Intentional Gardening

Intentional Gardening

Intentional gardening is spending time with the Master Gardener which is a priceless investment in our relationship.

The Original Garden

In the beginning, God planted a garden and placed man in it:

“The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden. Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.”1

When Adam and Eve “heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day” which implies that God met with them and communed with them, but because of their sin, “they hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, ‘Where are you?’”2

“Your mind is a garden; your thoughts are the seeds. The harvest can be flowers or weeds.” ~William Wordsworth

I believe the Master Gardener calls us to come commune with Him in the garden. The size matters not, and the ownership matters not – whether it is our garden, a community garden, a botanical garden or nature-at-large, the Lord beckons us to spend time with Him, enjoying His beautiful creation.

Intentional Garden Design

To be intentional is to do something with a purpose. Planning a garden takes time and intentional thought towards the end result. What is the purpose of the garden? Who will have access to the garden? How much time am I willing to invest in the initial planting of the garden and its future upkeep? Garden design requires an honest evaluation of these questions.

“Intentional living simply means to live the life that you truly want. A life by [the] design of your choosing, rather than living a life that just ‘happens’ to you. ~The Goal Chaser

Just as intentional living takes forethought, intentional gardening requires purposeful design of our choosing or our garden will either be purposeless or non-existent.

Evaluation of Past Gardens

In our first official rose garden, we planted a 100-foot [sidewalk] rose arbor. Because there was little topsoil above the limestone rock, the roses had to be planted in raised planters which we built out of wood. The rose walkway was beautiful, but a lot of work. We southern engineered a greenhouse-type shed with rabbit wire screened windows for our vegetables and herbs as the abundant wildlife would eat any plants left in the open.

“Kiss of the sun for pardon. Song of the birds for mirth. You’re closer to God’s heart in a garden than any place else on earth.” ~Dorothy Frances Gurney

In our second official rose garden, we planted a natural-looking raised bed of roses outside of our double large pane windows which created an outdoor room. The window was framed with climbing roses and it was quite picturesque. We had a small greenhouse outside the utility room which was full of herbs and served as our kitchen garden. And we had a large garden in the back of our property which had all the large vegetables, such as: tomatoes, okra, etc.

In our third official rose garden, we had roses in front which we framed with a six-foot picket fence. The climbing roses along the picket fence gave a courtyard feeling to the front of the house and created a great outdoor room for sitting and visiting. There was a second rose garden outside of the dining room window. A third rose garden was behind the house. Multiple Vitex trees were planted and helped shield the home and back rose garden from the north winds.

“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.” ~Claude Monet

We planted multiple vegetable gardens in the front area, but only had success with the straw bale gardens. Though this land had the best soil [sandy loam], we had difficulty with the previously planted hay coming through our garden patch – until we utilized the straw bales.

I thoroughly enjoyed planning, planting and maintaining these gardens for years. However, there came a day when I was ready to downsize both home and garden.

Evaluation of Current Garden

After downsizing from a nice-sized country home on acreage to a smaller-sized home on a city lot, I wanted to make our land beautiful, but I also wanted to keep it manageable. One nice thing about this land is it came with a sprinkler system. A huge blessing!

When we first moved into the house, we left the backyard as grass. Because the east side of the house contained the outdoor air conditioning unit, electric meter, etc. and the bird aviary we built for our doves, we chose to put down a commercial grade weed barrier, then top it with pea gravel. This made the area maintenance free. The west side of the house is where we placed our duck. Yes, we had one duck from our country days that moved to the city with us.

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” ~Abraham Lincoln

The first summer in our current home (2019), we planted Vitex trees along the parameter of the east and south sides of the backyard. On the east side of the house [near the doves], we added three rose arches and stepping pavers. With the addition of a wicker bench and several pots of annuals this ‘low maintenance area’ began to feel a little more like a garden area.

We had straw bales for our vegetables in the back corner of the yard and it was a bountiful success. We did a small garden area outside of the dining room window where we placed two large pots with flowers and a few garden statues which gave us a pleasant view through the dining room window and when sitting on the back porch.

