Time Began In A Garden

Time Began In A Garden

This was first p
osted on April 27, 2009, on my now retired blog One Generation to Another. I hope you enjoy 🙂

I love gardening. But who can blame me? Time began in a garden, at least biblically speaking. God did not plop Adam and Eve down in the desert.  Nor did he choose a mountain side or a quaint cove along United States’ eastern seaboard. Nope. He created the Garden of Eden. Granted, this wasn’t a working garden. Adam and Eve did not need to toil from dawn to dusk tilling the soil or performing tasks as seemingly mundane as weeding, but, he knew when he fashioned the first humans, a garden would prove to be good for their soul.

Years ago I was given a garden sign that said, “I’m closest to God in my garden. ” Truer words have never been uttered. I like church just as much as the next guy, and I’ve humbled myself before God in the wee hours of the night, safely tucked in my bed, BUT, I have my best conversations with God while I’m in my gardens. Sometimes our conversations are purely philosophical. “Okay, God. What’s up with mosquitoes? I don’t get them. Was that a faux pas on your part, or did you intentionally put them on this earth just to remind us that we aren’t in Heaven yet?” Sometimes my gardens become an outdoor counseling session with me just jabbering away about my latest woes, and God just sitting back jotting down notes. But my favorite time in the garden with God is when we work side by side, without speaking, simply aware of each other’s presence.

My first experiences with gardening weren’t as cathartic. As memory serves me, when growing up our gardens were quite lovely. Couple an engineering father who NEVER did anything unless he had a blueprint, and a mother who could have been the editor of Better Homes and Gardens, our gardens, like our house, belonged in magazines. I remember pristine beds filled with roses and alyssums. A porch flower box always held geraniums exploding with vibrant reds. And, seemingly an afterthought, although nothing ever was, the side of the house was a dense planting of my mother’s favorite flower, the zinnia.

The problem with the gardens was they were not interactive; at least not for us children. My parents planned and planted our gardens. We were not included in the creative side of gardening. Our only true interaction with them did not instill love of the gardens. Perhaps coincidentally, although I wonder, my parents would always wait until the hottest days of summer… certainly only days over 90 degrees, (there is the slightest possibility that I'm exaggerating) when the soil was parched and hard as a rock, then they would say the 2 words that instilled undiluted horror, “Go weed.” We were given spoons and instructed to dig up the weeds. If this seems like a scene out of “Mommy, Dearest” I can assure you, that’s exactly how it felt at the time! I think I probably started talking to God in the gardens back then. It’s probably a very good thing he never answered any of those prayers!

But, there must have been some recessive gene that lay dormant, until I had a house of my own. I was shocked and nearly giddy, when I discovered the creative side of gardening. The pure, unadulterated joy of pouring over seed catalogs in the dead of winter. Hey, it might be -20 degrees outside, but I knew… nay, I felt it in my heart, that under the heaps and mounds of snow, my friends the plants were sound asleep, dreaming flora dreams, just waiting for the first kiss of spring to awaken them. I began to see my yard as a canvas and plants as my artist’s pallet. Colors and textures comingled in any way I fancied. Pulling weeds and removing sod were a small price to pay for this ecstasy.

Sometimes I spend hushed time in my garden. Sometimes I play in it. But mostly, according to Tim, I full body garden! It’s become a housekeeping imperative that if I wish to maintain any standards of cleanliness in our home during gardening season, that I strip down to my birthday suit at the back door, leaving behind mud and assorted insects, as I run naked through the house free as a child, praying no one catches me in the act! There are few sensations that can compare to showering after a day in the garden, when the hot water beats against your aching back, and the smell of lavender soap reminds you of your garden’s promise.

So, I often spend the last moments of daylight in my garden… my cathedral. As Tim and I listen for the birds to depart, and the bats and lightning bugs to make their entrance, my garden, no our garden, fades into the shadows. But I know, when I awake tomorrow, and find myself being drawn to my garden, that God is waiting, in the place it all began.

