To grow a garden
is to believe in tomorrow.
My precious husband and I are gardeners. While I always tell others that Bert is a "Master Gardener," this is the first time I have ever named and claimed that title myself. I'm not a Master Gardener like Bert, yet I love gardening as it feeds my soul.
If you saw our garden you would understand.
Gardens are really a metaphor for life. At our home we have perennial plants and annual plants. The perennials faithfully come back year after year. The annuals, for the most part, only have one season.
All too quickly...they are here and then they are gone.
For any non-gardening folks who might be reading this, petunias are annuals. Tulips may be perennials.
Bert and I have different roles in our garden. He is the compost guy, the keep-the-soil-regenerated fellow. He is the one who designs the landscape with rock sculptures and garden art. Bert will look and look at the curve of the grass or the way rocks are placed and he fine tunes everything with such brilliance that it takes your breath away..
He's an artist in the garden just as he is an artist in loving people.
Our garden in our front yard right now has the remnants of giant rhododendron bushes, some blooms purply pink and some blooms white. If you look carefully enough, there are surprises everywhere. Bert will take old and rusty steel pieces and turn them into a water reservoir for the birds. Our garden along the walk is a mix of hydrangeas and moss and rocks with words like hope and faith. And gorgeous ferns waving in any breeze. There's a magnificent bench that even has pillows. It's surrounded by giant pots that are brimming over with every flower imaginable. That's the bench where we often have coffee and greet our neighbors and take a breath.
Huge maple trees line our streets, so the gardens in the front
have lots of shade. That bench is a perfect place to read a book
on a hot Spokane day.
On the other hand, the garden in our back yard has lots of sun and grass and flowering trees. That's where giant pots hold
herbs that I use for cooking...basil, rosemary, chives, you name it. I can go out my back door and gather herbs for a chicken and artichoke dish. What a blessing!
The back yard has the flowering trees... dog woods, cherry trees, hemlocks and others. And there's a rotation of plants...first the crocus, then the tulips. then the iris, then the lillies...what a parade and kaleidoscope of colors.
An old-fashioned swing, lounge chairs and adarondack chairs
are in the middle of a sea of lush lawn. Almost every chair has a
comfy bunch of gorgeous multicolored pillows, tucked perfectly to fit in the small of your back as you ease on in after a busy day. That swing is really our favorite. We love to be out there in the evening and talk and rock, talk and rock.
And lights. Small lights everywhere. And lanterns hanging from branches high and low, each one a work of art and holding a flameless candle. And twinkling white lights like you might see on a Christmas tree. They are everywhere.
When the sun starts to go down, and the air catches a bit of briskness, we gather a big, old throw, wrap ourselves snuggly in it and rock in that swing. The coffee has changed to tea, hot cocoa or decaf. :)
Our grandchildren love to rock in that swing with us. Back and forth as we hold their hands, caress their hair and tell old stories about when they were babies.
And in the back garden there is garden art peaking out, many of it made by local Spokane artists. One of my favorites is a steel cutout of a Mom with her two daughters holding hands and running together outdoors. It's tucked next to a giant hosta along with a water bowl and statue of Mary.
And bird feeders hanging for our friends the birds to drop by, tweet a bit and fly off again.
People come from all over to see our garden and sit awhile.
And when we chat about the garden, we also talk about what it teaches us about life.
Life is short. Life has seasons. You look up in total awe as the pink dogwood blooms itself silly. It relishes it's "season", its moment in the sun. And then when you turn your back, and before you are ready for that season to go, it starts to drop its flowers and lose its color.
And then it's all done, for now.
Recently, while looking at our backyard trees, most of them past their flowering season, I wished I had taken a bit more time just to soak in their glory. A bit more time just to relish
how precious they are. A gift from God.
Their time was over way before I was ready for them to go.
And as I sat rocking on that old swing, I started to hum the old song:
turn, turn, turn.
There is a season,
turn, turn, turn.
And a time for every purpose under heaven."
And the tears and life-lessons began to flow.
Enjoy it all, now.
Live it all, now.
Soak it all in, now.
Be grateful for it all, now.
Tell them you love them, now.
Forgive everyone, everything...now.
Yes, a garden is a metaphor for life and I am paying close attention to each life-lesson it is teaching me.
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