On Growing a Good Garden

They call out to me this morning.

Their greens now fading, their blooms a distant memory. The birds and the deer have gleaned the last bits of nourishment these plantings will provide. Now they call to me, beckon my fingers to sift and prune.

The soil is tender toward me, softened by the recent rains. I take advantage of her gentle nature–tug and churn. I breathe in the musty scent, feel it cling to my skin. I cut back the dead or dying, pull up weeds–ready these Beloveds for the long sleep.

I start out in garden gloves, but as the hours pass, I am soon working with bare hands…seeking with my keen fingertips what glove cannot feel. I jiggle loose the weedy roots underneath their rich blanket of soil and pull up from leggy beginnings. I must dig deep–raking fingernails on twig and vine–clawing at dirt.

Nothing else will work.

This feels right–dirt under fingernails, green staining hands, thorns pricking palms.

Every fall I do this…get rid of decay, thin out the overgrown, plant the new.

It is desolate when I finish. Bare. Three dwarf Alberta Spruces stand sentinel over this austerity.

It’s hard to imagine what will come in spring. It’s hard to remember the beauty that lies sleeping beneath the loamy surface. It would be easy to dismiss this barren patch of land. Forget to tend. Just walk away.

But I know better.

It is during this season of undress that roots grow strong. Seeds are sprouting, drinking in nourishment from soil prepared far ahead of time for bloom.

The seed planted in the darkness of this season will not remain barren forever.

I trust in this.

How do you know it’s true?
Her eyes. Oh her eyes. She held His Word in her hand and asked.
How do you know? Why do you believe?
My answer wasn’t good enough.
But it planted a seed. Oh, Lord, I pray it planted a seed.


  1. says

    I love your way with words!

    “it is during this season of undress that roots grow strong”

    Yes! In this I see myself

  2. says

    Your words minister. I too have planted a seed in the heart of a loved one who has wandered so far from the Father. I trust. He is the master gardener and often the work goes unnoticed. But even in the apparent barrenness something is happening. New life stirring beneath the surface.
    Thank you Laura for faithfully writing your heart.

  3. says

    I too hope that the seed planting I do is falling into healthy soil so that God can give root to that seed and allow it to grow.
    Tessa 🙂

  4. says

    The exact reason why I welcome the burial of fall/winter in my own soul. Time for God to rid my flesh of some things in order to make room for the new.

    It’s the blossoms of spring that give me more trouble; I’m going to work on that as I cloister myself off in winter.


  5. says

    Laura, the LORD has gifted you with a heart for expressions of life. Your words always leave me thinking and encouraged. Thank you for your willing heart to share with us.


  6. says

    I have missed my time visiting at your blog. Your words, soothing as they are, reveal such depth and beauty. I always love my visits here….

    Thank you for your visits at my blog… Thank you for your sweet words…..

    Hope you can see the photos now. I just loaded a new slide show… hopefully it will work!


  7. says

    Laura I have to tell you that I’m not usually a poetry person, but I love the way you express your thoughts.

    Yes, I pray that I have planted a seed. One that will grow into a mighty cedar.

  8. says

    Reading a book by Sue Monk Kidd “When the Heart Waits”. Your poetic words go hand-in-hand with her thoughts. In the darkness the seed grows, in the dark womb new life, in the dark cocoon transformation takes place. We meet God in the dark. Lovely post.

  9. says

    I just feel SO BLESSED that “I get to read you!!!!” lol

    I need to get out and work in my garden as well but we’ve had so much rain and honestly, the morning glories are all thriving still as well as the zinnias! Soon as we get a freeze and it all dies off, I’m gonna go out and “save seed.” Then I’ll plow the garden all up and let is REST for winter.
    Girl, we’re two peas in a pod too. I start out with the gloves on and before long shuck em off! By thee end of the day, I’ll have peeling fingernails and a dozen cuts n pokes.
    YOU have a blessed day today ya hear? I love ya like…autumn raspberries and a stack of vintage claypots; and thats a bunch!

  10. says

    Like Tina, I was struck by thinking of fall as a “season of undress.” Vulnerability is such a catch word these days, but you helped me remember again what we mean when we talk about the need for authenticity and vulnerability.

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