What's Happening in the Garden?

by Christine Sine

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It is a beautiful day in Seattle, the Spirituality of Gardening seminar is only a week away and much to my delight the garden is thriving.  We have already harvested about 20 lettuce and more Chinese greens than I thought we could manage to use even with all three households in the Mustard Seed House helping to dispose of them.  A couple of days ago I made my first batch of pesto from basil sitting on the sunporch.  I threw in some of the chinese greens instead of spinach and it was delicious.  The cabbages, cauliflowers and broccoli are starting to form heads and the Swiss Chard is displaying its rainbow colours. 

Yesterday I transplanted scarlet runner beans which have been sitting on the porch for a couple of weeks sending out their long green tendrils.  I find that even though the garden experts tell me I should plant them straight in the ground mine always do better if they are at least 5 – 6 inches high before I plant them.  otherwise, as with my peas, the snails and slugs devour them.

Tomorrow we intend to get our tomatoes planted.  It is a little later than usual but this has been one of the coldest springs i can remember in Seattle.  Hopefully we will find space for 30 plants, though rotating where we put them every couple of years is a real challenge.  

Garden irises

Garden irises

The blossoming diversity in the garden is incredible.  Irises are in full and fragrant bloom, columbines are sending up flower heads, lupines are bursting out even while the lilacs, rhododendrons and azaleas are fading.  Not only am I reminded that God is a God of diversity and creativity but also that just as different plants bloom and flourish at different seasons so too are we designed so that we do not all flourish at the same time.  Just as some plants send out fragrant blooms in spring, others in summer and still others even in autumn and winter, so are God’s people.  Some of us, like the daffodils and tulips bloom early and welcome the world with the promise of resurrection and new life.  Others are designed by God to bloom over the summer, sustaining the world with vibrant colour and life.  Still others bloom late in life with a final flourish that heralds the coming of winter.  

This understanding has been an encouraging lesson for me.  It is easy for us to expect that our lives should always be blooming.  We pay little attention to the seasons that all of us go through in our lives and ministries and struggle to produce blooms and fruit when God is saying not yet, or wait until next year. Or else we spend too much time trying to force the wrong flowers into bloom at the wrong season.  

Garden columbine

Garden columbine

God, the great designer has blessed all of us with gifts for a specific season.  I am very aware of that as I prepare for this upcoming seminar.  A year ago it would never have occurred to me that do a seminar on gardening and spirituality would be a part of my ministry.   Yet through listening to God and to the encouragement of others I have had the opportunity to bloom in areas that I never thought possible.

What is God preparing you to bloom for?  What new flowers are in bud or still dormant in your life that God is nourishing and preparing for a fragrant display?  this is a great time to reflect on what God is doing and how God is growing your life

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