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Nearer God's Heart? Maybe - Maybe Not

Updated on August 7, 2013
Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran is a writer & former newspaper reporter/editor who traveled the world as a soldier's better half. Her works are on Amazon.

From My Own Garden

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You are nearer God's heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth, so the saying goes.

I can not speak for a deity, but speaking for myself, I can not name another activity that gives me as much pleasure, not only while I am doing it, but every day after as well.

One of the best features of this hobby is its satisfaction guarantee. If you are unhappy with your result, simply grab the plant, flower, shrub or small tree by the base, and pull it up by its roots. How many problems in life are that easy to solve?

As an Army wife of twenty years, and seven homes later, I get a sense of finally being at home for good when I walk out into my yard to weed my hosta beds full to overflowing with every variety of this plant I have ever happened upon. I am also always on alert for any new type of caladium, though the fact that they don't come back year after year is a negative as far as I am concerned. I do not like starting over again and again. I like to build on what I have already spent and sweated over.

It gives me a sense of continuity from year to year to know the azaleas are in full bloom because I cut them back just the right amount at just the right time last year. I am the one who transplanted that pear tree in the backyard when it was only a volunteer sampling coming up in the middle of a holly bush in the front yard. It stands tall today, right where it looks best, because of me. I won't dwell on how many dogwood trees I have bought only to watch them die a slow death in the mid-summer Georgia sun. Mistakes happen. Please reference the satisfaction guarantee mentioned earlier.

My pride and joy are my iris. I must have more than a hundred of them. The traditional, bearded, blue variety are the most abundant and bloom all by themselves early each spring. The unique colors come along throughout the season, extending the brief blooming period typical of this kind of flower. And many of those specific iris have been given to me by one friend or another who also love these bursts of color in their own gardens. That gives each one a special meaning to me as the years go by. Even my starter iris, the most common blue, were given to me by one of my sister-in-laws. It goes a long way towards keeping the peace in the family when I remind myself this beautiful stand of blooms started with her.

When money was tight during the let's put three kids through college years, I bought end of season bargains like half-dead hydrangeas. Now there are huge bursts of white, pink, blue and purple all around my yard all summer long. A higher education was not the only good investment we made over the past decade.

In my garden, I may or may not be nearer to a supreme being, but I am always a little closer to that elusive peace we all seek in the rare activities in life we get to choose for ourselves.

EBooks and Paperbacks by Kathleen Cochran

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    • Kathleen Cochran profile image
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      Kathleen Cochran 16 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Moi aussi! My thrift is especially beautiful this year and my roses are full of leaves. Spring is the best!

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 16 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Kathleen - I counted this morning as I pulled out of the driveway and eight are iris are in glorious deep purple bloom. Still lots of buds left so I expect the show to continue for quite awhile. :)

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image
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      Kathleen Cochran 17 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I love sharing my iris. I have them as far away as Texas! Mine have many buds, but only 3 blooms. My roses are so full of leaves! I'm trying not to visualize them in August when the summer heat has ruined them!

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 17 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Kathleen, my original three deep purple irises faded fast, but this morning I had three new blooms, and it looks like quite a few more to come. :) I meant to tell you at breakfast and forgot. :)

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image
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      Kathleen Cochran 17 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      sallybea: "Soul Time" Love it. Thanks for your comments.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 17 months ago from Norfolk

      Gardening and spending time outdoors is definitely something for the soul, in fact, I call it 'soul time' it is just Me and nature, it does not get much better than that. Enjoyable hub with some lovely images, thanks for sharing.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image
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      Kathleen Cochran 17 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Jodah and RTalloni: Thanks for commenting on this fun hub. I come by my love of gardening honestly - my grandmother and favorite aunt were master gardeners. I only wish I was that good at it.

      RT: Rule of thumb in the south - don't set out summer plants until after Easter (whenever that is) to avoid last frosts. Good luck wherever you are!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 17 months ago from the short journey

      Managing a garden really is very satisfying. It's no wonder poets have made good use of garden themes– your hub is actually quite poetic. Doctors recommend gardening as a hobby for people's physical and mental health with good reason!

      The Creator's gifts in the plant world are nothing short of amazing. Science continues to explore the intricacies of plants and is still documenting new discoveries, yet, wisdom of the ages about using plants is timeless, speaking volumes about God's power. An opportunity to work in a garden, to manage plants so that their beauty is highlighted, and to make the most of their usefulness should never be missed!

      I think my Russian iris are up, my white iris need some water this morning (as well as some newly transplanted kohlrabi), my neighbor is exchanging one of my fig trees for one of her Annabel hydrangeas today (swapping with friends is a fun part of gardening) and I'll be putting in some summer blooming flowers out before the hot days set in. Enjoy your spring blooms!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      A visually pleasing hub Katleen. You have a lovely garden. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image
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      Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Marcy: I'm glad to bring you some good memories sifted out of some not so good. I understand being in that place completely.

      Audrey, Rebecca and Tillsontitan: Thanks so much for sharing your love of flowers with me. I think gardening is a universal language.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      I enjoyed knowing ore about you and the love you have for your garden--I agree that gardens are special!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 2 years ago from Planet Earth

      Beautiful photos! They're 'renewing,' too. The title of your hub touched my heart - my father was a gruff person (well, sometimes even more than that), but he grew flowers and produce, and he loved the land. Somehow, that part of him was able to express the things in your title more than other parts of his life. Thanks for bringing that to mind for me. Kathleen!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Kathleen we share a thought ... about gardening. Nothing is more relaxing or rewarding than seeing your garden bloom with all the colors nature has to offer us! Your pictures are brilliant and beautiful. Hope your garden continues to bloom each season.

      I too have plants given to me by my father and mother-in-law who are no longer with us but these plants and flowers are a constant reminder of them.

      Voted up, awesome, beautiful, and interesting.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Your photos make me long for spring. I think you are right that gardening an take one closer to God. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image
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      Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      phdast7: I have the best crop of iris right now that I've had in two years - and it is almost freezing! But the variety of colors will come later and I hope the weather cooperates. It's supposed to be spring for crying out loud!

      By the way, I took your advice and added more pictures to some of my hubs. The most recent one I worked on was about my daughter's wedding and yesterday it got 100 hits - my most ever. Thanks.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      They are just beautiful. I am waiting for the rest of my Irises to bloom later this spring when it warms up a little. Barbara and I planted them just to the left of the driveway and just outside my dining room window. I can easily see them from inside the house and everyone parking in my driveway walks past them on the way tot he front door. Thank you for my gift of "blue." :) Theresa

    • davenmidtown profile image

      David Stillwell 6 years ago from Sacramento, California

      most welcome!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image
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      Kathleen Cochran 6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Appreciate the comments of another gardener, davenmidtown. Thanks.

    • davenmidtown profile image

      David Stillwell 6 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Thank you for this hub. It is very true, for me, that I feel closer to god while gardening. The hub itself is nicely written and I enjoy the inspiration that it provides. Again, thank you.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image
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      Kathleen Cochran 6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Wow - I've found the right gardener. Can't wait to read your hubs. I can tell by the titles, I'll be on your page for a while. Thanks for the comment and good to meet you.

    • jetta17 profile image

      jetta17 6 years ago

      Gardens are great places to be. I'm always at peace working and watching all the bugs around the plants.