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” ~Vincent van Gogh

The second summer in our current home (2020), we couldn’t locate straw bales, so we planted our vegetables in large flower pots which sat upon the pea gravel. We had mixed success with this method. We created an outdoor room on our back porch by placing ferns, plants, and flowers around a wall fountain. It was pretty, and required medium care. We downsized the front garden area that came with the house and built a small white picket fence to replace the previous outlined bed. We planted three rose bushes in the smaller flower bed.

“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.” ~Dale Carnegie

The third summer in our current home (2021), we maintained the previous year’s work and enjoyed watching our trees grow, the flowers bloom on the back porch, and the vegetables produce in the pots placed upon the pea gravel.

Intentional Gardening

Hearing the call of the Master Gardener to come spend time with Him in the garden, I evaluated our yard once again. It became evident that the severe snow storm of February 2021 did affect some of our plants; mainly the three rose bushes in front of the house (north side) and one of the rose arches on the east side of the house. After removing these plants, I continued evaluating each section of the yard – front, back, east side, west side.

“No occupation is as delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.” ~Thomas Jefferson

I decided to consolidate all the flower pots and statutes to the east side of the house, and to pursue creating this area as ‘true garden area’ with multiple sitting areas that would act as ‘rooms’ and as meeting places to commune with the Lord. This small garden area is a work in progress, but my family is already enjoying this garden immensely.

“Keep love in your heart. A life without [love] is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.” ~Oscar Wilde

We replaced the roses on the middle arch and planted four rose bushes near the air conditioning unit. We placed the little statues in various places, then added flower pots and a few solar lanterns to add definition, beauty, and interest. And we used privacy screens around the a/c unit and along the back fence of the bird atrium to aid in the creation of the garden atmosphere by blocking unpleasant mechanical items. And we have a small greenhouse for our vegetables and herbs.

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” ~Audrey Hepburn

If you would like to see pictures of our flower gardens through the years, then you can follow my personal account lisab7376 on Instagram. If you scroll to the beginning of the account (April 2017), you will see pictures of our past rose gardens in the country all the way to our current rose garden in the city. May you be inspired and encouraged in your gardening endeavors!

Intentional Intimacy with the Master Gardener

As we draw near to God, He responds by drawing near to us. In response to His nearness, we release ourselves to Him, and He releases His love which nourishes our spirits and our souls. Our nourished spirit and soul release praises to Him and the fruits of the spirit to those around us.

As we spend time with the Master Gardener, we delight in His sweet Presence. When we stop to smell the roses and enjoy their fragrance, the desire arises in our hearts to be a sweet fragrant aroma to Him. A prayer of deep surrender ensues.

The Master Gardener nourishes us, and we grow, then our growth results in good fruit with many being refreshed by His goodness. We are nourished and refreshed in His Presence, then His love flows through us to others, and they are encouraged in spirit, soul and body. Love always multiplies itself.

“[The righteous are] planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.” ~Psalm 92:13 NASB

May we each be encouraged to walk hand-in-hand with the Master Gardener and enjoy His wonderful creation. Whether enjoying a large country garden, cherishing a small city garden, or strolling in a public garden, know that the Master Gardener is ever present, delighting in showing us His beautiful creation, and in sharing His wonderful Presence. May we truly experience the depth of His love that never fails.

Recommendations:

Intentional Delight, Worship and Prayer Intentional Delight, Worship and Prayer – Strength with Dignity

Springtime Is Here! Springtime Is Here! – Strength with Dignity

6 Spring Bible Verses on God’s Provision 6 Spring Bible Verses on God’s Provision – Strength with Dignity

References:

1 Genesis 2:8-10a, 15 (NASB) New American Standard Bible

2 Genesis 3:8-9 (NASB) New American Standard Bible

32 Intentional Living Quotes: Live Like You Mean It! Published by The Goal Chaser. Retrieved January 3, 2022, from 32 Intentional Living Quotes: Live Like You Mean It! (thegoalchaser.com)

Garden Quotes: 36 of the Best Gardening Quotes by Famous People. Published February 4, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2022, from Inspirational & Famous Garden Quotes | Install-It Direct (installitdirect.com)

New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB 1995), copyright 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

Personal Instagram: lisab7376

Strength with Dignity Instagram: strengthwdignity

Bible Gateway Blogger Grid Member #bgbg2 #BibleGateway

I’m joining The One Word 2022 Community. If you would like to join our One Word Community, Lisa Burgess has sign up information here: Want to Join a Group for Your One Word 2022? (lisanotes.com)

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20 thoughts on “Intentional Gardening”

  1. Wow. Learned so much about gardening today! I love how you tie it to our relationship with the Master Gardener.
    May it always flourish and never wither.

