Plants are incredibly resilient. All they need is food, water, and light. When you think of how they can withstand drastic swings in temperature from really scorching sun to sub-zero temperatures, you can but wonder at God’s creative power. The resiliency in the garden is just a small sign of His great power.
We humans are much more fragile in some ways. But, what we have that plants and animals don’t have, is access to God through prayer. His sustaining power gives us the strength to hold up against the forces of our old enemy, the serpent of the Garden of Eden. The gardening process reminds me of God’s patience and constant attention to our every need.
Given plants’ adaptability, we can unleash our imagination by finding interesting way to display them. This makes me a big fan of planting in containers.
Yard sales, junk shops, and thrift stores abound with a variety of candidates for miniature gardens. One of my favorite finds of late is a huge, very rusty, dome-topped bird cage that is almost four feet high. I left all the rust alone and planted it full of a selection of succulents. Some had pinnate leaves, others were blooming and had broad leaves with a powdery finish. I used the “string of pearls” plant that looks like peas for a contrast in texture. Even the colors of the leaves were different, from chartreuse, to dark green and even lavender. When planting succulents, use a soil formulated for cactus and palms. They love good drainage and this medium is perfect for them.
On my deck, there are plants in hanging baskets, dishes, glass vases, and wicker baskets. I’m especially fond of low, dish gardens. They are easy to plant and go on growing and blooming for months. They make great, inexpensive gifts and remind the recipient of your thoughtfulness far into the future.
Other benefits of container planting are that if they aren’t doing well in one place you can move them, and you can also relocate them to a patio, porch, or side yard temporarily if you need some color when you’re having company over for a barbeque of garden party. Recently, I found a trough I had planted with petunias and gazanias that weren’t doing well on my deck. I moved them to where they got a lot more sun and they are blooming better. If I had planted them in a flower bed with the wrong exposure, it would have been a hassle to move them and it would have been a lot harder on the plants.
Another idea you might like to try is to find old chairs to hold your pots. One of my favorite second-hand shops had a group of mismatched chairs lining the sidewalk in front of it. Some were only $2.50. The most I paid was $10.00 for a really cute maple one that had no bottom. I took the seats off the others, painted them all the same color of green, and set a big pot full of flowers down in them. They help distract the eye from an ugly retaining wall. This week I will paint the wall a soft yellow for a backdrop so the chairs will stand out.
Having just bought my little house that needed a lot of work on a short sale, I do wonder why I’m going to all this trouble to make the garden so pretty. Believing that the Lord is coming back soon, I laughingly told a friend that I may be fixing it up for an unbeliever who won’t be going up in the Rapture. All kidding aside, nothing is more fun or rewarding than creating a lovely garden to share with friends and loved ones. My house is a part of my ministry, a place where people are welcome and can gather to feel the presence of the Lord.
Your gardening friend,