Things I’ve Learned from My Garden

We start gardening for the first time three years ago. Before that it was always my dream to have a garden even though I knew I didn’t really know anything about gardening and I did not have a green thumb.

In the beginning of our gardening journey, my dad who came to visit us when we had just moved into this house, helped us get our garden off the ground. The garden beds were already in place because the house owners used to have a garden here. In fact, when they were showing us the house, the wife showed us a bag filled with seeds of all the things she used to grow here.

So, when my dad came to visit, he simply helped us to cultivate the soil. Then without any research we just threw down a bunch of seeds of things we wanted to grow.

That year we started planting seeds in mid-June. At harvest time we saw a lot of tomatoes, because we had planted a lot of tomato plants, we also saw a lot of potatoes, some cucumbers, our carrots and bell peppers didn’t do so well. I grew some beautiful Teddy Bear Sunflowers. We did okay for our first time. I had a heartbreaking experience with Deers eating the tops off some of our well growing plants, including my Teddy Bear Sunflowers. I was very heartbroken. We also had issues with other garden pest hindering our plants from growing well.

The next gardening season, I tried planting seeds early indoors in egg cartons. However, even though most of the things grew well, transitioning them into the garden proved unsuccessful. We still ended up planting from seeds straight in the garden year. However, at least this year we planted earlier and we had a better idea of what we wanted to grow. That year the planting cantaloupe, watermelon, pumpkins, potatoes, tomatoes, sunflowers, carrots, bell peppers, lettuce, and cucumbers. Sound we successfully grew well, like tomatoes (which replanted less of an also use tomato cages for the first time) and potatoes. We were still unsuccessful with the carrots once again, which due to further research I realized carrots ae cool weather growing plants, as opposed to a summer vegetable. The letters go about is about, however, we did not like how it tastes, so we did not use it. After some reading this year, I also realize that lettuce is also a cool weather growing plant. I also read in my garden book that summer sun can cause the lettuce to taste bitter.

We also successfully grew a lot out of cantaloupe, but only the big ones were juicy and sweet. This time around I got to see my sunflowers grow without Deer interruption, I successfully grew different types of tall sunflowers, as well as Teddy Bear sunflowers. The sunflowers were my favorite part of our garden. Our cucumbers did not grow at all that year, the location which work for us to previous year, did not work that year. The most fascinating thing we grew that year was the pumpkins. Pumpkins are now what my favorite things to watch grow.

This year, was an even better garden year that the last time, from what we learned our last two garden years, we were able to more adequately plan our garden (right locations), manage with pest (not perfectly or organically yet though), start on time (from plants and seeds), obtain good garden helpers (tomato cages and trellises), increase our garden knowledge (more reading) and even accentuate our garden.

Garden reminds me a lot of caring for ourselves and children. Learning and teaching how to navigate this world. Figure out the pest (bad influences) from the helpers (good influences), protecting yourself from these pest without isolating (killing relationships) yourself from the ones God sent to help us. Constant weeding (weeding out bad thoughts and negative influences), feeding and nourishing the soil with good plant food, fertilizer and organic matter (our/their minds), staying watchful and mindful of devourers (ready and willing to steal a part of us that makes us thrive- then we have to heal ourselves to continue to grow). Some of us grow well, stand, get the right amounts of what we need and some of us fall to the wayside (bad timing and location). When we grow, we when come to our fruition, oh, what a blessing that is.

May God help us to become, who He made us to be. I have not learned all there is to gardening, there is so much more for me to learn through reading and experience. But one thing I do know, is being able to grow your own food to feed your family is an incredible thing to be able to do. Gardening, as well as being out in nature truly does bring us closer to God. I am truly glad for the opportunity to be a part of that journey.

“Hello Garden, my old friend,
I’ve come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was planting,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of the garden”

Inspired by “Sound of Silence” Simon and Garfunkel (Trolls version)