In honor of the coming of Spring, I have pruned a post from way back in the day of my first blog, Rave Redux. This was one of many posts where I reviewed how the book, The Spirit of Loveliness, by Emilie Barnes had affected my life. Today’s post tells how it affected my life as a gardner. I must add a disclaimer that I no longer live in the house where the yard is pictured below, but this is where I first learned how to keep a plant alive.

The Spirit of Gardening

I am dedicating this post to my friends who love gardening.  My thumb is definitely flesh-colored, if not brown.  I have had a few successes with landscaping projects, but my attempt at getting things to grow is summed up in this quote,

Gardening requires lots of water – most of it in the form of perspiration.  ~Lou Erickson

Getting things to grow is a labor of love for most, and while I labor at it, I cannot honestly say that I love it.  It’s like cleaning house.  I love the results. Learning from Mrs. Barnes that this was an important part of owning and improving our home, I’ve searched through the years for a technique that could change the color of my thumb.

About 3 years ago I stumbled across the book, “Lasagna Gardening,” by Patricia Lanza and it was like having a revival in the dirt.  I would never have thought that I could become one of those people who loved a compost pile or went in search of mushroom compost or cow manure to spread in my yard.  But, I did!  I learned from Mrs. Lanza’s book how to layer different organic materials in my beds and plant green things that miraculously stayed that way. The best part of this book was that I never had to dig a single hole.  This book cut way down on the perspiration hindrance.

As you layer the materials, the bed builds to a a height that does not require any digging.  I would spread out the materials with my gloved hands and just set the plant on the ground. This renaissance in the dirt happened long before my blog days, so I don’t have before or during pictures.

Lasagne Gardening

Then, you simply cover the plant with the compost you’ve built around it.  In the picture above, you can barely see the bed I built from compost on the left. I even planted three Magnolia trees, a Japanese Maple tree and several butterfly bushes, gardenias and Spirea. I did, however, have to stake the trees to the ground because of wind, but it worked perfectly.  The last time I drove by this house, all plants were still living.

Dorothy Frances Gurney is quoted in Emilie’s book saying,

“One is nearer God’s Heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth.”

Emilie Barnes was and is an inspiration to do all things (even those things you don’t love) to His glory. I received the blessing of watching new growth and beauty as a result of my efforts. Honoring the Creator by creating.

Gerber Daisies

Butterfly Bush

As I leave you today, I have to share this story.  I heard it years ago, but I don’t remember where.

The devil decided to challenge God to a “creation-contest” and God agreed.  So they both started to gather the materials they needed for their creation project.  Once the materials were gathered, the devil said, “ok, let’s get started.”  To which God replied, “Get your own dirt.”

Adapted from: The Spirit of Loveliness. Copyright © 1999 by Emilie Barnes. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.