On Wednesdays in my Meeting God in the Garden series, I feature guest interviews with other Christian gardeners. Today I want to introduce you to blogger Dawn Boyer.
Dawn writes at Journeys In Grace and hosts a weekly linkup. She is married to her high school sweetheart and a proud homeschooling mom of three children. One of her favorite places to be is the garden, where she engages with her children and tends both bees and flowers. I enjoy her contemplative blog posts, and I am glad to share her interview with you today.
Q: Tell us about your own garden. What is your favorite kind of gardening (flower, vegetable, container, etc.) and why?
We have several gardens all over our seven acres. My husband has a little sweet corn patch that we harvest and freeze for the rest of the year. We have learned to put a wire fence around it to keep the raccoons out, or we’ll have no corn. The original spot has tripled in size over the years. I usually plant the tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers and vine plants (pumpkins, squash, etc.) out on the hill where they get a full day of sun and are not in danger of flooding.
We live right next to a river and are at the bottom of the basin that collects all the water from the spring thaw. It is beautiful but it sometimes floods. There have been a number of years we have lost the entire garden because it was underwater. We learned our lessons and created new plots.
When our oldest was small we built a sunflower garden together. It is still my favorite garden project. It was a school project that the kids began in the spring. We planted sunflowers of varying sizes around the perimeter and morning glories right next to them. The sunflowers grew tall while the morning glories twined around them.
At one time we had 25 plants of lavender blooming and I set my beehives up right in the middle of them. The beehives had to be moved the summer that garden was underwater. Moving four hives full of bees in knee-deep water in the middle of the summer was crazy hard. We had to do it at dusk when most of the bees were inside. We had to move the hives five miles away so that they would be far enough from our house not to come back and drown in the water.
I have container gardens all over the place, which are certainly easier, but my flowers are my favorite, especially the roses. When I was a girl my grandmother would buy me a rose bush for each new house we lived in. When I married, she bought me a rose bush for my new house. When she could no longer care for her roses, my uncle told me I could have her favorite climbing rose bush that my grandfather planted for her over 40 years prior. It became the entrance to my herb garden and still grows today. It has only bloomed twice, the year my uncle passed, unexpectedly, and the year my grandma went to be with her Savior.
Weeding is my favorite garden task, because it reminds me of the way God tends the garden of my heart gently and faithfully.
Q: What spiritual lessons has God taught you through gardening?
I have learned faithfulness yields an abundant reward. I marvel at the power of God’s economy in the multiplicity of sowing seeds and reaping a huge harvest. I have learned to pray more, be quiet more often, and to wait with God.
It was through the continual journey in my garden from May through October that I learned the art of soul care and the way God makes His garden of love in our own hearts. I wrote a Bible Study on Isaiah 54 that focuses on that very topic.
I have found such peace as I purpose to meet God in the garden. We all will benefit from making time in our day to let God tend our souls and cultivate in us the fullness of His goodness and grace.
Q: In this year’s gardening season, what challenges do you face? How do they correlate with your faith?
I hope to replant the lavender patch and add more roses to my flower garden. My son works as a landscaper and has been sharing ideas on how to make my gardens better. My largest obstacle in my flower garden is getting ahead of the thistles that love to grow, and keeping the mint from taking over. These invasive plants remind me to constantly cast my cares upon the Lord (1 Peter 5:7).
Thank you Dawn for this interview!
Read more gardening posts from Dawn’s blog:
When Our Heart is the Garden of God
Join me tomorrow for another post in my Meeting God in the Garden series! In the meantime, learn how I weed my heart’s garden and how the right soil makes all the difference.
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