Guest Interview: Susan Shipe

Today for my Meeting God in the Garden series, I have a bonus guest interview with another Christian gardener.  Today I want to introduce you to author and blogger Susan Shipe.

Susan is the mother of three adult children, grandmother (a/k/a Mimzy) to 20-year old Hannah and 14-year old Simon, and the wife of her husband, Lowell. They attend Community Church in Mountain City, Tennessee. Susan enjoys writing, reading, organic gardening, traveling, and spending time with her family. Visit her website at Tell us about your own garden. What is your favorite kind of gardening (flower, vegetable, container, etc.) and why?

In the vegetable variety I like the squash family, zucchini and yellow summer squash. These are vegetables, that in my opinion, are only good fresh. I’ve tried freezing them and canning them but they lose their texture. My favorite is fresh from the garden for one of our very favorite summertime suppers: Zucchini Pie!

In the flower variety I adore hydrangeas. Every color but especially the blues and the soft pinks. Hydrangeas can be tricky, so it is very important that you know what you are planting and how to treat them. Some like to be pruned. Others don’t like pruning. Know your hydrangea and it will serve you with gorgeous blooms summer after summer! My second favorite perennial is double peonies. We only have a single rose color and unfortunately these get limp in vase arrangements. My favorite annuals are zinnias and impatiens. ​

Q: What spiritual lessons has God taught you through gardening?

For those who know me, know the theme of my life is HOPE! I have a HOPE perennial garden near our laundry room entry. Only blooms that come back every single year are planted there. They remind me of hope. Our hope can fade and sometimes we can even think it dies. But just like a perennial, it comes back and blooms again! We all need to plant hope every chance we get.​

Q: In this year’s gardening season, what challenges do you face? How do they correlate with your faith?

Slugs! I loathe slugs. They do their best to destroy healthy growth on leaves and on my herb garden. Slugs remind me of the enemy of our souls. They have to be dealt with and destroyed, one at a time! ​

Susan has written this book on raised bed gardening:

Excerpts from the book:

“I like to keep pots of basil, lavender, dill and parsley by our backdoor and I believe a pot of basil near the door keeps houseflies at bay!”

“Raised bed gardening is large yield, small space gardening. As much as possible, GROW VERTICAL!”

“Things to consider when planting: 1. the path of the sun; 2. shade; 3. height of crops; 4. compatibility of plants.”

“Very Important Point: do not use treated lumber or creosote posts for building your raised beds.”

 To order your copy, click here!


Thank you Susan for this interesting interview!

Visit Susan’s social media links:

Questions for reflection:

How can you plant more hope in your heart’s garden today?

How has God brought hope back to your heart year after year?

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.

My book The Fruitful Life is a study on the fruits of the spirit, and my book Newness of Life is about trusting in God’s perfect timing.  Both books are available now on Amazon.

Free resources for these books await you if you sign up for my email list below.  Sign up here to gain access to these free resources, plus lots of other exclusive content!

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This post will be linked up at #mommymoments, #mondaymusings, #momentsofhope, #dreamtogether, #glimpsesofhisbeauty, #soulsurvival, #modestmommondays, #theartofhomemakingmondays, and #lmmlinkup. Visit my linkups page to find links to these wonderful blogs.

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links.


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21 thoughts on “Guest Interview: Susan Shipe

  1. I enjoyed this post so much! We have a lot in common. I LOVE zucchini and yellow squash from the garden and agree it is only good fresh. My husband and I did a raised bed this year and when I say raised, actually beds that are on legs! We haven’t been able to have a garden for years because of the ground hogs and rabbits. This new system should do the trick!

    The theme of my life is also hope.

    It was so nice to meet you here at your garden. 🙂

    1. YAY you, Karen – what a nifty idea. And, so much easier on the back. I’m glad you enjoyed the post – you may want to check out my book because it’s our “story”, great tips, and some awesome recipes. HAPPY GARDENING! Susan.

  2. Sarah, thank you for featuring me and my garden!!! Let’s plant seeds of HOPE together!

    1. One more thing – just in case…Follow me on Twitter at Hopeful50, the Jus2sisters is defunct!!!

  3. I was so excited to see that Sarah was interviewing you here, Susan! I love this: “We all need to plant hope every chance we get.​” This year I have so needed the “hope” that God had planted for me in my garden over the previous years. He is such a good gardener! 🙂 I love seeing pictures of your garden, Susan, and I know which book of yours I will be ordering soon! Thank you Sarah for this great series–it has been so timely for me. Blessings to both of you!

    1. BettieG, I know you are suffering a horrid flare-up. I find myself waking at 1-2 a.m. and crying out for so many…including YOU!

  4. I enjoyed this, Susan. First of all, I didn’t know you lived in TN! I am in Knoxville. I love what plant cycles teach us of hope and faith and dependence on God. I love hydrangeas, too. We have one that has both lavender and blue blooms and thankfully tends to thrive without a lot of effort from me. I just received a beginning basil plant this weekend and need to look up how to treat it. I am not generally good with plants, and we have to many :”critters” in the yard (birds, squirrels, rabbits), that I don’t know if vegetables would have a chance, but I am thinking about trying some in small containers to see how they do.

    1. Barb, not quite TN – but as my hubs likes to say we are the last ‘outpost’ in NC before hitting Mountain City TN! We are in the very tip of Northwestern NC! We do go to church in TN and we are about 3 hours from Knoxville.

  5. Beautiful garden! I spend most of my summers away from home…thus, no garden for me :/. But I totally understand the analogy of garden tending and soul tending :). Either will wither without constant care.

  6. How fun to see Susan here. I like these lessons from gardening. HOPE is one of my favorite themes, and I love spring because seeing all the plants leaf out and bloom reminds me of it too.

    1. Betsy, I have been enjoying the pictures on FB of you and your daughter. TWO BEAUTIES! Let’s plant seeds of HOPE!

  7. How did I miss this interview until today?? So happy to see your face here, Susan! I’m a fan of zinnias too! I love their wacky 60’s colors, and they’re such a great cut flower. Thank you for sowing seeds of hope here, there, and everywhere!

    1. Michele, I’ve had zinnias in every garden of my memory. They tolerate the Missouri heat and humidity so well, and butterflies love them!

  8. I just saw you had Susan on here yay! Okay,now after seeing you and Sarah Koontz’s garden love – I am thinking I need Susan’s book eventually lol. I am such a beginner…I think I killed everything except a few of my plants.

    1. Thanks for reading, Meghan! I am here for you if you need gardening advice. I may compile my thoughts in an ebook in the future, just like Susan and Sarah K. did!

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