Janet and I have always been interested in making sure that we decorate our homes with flowers and plants – including perennial gardens. I think that I learned my love of growing things from my maternal grandfather. As a young boy, I would go to his home on the week-ends and help with everything outdoors. That including cutting the grass as well as weeding, planting and understanding the cycles of nature and how God ordered the seasons.
It was in this time of year that Granda reaped the first real benefits from the flowers and plants that he had in his yard. Grandma loved fresh picked bouquets and I was always learning something about nature and the outdoors. Mom also loved to have growing things in our yard at home; and Dad was a master at growing roses and helping me plant my first gardens.
I remember that Dad let me use a little plot of ground next to the tool shed Mr. West had on the property line that bordered our yard. I grew corn and tomatoes, as well as a few strawberries, squash and some cucumbers. Later, when Kristin was a young girl, Janet and I actually had a garden that covered more than 2400 sq. ft. We had everything from berries to peas, beans, squash, pumpkins and almost every imaginable vegetable. We even got into canning and made soups, jellies, pickles and preserved many other items as well.
We don’t have a garden anymore, but we both love perennials and when we moved into our current home a little more than 3 years ago, we had dreams of a cutting garden as well as perennial colors each year. It has taken us three years, but we are almost done. We have had to re-design our lakeside planting bed several times now, but it is really taking root and coming alive with color.
The difficult work of the past several years is finally paying dividends and Janet loves looking out on the deck and beyond to see how everything is growing and coming along. Of course, each year gets a little more out of hand as we are trying to pace ourselves but look for immediate results at the same time – and that’s an impossible combination. Janet likes to err on the side of planting too much as opposed to not planting enough! And we have really thrown ourselves into the flowers as we don’t have the vegetable garden anymore, although I do think about it from time to time.
We are nearing completion of the master design and there are some limitations to what we can do. If we plant too much, it would impact my ability to fish from the backyard and that is a deal breaker for me… As I think about nature and all the plants, it occurs to me that the Scripture is full of references to plants and growth. Jesus tells many stories about plants and soil. Remember the story of the seed thrown on different types of soil? And what about the wheat and the chaff? Or the gleaning in the fields so the poor people could have food to eat? We see everything from prophecy to vineyards and all kinds of references to famine, disease, growth and miracles in the pages of the Bible.
But our verse for this evening is the one that really started it all. Moses, the author of Genesis tells us that God created all the seeds and vegetation and that it was all good! Moses details this information in Gen. 1:11-13, “Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.”
My encouragement this evening is that beauty is all around us and now is the time of year to witness the miracle of growth and to catch a glimpse of the majesty of God through His creation. My prayer is that your plants will grow and catch you by surprise, even as I pray that you will continue to grow in your faith and in your relationship with the most high God. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…