For me, gardening is a form of prayer. Most people have an awareness of life and death, but few have an awareness of life, death, and life again. Gardeners do though.
Bulbs come up every spring. Then in winter, it looks like there's nothing there, no hope for life ever again. Then, Hallelujah! Next spring they're back even fuller. Perennials - same thing.
Annuals have a slightly different lesson. Annuals really do die, but they broadcast seeds before they go. Where there was only one calendula the year before, there will be ten this year, and one day, they will fill every empty space in your garden. Annuals are a lesson in the difference one living thing, plant or person, can make, and how their presence resonates long after they're gone. There again, the effects are not immediate. There is always the winter. And when you consider the garden as a whole, well, winter is a time to reflect, a time to dream. It gives you time to ask the big questions...
Gardening is an affirmation of divine timing. Some years, in early spring, my enthusiasm takes an ugly turn, and I seemingly believe I can make spring happen earlier than it normally would, if I just work hard enough, if I till enough, compost enough, harden off seedlings earlier than I normally would. In the end, I wind up with twelve flats of dead seedlings. Then I direct seed a couple months later, and with much less effort, everything grows into the full glory it was destined to encompass. To everything there is a season. Amen.
My friend Nicki has green-fingers. Not literally. Although, if you look carefully at the photo, you might see that her fingers are green... But these are actually my gardening gloves.
At her home in South Africa, Nicki has a wonderful garden. She has a very special vegetable garden which has a painted and mosaic-ed wall at one end (thanks to her mom-in-law, Chris) and is full of seasonal veggies, which (being a vegetarian Nicki puts to good use in her culinary activities).
Yesterday morning, Nicki asked if we could do some work in the garden, and she proceeded to work wonders on gently trimming little bits off of the wild and unruly bushes in our garden. Last summer I had used huge shears to lob off the wayward branches. Nicki talked to the bushes and told them what she was doing and hoped they didn’t mind.
Lessons in having a connections with your plants…