What type of relationship do you have with your garden? Is it mystical, a means to an end, or something you avoid like the plague? (BTW… some of my best friends fall into the last category… it is not a personality flaw 🙂



  1. What a beautifully written and moving post. I feel the same way you do, although I would never have been able to write it is eloquently. LOL, I have also done the naked sprint through the house after gardening. It feels so liberating and naughty. Thanks for the smile. I plan to share this post with my friends in our gardening club.

    1. Thanks, Joyce. We look forward to "meeting" your gardening friends 🙂

  2. I have a very different belief system than you do, but I totally understand feeling a tremendous connection to a greater force when I garden. I feel like I am part of something large and meaningful. I am at peace in my gardens, even when doing the hardest jobs. Gardens are magical, mystical and calming to me. I share your love and contentment from gardening. Lovely little piece.

    1. I don't think I used the word "peace" in my post, but I certainly do feel at peace, whether I'm working hard or having my morning coffee with the birds.

  3. What is growing up the poles in the garden. The plant looks so cool. Is it some type of pole bean?

    1. Those would be my hops. My sons brew beer. I try to keep them in hops. Hops are really quite expensive to buy. But confession… even if they didn't want them, I think I would still grow them. They look so cool in the garden. We have strings strung across the garden. They make a lovely canopy.

  4. I want to be that enthused about gardening, really I do. And I start off each and every year with this sincere plans. But I just don’t enjoy gardening. There, I said it. I love looking at beautiful gardens, I would love to stroll yours, Kimara, I’m sure they are lovely, I just don’t embrace all the work. Thanks for telling me it’s not a personality flaw. Seems everyone else around is, so I sometimes wonder whats wrong with me 😉 I will say this, since I don’t garden, everyone around me shares. Best of both worlds in MHO, LOL!

    1. Michelle told me she was going to answer this comment, nightshade, but I see she hasn't gotten to it. Michelle ALWAYS has grandiose plans. She really wants to embrace gardening, she'll come over and claim part of our gardens. After about half an hour of sweating in the gardens, she's done.

      Gardening is not for everyone. Many people chose to live in apartments or condos for just that reason. Anyway, I think you and Michelle are probably kindred spirits. And, BTW, she loves to reap the benefits of my gardening efforts 😉

  5. I’m not much of a church goer, so like you, my gardens are my cathedral. It is hard not to feel connected to something when you are in your garden! BTW, the walk is lovely. Is that the path to your door? Love your blog. (((hugs)))

    1. Yes, that is the path to our front door. For several years we talked about removing this unsightly cement narrow walkway that managed to sink below the dirt. It sounded like soooo much work. One day, Tim came home to see our new walk. I simple went out and bought 12" pavers, and set them on the cement walk. I then laid mulch over them, connecting the beds on either side of the walk. It was cheap, easy, and I love the look. Very informal like our life style!

  6. My gardens are my therapy. I love seeing new growth after a long winter, and the rewards of the harvest are beyond words. I feel such a sense of accomplishment from my gardens (flower and vegetable). I have never minded weeding, and embrace it even more now that I found out some of them are edible!

    Your post was definitely worth repeating!

    1. Thanks, Karen 🙂 I know the grandbabies go through the garden asking which plants they can eat. Since not all the plants in our gardens are edible, I planted a mint box. That is their go to spot to pick a leaf and munch.

  7. I think our parents must have chatted about how to torture children. We also weeded with a spoon (what’s up with that?) and I also hated getting the leaves out of the rose bushes. Serious scratches! But like you, I developed a love for gardening when I had my own house. But I SWEAR I have NEVE had my kids weed with a spoon, and they’ve always had their own plot to plan and plant!

    1. My children were also far more interested in their little plots, but who could blame them? 🙂 There are also so many fun things to do in gardens with children. All of Sharon Lovejoy's books have wonderful suggestions. 

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