Monday, December 31, 2012

Garden Gifts are Blessings

 Blessing #2 - Giving

Giving someone the space to garden is a great gift.  Many of us do not have yards, or sunny locations in which to garden.

giving help in garden

giving advice
I found some of the most valued memories of working at the local garden center, was teaching someone the methods to have a successful garden. The old adage of ‘teaching a man to fish’ comes to mind. Explaining the needs of a particular plant was my goal to help this gardener be successful.  Truly a blessing to me when that person sought me out on their next visit to get ‘more’ of the very contagious bug of ‘Gardening.’ Ever seeking knowledge and soaking up any morsel I could throw their way, -  these gardeners were a blessing to me.

Another gift of gardening is the practice of giving plants from my garden to someone else.  I try to have a few pots ready when a visitor comes.  Giving plants is a promise of good luck to both gardeners.  A blessing, indeed.
plant share lg
Giving plants in an organized ‘plant share event’ is very rewarding.  Receiving plants you do not have in your garden – while watching someone  who is delighted to receive the plant you offered.  The Blessing of Community (read more here) is extended as well.
Another gift of gardening is giving of your time to help another gardener.  Weeding for an elderly neighbor is very rewarding. I’ve had a great sense of accomplishment when I’ve helped a fellow gardener tidy up her yard the afternoon she was to host a meeting.  Another giving opportunity I had was upon the death of a family member of a sister-garden clubber.  She was to have tons of visitors arriving, and needless to say, had no time to spruce up the front yard. No one knew what had happened ,(except me and another garden club member), and that made my blessing more precious.
Giving to a group that has physical limitations is quite rewarding.  Many hospitals, and nursing facilities are recognizing the benefits of ‘Horticulture Therapy’.  Folks respond to the sights, smells, and nurturing gardening brings. Raised beds and platform gardens are ideal for folks to engage in gardening without the stress of limited access to the garden. Adding to a school nature program is yet another avenue for giving.  Garden clubs and plant societies, and individuals can purchase one of these planters and the gift will come back to be a blessing for the giver, as well as the recipient.

I have discovered that giving a gift is like throwing ashes into the wind – some of the ashes will come back onto us – truly a Blessing.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Gardening Brings Blessing of Hope

Blessing #12

Hope, according to Webster, ‘is one that gives promise for the future’. and ‘a desire accompanied by expectation of fulfillment’.  I can see this promise in the garden.  I feel the expectation of fulfillment in every season that passes.
Plant life is just that – Life.  The stages of each season mimic our human soul. The changes are not the end, but the ongoing pattern in the continual phases of dying, death, renewal, growth, youth, and maturity.


The season of winter is a tough one for many of us to endure. The darkness, the cold, the bleak landscape that lies buried in piles of leaves, debris, and snow, seem to scream – It's over! Done! NO HOPE!

dormant perennialsMB900448311

images (3)

I am reminded during this winter season, that there is hope, and I’m living it. The snowy field at sunset may seem like despair is looming, but what comes after a sunset?  The moon to light the night, and stars become a welcome nightlight. So even in the darkness, we can have hope, a true blessing.

after sunset - stars

And then the stars fade and the sunrise becomes a new day and hope re-surges.  The seasons progress in this manner. Looking forward into the ‘promise for the future’, we see an emergence of rebirth.  Shoots of plants poke up through the soil with the promise of new, or continued life.

emerging hosta sedum coming back to liferose buddingimages (1)

As the buds swell on the branch, we see a renewal of life, and our hopes arise and anything seems possible.

