Sunday, 22 September 2013

How does your Garden grow? - Creating in Faith


Cordyline Australis - Palm like tree!

For close to 16 years I have been working on my garden which turned it from just a patch of grass with a fence either side, to an established space that can whisk you (in your mind) to far off destinations – if you use your imagination.  My garden also reflects the amount of work that has been lovingly put into it over the years and is full of palm trees, scented flowers, evergreens and a plum tree.  I wouldn’t say that I am an expert, but over the years I have gained much knowledge in how to look after  plants to get the best out of them. My garden is about  40% brought  as small plants 20% from seeds and 10% as gifts from the birds and 30% grown from cuttings I have received from family and friends.
We need balance in our lives


We grew up in an apartment/flat as children and my mother had many houseplants dotted around the house that she would tend to.  I would see her lovingly water and clean the plants on a daily basis and this action promoted their growth and in turn she would then propagate the plants.  I was always amazed that from one plant many generations could flourish.  When I moved out of my parents and into my own flat mum would give me plants that she had been growing and I in turn developed a love for plants, and went out and got my own.   I was amazed at how the right conditions could make a big difference to a plant that grew and blossomed to one that failed to thrive and died.  Back in those days the houseplants of choice were the Swiss cheese plant, the Rubber plant and the Spider plant which are all easy enough to look after yet give some spectacular results.


Graduating to a Garden


When I started a family of my own I was faced with a 100 foot garden, Sekani who was then just 2 years and determined to be my helper and my houseplant experience to lean on.  I was overwhelmed at first with the size and the job at hand but knew that if I had a plan of what I wanted, read up about how to go about it, I could make the garden become what I wanted over time. Some of the main things I wanted in the garden was colour, scent, birds and trees and a way to provide privacy from the neighbours each side.  Once I knew what I wanted shaping the garden to how I wanted it to look became the adventure and I was always up for the challenge of trying something new. 

Tools for the job

Each year of tending to the garden brought different challenges and blessings.  My very first plants that I grew from seed were sunflowers.  These plants are the most gratifying and a very easy to grow. With their big heads of flowers I was able to grow 9 foot specimens, and provided much food in the winter months for the visiting birds. I experimented over the years with different plant combinations, learnt to understand the soil and what was necessary to promote growth.  I decided quite early on that I didn’t want to have one of those gardens where you had to bring plants in for the winter months or dig up bulbs, but that whatever the season with the right care the plants were able to handle themselves despite the elements.  
Scented roses at the back of the garden
 

I have shared in posts on my blog the many presents the birds have brought in the form of seeds that turned into a wide variety of flowering plants and trees, and I have either allowed them to grow where they have fallen or relocated them to a more suitable place within the garden


Putting your back into it!


I find being in the garden to be a really relaxing experience, but you have to work hard to get it to where you want it to be so that you can enjoy it.  I find maintaining  the garden an enjoyable experience,  many a time I come out it is to either relocate, plant or take a cutting, some much needed weeding and general tidying up, or just to sit with a book and enjoy the sound of the birds.  
Down side of the Cordyline  - it sheds its leaves

The weeds and fallen leaves are something that are always going to be there so you need to make sure you keep on top of them and put things in place to make it easier on yourself.  For me the weeds are a natural part of the cycle and there comes a time in our lives when we have to look at what we are doing that really doesn’t add anything to our lives, but instead like the weeds choke progress and development.  We have to work hard for our dreams, spending time on a regular basis to see them come to pass.  The soil also needs to be nourished and you have to take notice of those times when a plant needs that extra special boost.

plants now established

As I talk about my time spent in the garden, I realise that I have to remind myself to spend time ‘looking after’ myself. As the winter approaches we loose the sunlight and the much needed vitamin D production that would normally take place and so we need to ensure that our bodies are in tip top form and have all the nourishment that it needs.   In the same way that I would have a clear out of the garden, looking to see which weeds were trying to find a home amongst the plants I need to spend time in my own life seeing what activities I am involved with or practises that need to be stopped because they are not adding any benefits to my overall health and well being.   

Fruitful

Plum tree bearing fruit each year
 
We have to make sure we are doing those things that will enable us to be fruitful in all that we do.  The bible tells us that God is the vine and we are the branches and every now and then we have to prune that which is not being productive or bearing fruit.  We can all think of activities that are a waste our time and an ineffective use of our time, so what are you going to do about it?  Take time this week to think about not only what jobs need to be done in the garden, but what maintenance jobs you can do in your own life to get things ready for the autumn and winter months and stay blessed!

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  John 15:1

..He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things...Acts 17:25
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