My garden is much smaller than the past few years, but it is still lovely. It is green and fresh. I like to see the brown dirt, and I like to keep it free of weeds. The weather we’ve had this year has made gardening a bit more interesting than past gardens I’ve had. We’re nearly a month behind our usual—which makes me wonder if we’ll even get any tomatoes this year. We’ll see. We’re eating delicious salads from my garden now, which we all love. Gabriel is a huge fan of lettuce; it’s the first thing he eats off his plate, and he always wants seconds. He’ll even eat it straight out of the garden with me, but I’m a bit sheepish about it because we’ve got more bugs this year than usual! So I prefer to wash the lettuce three or four times (I’m doggone meticulous, as I prefer not to get my protein from little green bugs…) before eating it myself. To each his own!
Most of my herbs are looking bushy and abundant. Dill, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and chives are thriving—and since we’re starting to get some actual heat occasionally now my basil might soon catch up (the MiracleGrow I’m adding to it helps too).
We will soon be getting sugar snap peas, and they are happily climbing their fence now. Green beans and zucchini will be ready after that, and tomatoes (if we’re lucky) come in right at the end of gardening season here, just when frosts are beginning to touch us in September. There are a few volunteer potato plants that came up from last year’s Yukon Golds, and I left them because their crops are so buttery and delicious! I had over a dozen volunteer Monet Sunflowers too, so I transplanted them into a neat little row. I also have two little strawberry plants this year (Mother’s Day gifts), but the quail got to the berries before I got them covered with a net. Very sad, but true. I will try again some other year, with more plants and netting as soon as I get them in the ground!
It is funny to have a garden so small, and yet feel like I hardly have the time or energy to get out there and keep it up. My husband was very wise to limit my garden size this year; I admit that I had foolishly thought I could keep up with my normal garden even amongst the craziness of this year. But no, my husband is wise and I am thankful for his protection. Next year we won’t be able to have a garden at all (maybe—hopefully—the following year!), so I am trying to enjoy the upkeep now while I have it at my fingertips (and under my fingernails!) since I think I’ll miss it next year. Especially the fresh produce.
I am constantly reminded of sins and other such spiritual things while I garden in solitude (usually during naptime, as Gabriel so much wants to help… but it isn’t quite exactly helpful yet…). The reminders of being fruitful. The reminders of how quickly sins—like weeds—can overtake us. The reminders of the good soil and the seeds. So many parables brought to mind, actually! As I pluck out little tiny weeds, I am reminded that I need to pluck out little tiny sins instead of letting them take root and overtake me when I’m not looking. I need to be vigilant in the garden of my heart, as well as the garden in my backyard. I am eager to see good fruit produced in myself, my home, and my Gabriel, just as I am eager to see good produce being harvested from the garden.
Reminders that God loves gardens: He had a garden in Eden, and there is a garden in Paradise. It reminds me to love gardens too. It reminds me how He is such a tender gardener, and how I long to emulate His skill.
So yes, I am gardening. It isn’t as big as usual, and doesn’t carry as much variety as usual, and it won’t keep us stocked with veggies through the year this time… but it’s there, and it’s lovely. It is refreshing and tiring and providing and spiritually edifying.
Thanks be to God.