Tress with branches laden with blooms are hopeful glimpses of  the future and the fruit that will feed us.  Hope further revealed is exhibited in the wildlife that creates new broods each season, with the hope that life goes on and continues the cycle.
MB900406599feed baby birds

Growing season is a wonder!  The immature plants grow and stretch. They take in all that nature has to offer – sunshine, water, and nutrients and become better for it. They produce blossoms, fruit, vegetables, and

eventually seeds.MB900070798


Even a storm has the promise of hope.  The moisture is necessary for the plants to thrive 
clouds after rain
and winds take up the vision by scattering seeds, and hope far and wide.

images (4)MB900427986

The garden’s gift of hope is displayed when we dare to plant a seed or a new plant. The ‘expectation of fulfillment' seeps into our very being, that life, as we know it, will continue and is a blessing.

sunflower seedsThe seasons move forward, and plants, like this sunflower mature.  The seeds are food for nature, and when they are harvested, they offer hope for yet another season of sunflowers.

I can see a correlation between the sunflower and my own maturity.  I  have grown, taken in the experiences of life, and now I pass the ‘seeds’ of life’s learning along to others. Hopefully some of the seeds will take hold and grow.

MB900316743oak tree Guardian uk

This acorn is a standard of hope. It is faithfully planted by the scrambling squirrels in the hopes for food during the months to come.  The misplaced or forgotten acorn will over winter in the ground, and when the spring warmth and moisture arrive the continued life cycle is apparent.


Autumn and harvest time are a blessing. We get to enjoy the efforts we made during the growing season. The promise of the future is not forgotten.

Each season offers challenges. Then the peace and joy of the 'promise for a future' is just the hope we need to hold onto.  Dreams, and expectations, give us the strength to move forward.
Give your dreams wings, and let hope be the wind.

I hope I have given you a gift with this series of Blessings.

Winter is here in North America, and time to reflect until the next season arrives.   Sincerely, Claudia

Friday, December 21, 2012

Garden Gifts are Blessings


Gifts From the Garden – Silence, Blessing # 11

Sshhhh.  The gift of Silence is a big one for me.  I love quiet.  I seek quiet. And when I hear silence, I am Blessed.


Beauty in the little things, becomes foreign to us when we are gathering data into our minds, day in and day out.   Enjoy the colors or even, the lack of color - as long as we acknowledge the sensation. Traffic, kids, TV, social media, classwork, or the dishwasher all attack us with sounds that make it difficult to unwind and take in our surroundings.


Even a few moments of silence can help refocus what is important or needs our attention.




Unplug.  What a concept!  No constant drone of stimuli bombarding the senses!  Unwind,, and think.  Remember, dream, or plan - the quiet allows us to let thoughts wander, and perhaps, leads to a comforting place.




Letting the senses be realized.   When did we last consciously feel the warmth of the sun?  When was the last time we took in a deep breath and sighed?  The relaxing of every muscle, that we didn't realize were in tight knots in the shoulders and neck.  





The Gift of Silence – Blessing #11

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Garden Gifts-Simple Blessings

Simplicity – Blessing #10

Our lives are not always simple.  We have jobs to juggle with the kids’ activities, parents that need care, bills, groceries, and the occasional effort to spend time with our significant other, and a little time left over for ourselves.

So let's focus on the simple gifts today.  I don’t dare elaborate too much on each item for fear of complicating the moment.  So I hope you can sit back and spend a little time counting our ‘simple’ blessings.
New Growth 
Juniper Berries

Friend Enjoying the Woods
Cactus bloom
Butterfly in Sunshine

Small Stream

Grandson with Crocus He Planted

Daffodils in Spring

Grandson on Fall Afternoon

Casa Blanca Lily

Grandpa and Grandson at Pumpkin Patch

simplicity cool drink
Cool Cucumber Water

simplicity - sitting in shade
Enjoying the Shade
simplicity - cup and paper
Morning in the Garden

simplicity women on chaise

Seeds to Plant
Tulip in Vase

simplicity =ladybug
simplicity bee
Bee Gathering Pollen
simplicity robin's next
Robin's Nest
simplicity monarch butterfly information
Monarch  Butterfly

simple - picking apples
Small Boy Helping Pick Apples
simple harvesting tomatoes
Harvesting Tomatoes

Simple gifts from the garden, time spent in the garden, and appreciation of the simple things – Blessing # 10.

What do you cherish in its simplicity? Share with us your thoughts.