Being in our Garden 2

I love being in our garden. Period. My sweet husband I wanted a garden that we could be creative with, learn from, sit in thoughtful and peaceful moments in, work hard in, have our kids and grandkids and parents and friends come and share life with us in. We had been praying for and over our home, garden, neighborhood, community and church since before we were even sure what city and state we would be moving to. God is so faithful and has exceeded our hopes.

It has now been a year and half that we have lived here. Our first summer we didn’t want to make many changes to the already existing beautiful gardens. We needed to see what was here and decide how we could add to it and create a space that is unique to us. During our first few months here, we were blessed to have two of our daughters and their 6 children, combined, come and stay with us for a few months, at the same time, while both of their husbands were away on deployments. Our home and garden was full of life and chaos and construction sites and hammocks. The back porch was used daily for us to enjoy one or two of our family meals together and for us adults to lounge in the shade while the kids played and climbed trees and dug in the construction area and made us tasty treats of water, dirt and leaves mixed together and call it “cake”. The back deck was used for homeschooling, yoga, playing “house”, and the many trials of seed sprouting I had a go at. On several occasions we had big fires in the fire pit and there was always a pair of firefighter boys who were in charge of putting out every single ember and puff of smoke with the hose.

Having cannas, ginger, bananas, azaleas, hydrangeas, crepe myrtles, hostas and star jasmine for the first time has been a joy that we didn’t know what to expect. This summer we have expanded our growing area by removing some lawn and creating a paved area around the fire pit…this is still a work in progress. Creating new beds in both the back and front yards, dividing plants and transplanting, growing new plants from last years seeds, growing zucchini and squash, arugula and mixed salad greens, tomatoes and basil, sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos and rudbekias to name just some of the lovely plants we grew here this summer.

Since then, we have done some changing up of the garden. We have added a few plants, divided and transplanted plants and created new beds and borders. We love seeing the physical beauty around us. It delights our senses. From the varying colors and textures of the leaves, flowers, trees and shrubs to the fresh scents of the jasmine and ginger to the sounds of the many birds cawing, the bees buzzing, the dragonflies darting about, the cicadas humming from the trees and the lizards skittering across the deck and fence, we never lack for something to catch our attention and keep us in a place of awe. My husband has been working hard at building, from scratch, a glass greenhouse for us. Our hope is to use it much more in the winter for housing more tender plants and beginning seed trays. More on this project to come.

We have now had a few more of our kids and grandkids come for short stays and get to experience just a bit of what Grams and Pops’s garden feels like. My hope is to always have plants that need care by little hands, or plants that delight the senses like our lemon balm….or as one of our grandsons called it, “lemonade plant”. To have experiments and concoctions made here by propagating plants to create a new type. To grow flowers to be cut and arranged in glass jars that once held olives or sun dried tomatoes. To have Mama’s come and find a place of rest for their weary selves while the littles enjoy the nature and exploration around them. We pray that our home will be a place of refuge. To have gatherings for those who just need to time relaxing around the fire in the pit, or hanging out on the porch drinking cold drinks in the summer and warm drinks in the winter, laughing at stories being told; to gather with family and friends to study God’s Word and have thoughtful conversations, to play games or cry or share hugs or a home cooked meal with those that come into this much prayed over place.

Margaret Feinberg wrote in Scouting the Divine, “when Jesus teaches his disciples to pray, he instructs them to ask God for daily bread, not yearly or lifelong bread”. My incredible husband and I try hard to daily stay in a posture of gratitude. We are living out answered prayers in so many ways.

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Having witnessed this garden come to life at its various stages, I love it all the more. There’s such a rich reward in the process of cultivation. Thanks for the beautiful blog.

Your garden is beautiful. Im thankful to be a part of it!