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Wisdom from the Garden

Updated on November 18, 2014

Commune with Nature

English Garden.
English Garden. | Source

Communing with Nature in the City

Communing with Nature has been a difficult one living in the busy metropolis of Columbus, Ohio considering the many years in which life has been spent in small country towns. I had longed for that communion once again. Visiting local parks just did not seem to do it for me. I needed that connection once more with the Mother. So, I decided to plant an Urban Container garden on our townhouse patio. It has been much of an experiment, but I do have my own sacred garden space in which to commune once more with Nature. Much wisdom comes from her when one truly listens. I recommend everyone have a way to connect to Nature and take time to listen to her.

Container Gardening without Land

Growth Takes Time

Springtime babies just beginning to sprout up in my container garden.
Springtime babies just beginning to sprout up in my container garden. | Source

Growth Does Not Happen Overnight

As an impatient gardener, I want my little seeds to just spring up overnight. But growth takes time. A great deal of devotion and care goes into nurturing seeds into little seedlings, and then into mature plants. They require kisses from the sun; showers of blessings from the rain or garden hose; nutrition from plant food; and yes, communion with the gardener through touch, talk, and observation. This is hard work. But in the end, often the beloved returns the love to the gardener in flowers, food, and spiritual communion.

Life is much like that little seed. Growth does not happen overnight in our lives, but overtime with much devotion and care. We cannot ignore that which we want to develop. If want to grow spiritually, we spend time in meditation, prayer, study, and devotion to the divine (however we see the divine). If want to raise responsible adults, we invest in training our children to be able to take care of themselves and their families. If we want that new job, we train so that we have the skills to do the job and then do the necessary legwork to achieve it. Anything is life worth truly doing requires time and effort.

Room to Grow

Container gardening using rain gutters.
Container gardening using rain gutters. | Source

Roots Need Room to Grow

This past summer I decided to try a different type of container gardening. I wanted to experiment and see just what grew well and what did not. In my experiment I did not take into consideration room for the root foundation of my plants. Plants such as basil, sage, flax need plenty of room to grow and seeds need to be spaced appropriately apart. Spacing of seeds not so much the issue here, but the root system did not have space to develop a firm foundation. For roots to grow sufficiently, the room needed should be in soil depth as tall as the plant will grow. So if the plant grows to 12" in height, it should have at least 12" of soil to grow in. Many of the plants did not develop to maturity and those that did were not as healthy and strong as they could be. During times of heavy rain and wind, I had discovered that my plants were not strong enough to weather the storm.

Rain gutter container gardening is more supportive for plants that may grow well in shallow containers such as succulents. Next year succulents will be planted in this container garden environment.

Nature has taught that most of us do not grow in a shallow environment as we cannot develop a healthy foundation for life. We need room for our roots to grow. This foundation comes from daily spiritual communion with Nature and the divine, exercise, proper nutrition, and time to take care of ourselves. If we do not develop this firm foundation the storms of life will uproot and we will fall apart.

Growth In Unexpected Places

This tomato plant decided to grow alongside this Buddha statue in my friend's Zen Garden.
This tomato plant decided to grow alongside this Buddha statue in my friend's Zen Garden. | Source

Growth Does Not Always Happen Where It is Intended

Sometimes the seeds we sow do not grow where we have planted them. From a natural standpoint, the wind and garden critters are the more likely culprits for the movement of the seeds from one place to another. Many plants seem to choose where they want to grow. The dill and mint grow elsewhere in the garden. The pansies have somehow planted themselves in other containers and in the belladonna and flourishing. But they have died out in the original container.

Our life is sometimes just like this. We choose to plant ourselves in one location to start a new life, a new career, or a family and life just not seem to flourish. Then through life circumstances we are taken somewhere else just to explore and end up flourishing and stay permanently. A small town girl in a big metropolis finds love again and becomes a community leader, a priestess of the old religion, and a grandmother. If she had stayed in a small country town, none of this would have been possible.

Grow Outside the Container

Strawberries no longer growing in the container they were originally planted in.
Strawberries no longer growing in the container they were originally planted in. | Source

Growth Comes When We Take A Leap

When I first started my urban container garden I planted to strawberries within the huge container in the above picture. The second year my strawberries, but have leaped outside of my container. They actually died out in the container but have flourished outside of the container. The reason I had planted these strawberries in the container so that they would not overrun the garden and choke out other plants. They have decided to go against my "societal norm" for them and grow outside their box. I have yielded several crops of strawberries from this two-year old plant and abundance was more than I could have planned.

The lesson from Nature is that sometimes we just have to go against "societal norms" and grow outside the box. If we do not take a leap at a chance for growth, we may never yield the abundant life that is waiting for us. Each of us has a life plan and sometimes we have go against logic and step out on faith.

Growing Where Impossible

Dill plant flourishing in cracks in patio concrete and under bricks.
Dill plant flourishing in cracks in patio concrete and under bricks. | Source

Grow Where It Seems Impossible

Patio concrete cracks, brick walls, and stone walls seem like places where there would be no foundation for growth; an impossibility. Many plants, such as dill and dandelion, persevere and grow hardily in these conditions. I keep pulling dill and dandelion out the cracks in the patio. I have even poured a solution of vinegar and salt water to try to kill them out of the cracks and they still return. Both of these plants are nutritional and medicinal in nature as well, so they are not just common weeds.

Nature wisdom advises us to persevere and grow where and when it may seem impossible. Just like with the dill and dandelion coming back over and over again, we must never give up. We can overcome the obstacles of whatever life throws at us. Sometimes, what we need to nourish ourselves keeps persistently showing up in our life to give us what we need-whether it is spiritually, mentally, or physically.

Not All Plants Are Meant to be Touched

Henbane is both beautiful and unique, but is very toxic and should be handled with care.
Henbane is both beautiful and unique, but is very toxic and should be handled with care. | Source

The Appearance of Beauty Can be Toxic

In my garden I do grow some highly toxic plants. In part, it is dedicated to my Goddess that I commune with and in part to see if I could. But while these plants are absolutely beautiful and unique, they should be handled with great care. Minor contact with some can actually put some individuals in the hospital. Admiration of these plants should be from a distance.

Nature wisdom dictates that not everything in life that is beautiful should be a part of our life. It may be alright for someone else because that individual can handle it. For others, the "beauty" that touches our life is so toxic that it pollutes our view of life, our physical body, and destroys our spiritual life. We must look within ourselves to determine whether something is healthy as part of our life; whether it is a job, a relationship, food, medication, or an activity.

Commune with Nature

This is a little squirrel that frequently visits my patio. He even looks in through the patio glass door.
This is a little squirrel that frequently visits my patio. He even looks in through the patio glass door. | Source

Communing with Nature Allows Growth

My little garden allows many hours of communion with Nature and the wisdom that she imparts. Whatever we connect with in nature and the wisdom that we apply will be reflected in our daily life. Stop, commune, and listen with Nature. Amazing positive changes will be brought into your daily life.

Garden Wisdom Anthology

Urban Garden

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© 2014 Rev. Candy Lacey-Partlow


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