Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Ideal Garden

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. Psalm 52: 8

My Ideal Garden was written three years ago as part of my application to become a certified Master Gardener (the topic was given to us). Later that day, I re-wrote it from memory, but never shared it. Here it is now, with a few revisions :). From 2010 - 2012, I was proud to be a part of the successful gardening ministry that flourished in my church, bringing to life many "ideal gardens" in Southern California.

My ideal garden will exist in real life and virtually, in the online world. In the real world, it is my home garden, the Garden of Grace as I call it. My day starts with me in the Garden of Grace because as Master Gardener Kay Havens said at a recent Orange County Great Park gardening workshop, “The best thing in your garden is you in it.” First thing in the morning I go out into my garden and enjoy its early morning beauty. I walk around examining the leaves of my plants and marveling at new growth. Whether I see a hornworm pest, a dicotyledon emerging from seeds, a beautiful pink butterfly resting or hummingbirds sipping from my salvias, I not only enjoy them but I also photograph and blog about it. The blog then, is my virtual garden and I'm still working on it. In a nutshell, this combination is my ideal garden – existing in reality but online too where I share what I'm enjoying and learning globally via the web.

In real life, over the last 15 years I have grown roses, fruits, vegetables, herbs, California natives, and even beneficials, plants that attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds; virtually, online, you can see pictures of my 2008 gardening photo album. In real life, I am into beneficial gardening and love to garden organically. The one thing I've not yet tried is composting but I hope to do that soon.

My real garden, has been healing me, but it also stretches me, nurtures my faith, and brings me and the people around me to greater life. Passionate, joyous life that connects and heals not only me but also our local neighborhoods and the global earth. For example, my neighbors now admire my home garden and the work I do in it; I don't have a maintenance gardener and do all the work myself, with the exception of pruning trees. They seek my advice about what new plants/trees to buy and grow in their gardens. They bring sick plants to me and discuss their gardening problems (e.g. watering needs of various plants). Now, instead of barely making eye contact, we actually spend time together regularly, talking and sharing gardening interests and concerns. The same thing is happening globally too. I met Josh (@AskGarden) in England through Twitter; recently he answered my request for tips on growing sweet peas in So Cal via his blog entry Growing Sweet Peas in Western California and dedicated it to me. A delightful gift!

Gardening is integral to my faith. I blog about the gifts from my garden in the form of a devotional journal. My passion for gardening also inspires and motivates my social justice and volunteerism, grounded in Christ. I am growing real gardens, mine and others, and virtual ones too into my ideal garden where my faith and interests flourish in a life of obedience to the Triune God, our Divine Gardener.

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