to which I have listened and sung my whole life. Anne Murray’s version is my favorite: “In The Garden” a reminder that in the garden, He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am his own, And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has even known.