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 hopehearthome.com.Q: 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.”
Thank you Susan for this interesting interview!
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.
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