Saturday, July 18, 2015

My newest hobby, gardening

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,--
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.

I've known this gardening verse for many, many years. It is often engraved on plaques or stepping stones in gardens. However, I've not been very interested in gardening until this spring. Sure, I've always pulled weeds, and I love buying 10-20 bags of mulch and spreading them around, but this year, I started creating a couple of garden areas that I hope will give beauty through the years and become places of reflection and prayer.

I put together this Pentecost Garden in May 24. The azaleas were already there, but totally overgrown. I pruned them back and added the red caladiums. Caladiums, I learned are perfect for a shady spot. 

This garden is anchored by 2 oak trees, so it is in the shade almost all day. The pavers around the garden have been there for a long time. I had to clean them off and straighten them out. Then I took red paint and lettered them with this prayer:

Come Holy Spirit
Fill the Hearts of your Faithful
Enkindle in us the fire of your love
Send Forth your Spirit and we shall be created
And you shall renew the face of the earth.

 Last touch was to put the red lawn chairs around the garden to highlight the color!
Musselman Family in front of the Pentecost Garden. 
 Next project started on Father's Day weekend when we purchased a stone statue of St Joseph holding the baby Jesus. It became very obvious that we needed to put it near the outside workbench Bob and Will built at the barn.

By clearing a LOT of weeds and pruning the over grown viburnum a nice St Joseph garden was created, using pine straw as the mulch. This garden has 3 pine trees and the pine straw is constantly falling, so all I needed to do was rake it up in a circle to encompass the garden.

Next I will make a plaque with the prayer of St Joseph the Worker:

Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in a spirit of penance for the expiation of my many sins; to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my inclinations; to work with gratitude and joy, considering it an honor to employ and develop, by means of labor, the gifts received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation and patience, without ever recoiling before weariness or difficulties; to work, above all, with purity of intention, and with detachment from self, having always death before my eyes and the account which I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all for Mary, all after your example, O Patriarch Joseph. Such shall be my watchword in life and in death.
I treated myself to a new book on gardening that I am really enjoying A Catholic Gardener's Spiritual Almanac by Margaret Rose Realy. Ms Realy takes each month of the year and share our beautiful Catholic Faith through:

  • Theme of the Month
  • Traditions and Saints of the Month
  • Gardening/Planting for the Month
  • Biblical Reflection for the Month
  • and Prayer Focus for the Month

Whether or not you actually garden, or are an "armchair gardener" you will really enjoy this book!

The Gardening prayer in full is:

     God's Garden

      by: Dorothy Frances Gurney
      THE Lord God planted a garden
      In the first white days of the world,
      And He set there an angel warden
      In a garment of light enfurled.
      So near to the peace of Heaven,
      That the hawk might nest with the wren,
      For there in the cool of the even
      God walked with the first of men.
      And I dream that these garden-closes
      With their shade and their sun-flecked sod
      And their lilies and bowers of roses,
      Were laid by the hand of God.
      The kiss of the sun for pardon,
      The song of the birds for mirth,--
      One is nearer God's heart in a garden
      Than anywhere else on earth.
      For He broke it for us in a garden
      Under the olive-trees
      Where the angel of strength was the warden
      And the soul of the world found ease.
      7-19-15 Reader comment: Your blog post was tremendous you have inspired me to do a humility garden with constant attention to weeding the deep roots of pride
      Right now it is so overgrown that I'm almost fearful of the bees that are lurking as I try to prune it 🌷🌷🌷
      Detachment from all forms of pride is what the Lord has said to me is what I am must focus on for myself and to lead others.
      He gives me no less than 100 opportunities to practice it every day. The 33 Days to Morning Glory Consecration is the best fertilizer and training ground for this virtue
      -Marybeth, St Pete FL