Backlist Bonus: Devotions From the Garden

Backlist Bonus: Devotions From the Garden

Spring is my favorite time of year, because green = growth. Once upon a time, I started a blog…because everyone said that to be an author you had to have one. My earliest posts were all about my journey toward publication and included metaphors such as detours and foggy weather and pit stops. Of course, I also included applications toward raising a child with special needs and living with a chronic illness because those were

What’s Growing in Your Garden?

What’s Growing in Your Garden?

Nine years ago, in 2010, I looked outside my front door at my neglected flower beds and started spring cleaning. However, the parallels between that patch of dirt and my personal life were uncanny and my flower-bed frenzy soon sparked a quick series of blog posts comparing aspects of gardening with the disciplines of personal growth. Because life is like a garden complete with seasons of dormancy and growth, preparation and harvest. A winter, spring,

Harvesting A Good Crop

After months of preparing, planting, watering, weeding, thinning … and waiting in anticipation, the first vegetables are finally ready. Baskets and bowls of sugar snap peas, radishes, carrots and lettuce are transformed into salads even kids will eat. Fresh corn on the cob and yellow summer squash. Cucumbers in vinegar water and stuffed zucchini boats. And salsa from fresh-picked tomatoes, onions, garlic, jalapenos, and cilantro. Don’t forget the fall with pumpkins to carve and seeds

Thinning For Maximum Growth

The hardest aspect of gardening for me is the thinning. Why should I pull up perfectly good carrot or cucumber plants? And why pinch blossoms off pumpkin and watermelon vines? It’s not like they’re weeds. But, if I leave too many plants in a small area, none of them will grow to their full potential. They’ll compete for nutrients and space. And a single vine can’t put energy into a dozen melons. By thinning the

Time To Weed

With rich, nutritious soil and enough water and sunshine, what grows in my garden? Very hardy weeds, that’s what. Although my youngest son loves to pick the pretty yellow flowers, I’m destined to crawl around on my hands and knees trying to get to the roots and make sure they never show their mocking faces in my garden or yard again. Whether I use a hoe or a hand spade, I am on a mission

Keeping Out the Pests

Ever read the book about Peter Rabbit? That mischievous bunny just couldn’t resist the lure of Mr. McGregor’s garden. Lettuce, carrots, beans, radishes. A feast worth crawling under a gate for. All until he got chased around by an angry gardener with a rake. Part of gardening involves putting up some type of barrier to protect the plants from outside invaders – ranging from children’s (and dog’s) trampling feet to deer to birds to insects

Here Comes The Rain

April showers bring May flowers. Or so I heard back in Elementary school. And summer brings afternoon thunderstorms (at least here in Colorado.) What’s that got to do with growing a garden? Well, in addition to having nutrient-rich soil in a sunny spot, you need water. And not just water on the surface, but deep down where the roots will eventually spread out. Whether it comes as a sprinkling or a downpour, consistent rain is

Hardening Off For Survival

In honor of summer, we’ve been looking at a few life lessons from the garden. Once you’ve got your seedlings started and the soil prepared (as discussed in previous weeks), it’s still not quite time to put the plants in the ground. Not only do you have to wait for the weather to warm up (especially here in Colorado), but the baby plants need a period of hardening off before they can survive the harsh world.

Composting Past Mistakes

Last week, we looked at the importance of breaking up or tilling the soil of our garden. Part of that process includes adding organic material to the soil. And nothing beats the “black gold” of compost. Compost. That mixture of decaying organic matter, such as leaves and manure, that is used as fertilizer. Where else can trash like used coffee grounds, banana peels, shredded newspaper, and grass clippings be transformed into something vitally useful? Into something

Breaking New Ground

Breaking New Ground

Every successful gardener knows that before planting the seeds or seedling plants, the soil must be prepared. And the first step is firing up the rototiller or picking up a shovel. It’s time to turn the ground over. To break up the big chunks. To stir organic material into the natural clay. To loosen the dirt so that future plant roots have room to grow and that air and water can circulate. Otherwise fragile roots