The Gift of Gardening

As I mentioned earlier this week, we visited my parents on Saturday. Every time anyone visits my dad, he wants to take them to his garden and show them all that he is currently doing.

My dad has been gardening since he was a little boy, living on his father’s farm. They lost that farm during the depression.

Afterward, they moved to town but still farmed and sold chicken eggs to provide for their family of twelve children. That cultivated my dad’s desire for trying to grow the biggest and best vegetables possible.

The greenhouse my dad built from the ground up with scrap lumber.

The greenhouse my dad built from the ground up with scrap lumber.

As I was growing up, we moved several times because my dad was a Baptist Pastor. At each church he created a garden in the backyard of the parsonage. He always encouraged me to come to the garden with him.

My dad's raised rows with cover crops growing. He will till these plants in as a green manure before planting.

My dad’s raised rows with cover crops growing. He will till these plants into the soil as green manure, before planting.

As a child you will follow a parent to the garden. When the teen years hit you tend to pull away and forget about the days you spent planting, watching for  the little plants to grow, and dreaming of things to come.

A sign my dad made with his grandchildren. He continues to encourage children to come to his garden.

A sign my dad made with some of his younger grandchildren. He continues to encourage children to come to his garden.

My mother gave me my love for flowers. Even as a child I remember wandering around the yard with her as she showed me a special flower. She would gently pull the blossom up and have me look at the center. I can still hear her saying even now, “Doesn’t it have a sweet ‘face’?” Her flowers were like people to her, with personalities all their own.

This weekend when she saw her first great grandchild, one of the comments she made was, “He has the sweetest face.” A new flower has been added to her garden!

My mom's health has kept her out of the garden lately, but you can still see her past efforts popping up as the days get warmer.

My mom’s health has kept her out of the garden lately, but you can still see her past efforts popping up as the days get warmer.

Flowers my mom set out last fall.

Flowers my mom set out last fall.

Gardening is a gentle hobby that teaches you the gift of nurturing. I am grateful to my parents for passing this gift on to me. When I left the garden in my teen years, it was hard to come back. It seemed that as hard as I tried, I could get only small productions from my garden, since I was drawn away by the busyness of life.

This year I am trying to return. I want to unwrap the gift once more, that was passed from my parents, but originated from The Father.

I hope that if you are trying to garden, you will recognize it for the gift that has been given you. A plot of land or containers, some rich dirt, a few small seeds, and something wonderful grows. Beautiful flowers and healthy vegetables. One nourishes the soul while the other nourishes the body.

A GIFT!

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