Lessons from My Garden…

Quote of the Day

Whenever I read a quote about growth, I make a connection to gardening. The greatest lessons I have learned have come to me when I am gardening- doin’ yard work. A good garden is always changing, growing – a living thing.. Gardening is like dealing with the Devil and touching the Hem of God’s Garment.

When my garden and I started out, I had dreams for it; some have come true.

  • I wanted roses spilling over a white picket fence, I wanted my grandmother’s Spiderwort and her Hosta to thrive.
  • I wanted heirloom peonies to pass along to the next generation.
  • I wanted a couple of magnolia trees and a gardenia that knocked my socks off with it’s white blooms and heavy scent.
  • I wanted big blue Mop Head Hydrangeas by the dozens.
  • I wanted to look out of every window and see something growing.
  • I wanted an old gardener’s bulbs and irises to spring up every year and greet me.

I’ve gotten all of that and more. I still have to fight weeds- I still have to prune and vigorously cut back new growth. My best laid plans have been interrupted; I’ve even loved and lost-

My herb garden had to be torn up because of a structural issue. I mourned the loss, I resisted the change. Nature doesn’t seem to resist change– but eases gently, gracefully through the seasons. Plants do not seem to be alarmed or depressed when they are pruned- they just up and put on new growth. There is a quiet wisdom impressed upon me when I garden, nature is a patient teacher. She calmly points out the splendor of the sunshine, the peaceful necessity of a gentle rain and the blinking lights of  fireflies-then, quietly points her finger toward the stars without worry or anxiety about tomorrow..Gardening points me to my higher self-it brings out the dreamer in me. I love this quote by Harriet Tubman:

‘Every dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’

Gardening helps me believe that within the personality of God, there is an unruffled calm, a perennial pace to life, an order and higher purpose in my life. My doubts and anxieties about aging are overcome when I see a sunset. A Sunset is proof that Nature really does save the best for last. Before the curtains close -She waltzes out, shows off her most glorious colors- spreads her skirts and takes a graceful bow- then tosses out a handful of stars!


‘Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own; and from the morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave, is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy that we can scarcely mark their progress.’ Charles Dickens


It’s such a treat for me to share some lessons from my garden. I hope your gardens and your lives are abundant and changing ever so gently. I hope there are still stars in your eyes and dreams in your hearts.

Love y’all, Camellia

*image from www.quotesgram.com

quotes from ‘The Dictionary of Thoughts’ published in 1959 by Standard Book Company

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The Stalwart Pear Tree…

This little dogwood tree struggles and survives every year despite it’s poor location, yet it reminds me of another tree,  ‘The Quickened Stalwart Pear’, found in chapter 38  of my book- ‘Four Days- the Lazarus Principle’img_1996

Here is an excerpt with some added emphasis…

“Go with me…to New York City. While we were there we visited the 911 Memorial. I was expecting to be moved by it. I was expecting to feel anger. That is not what I felt – I felt an overwhelming sadness for what America had lost…the loss of a type of innocence which turned many of our people into distrustful cynics. A harsh rhetoric, indicative of anger and fear has descended on our people…the-stalwart-pear-planted

The most hopeful thing of all in that tragic somber place was a Stalwart Pear Tree, known as the Survivor Tree. It is now 30 feet tall and was the last living thing to be removed from the rubble. The tree was moved to a park in New York to see if the broken charred remains could be revived. By the spring of 2012, having survived two collapsing skyscrapers, several moves, and one hurricane, the stubborn little tree is a testament of resurrection power; a living lesson that we can survive, we can be quickened after the worst loss imaginable. Many Wounded Warriors come to the 911 Memorial to have their photo taken by the Survivor Tree. Native New York Swamp Oak trees were also planted, they are alive but are not yet thriving.

Isn’t that the choice we have? We can be alive, cloaked in grieving clothes-south-tower-world-trade-center-stalwart-pearor we can yield to the Savior who has breathed the Breath of Life into us while we are bound by our circumstances… We can struggle and thrive like the Stalwart Pear or we can merely survive like the New York Swamp Oaks. When I saw the Quickened Stalwart Pear, it gave me so much hope amidst all the sadness. So, hear this-

‘For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for your welfare and peace, and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome….you will find Me…when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you…and I will release you from all captivity…’  from Jeremiah 29″

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Whatever it is that is holding you back, whether sorrow or sighing,  alive but not yet thriving, the survivor of disaster or dogged with depression, I hope on this blessed Lord’s Day, you will read of the survival of the Stalwart Pear Tree and find sweet comfort in this – and in the Love of God.

Love y’all, Camellia

The Stalwart Pear – New York, 911 Memorial -images from AOL images

The Survivor Tree The Survivor Tree

Four Days- the Lazarus Principle Four Days-the Lazarus Principle