      1. One of the Scripture passages that resonates the most with me is John 15 where Jesus teaches us to abide in him as a a branch draws nourishment from the vine. What a beautiful picture of our relationship with God. You have definitely captured that here in this post. Thank you for this encouragement today!

  2. I looked at your Instagram page and your gardens are lovely and inspiring! Ezekiel 36:35-36 is my go to scripture for landscaping. May all who see your land know that the Master Gardener has blessed you and the work of your hands.

    1. I’m so glad you feel inspired, Jodee! Ezekiel is a wonderful verse of promise to change our little corner of waste or nothingness into a garden that He plants and inhabits.

  3. I usually have good intentions in spring about gardening, but once it gets so hot in mid-summer, I wither like the flowers do. lol. The past couple of years I’ve done most of my flower gardening in pots, and I discovered that it really works for me! I can move them around to different spaces and enjoy them from different views. Gardening in itself can be a beautiful meditative time spent with the Lord, but reaping the fruits of your labor brings even more time with him. I love your connections here.

    My husband is retiring this spring so he wants to plant a vegetable garden this year. We’ll see! 🙂 So glad you link up with us!

    1. I enjoy flower gardening in pots, Lisa, as they do give such flexibility. I hope your vegetable garden prospers! Thanks for hosting, Lisa, and releasing us into greater measures with our One Word.

  4. Lisa, Thank you for sharing your intentional gardening – I love it. My husband and I are planning our first herb and vegetable garden – we are a little late in the season but a friend gave us a pepper plant and we went out and bought books! We have planted some flowers and plants and have lots of natural wild flowers in the woods next to the house. I love walking and looking at the flowers – such a delight – and that’s where I spend wonderful time with God.

    1. Walking with God in the woods is such a delight, Deborah! How exciting to be planning your first herb and vegetable garden with your husband! May you have many wonderful hours together with the Master Gardener!

  5. That photo at the top is so gorgeous! I’m not a gardener, but I have a few plants I do my best to try to keep alive. I love the parallels between gardening and God’s work in us.

    1. It is a gorgeous picture, Barbara! I believe it is a picture from David Austin’s rose garden in England as I have seen it before in his rose catalogs. David Austin roses have such full roses, are hardy, and very fragrant; so, if you want to grow a rose, buy a David Austin rose.

  6. Lisa, I’m exhausted reading about your gardening adventures! Jodee mentioned seeing pictures on Instagram, but I don’t see any on your account (strength with dignity) do you also have a personal account?
    Anyway, My husband and I have likewise planted many an intentional garden. At our old house we had an entire back yard pond/waterfall area, in which we intermingled herbs and flowers in a non formal garden atmosphere, both for beauty and food. We had lovely concord grape vines, an apple tree and various vegetable plants intermingled. So much work!
    We thought we were downsizing when we moved to our current home, but it has turned out even bigger!
    But my favorite part of gardening is meeting with my Creator among His beauty.

    1. Your old house’s yard sounds amazing, Donna! I’m sure your new garden is lovely, and I hope you’ll post some pictures of it. Yes, my personal Instagram is lisab7376, and it is where I post pictures of our garden. Walking with our Creator in His creation is the best part of all!

    1. Thank you, Paula! It has been good for both my spirit and my soul to walk with Him intentionally in the garden.

  7. What an encouraging post! Nothing better than home grown veggies and fruits. If we all had our own gardens we’d probably be a lot healthier. I think lots of people think you need acreage to have a garden which is not true at all. Thanks so much for linking up at A Themed Linkup 109 for Vegetable Gardening. Pinned.

    1. We would be a lot healthier, Dee! Gardens come in all sizes, and small gardens might not support us full-time, but they are still valuable to our overall well-being.

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