Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Lessons I Learned From My Flower Garden

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In July, Aaron Jr and I went to a local gardening place and picked up about $20 worth of flowers. We picked out all different colors and a few different types of flowers.
When we got them home, all I had planned was to throw them into the dirt wherever there was dirt showing and call it good...
I did, however, decide to pull a bunch of weeds and level part of a huge mound of dirt.
Then we planted the flowers and called it good...
until the next day.
I wish so badly I had taken a before photo of both sides of the front of the house where we planted... but I didn't.
But the photo above and below show how we left things that first night, then decided I needed to do more.
In the photo above, you can see behind the flowers how there are tall weeds on top of a mound of dirt. Well, those tall weeds and that mound of dirt extended around the front of the house and half way across the flower bed that you can see in the photo. I pull the weeds and shoveled the mound of dirt away just enough to have the front of the house looking fairly decent, but then I went even further.
Aaron Jr and I went rock collecting and got enough rocks to frame both flower beds so that it looked a little more finished off.
Then I really got ambitious, I UNplanted all of the flowers that I had planted the night before because I wanted to build up the flower beds a little more. They were a little low on dirt, so I used some of the dirt from the mound that I was shoveling away and I built up the flower beds a little and then REplanted all of the flowers again.

Here is another view of the weeds and mound halfway through the project.

And here is the finished product.
All of that mound of dirt came about because my nephews were digging a larger hole under that basement window for a larger window that will eventually go in there.

Front view.
 The flowers in the front were blooming well when they first went in.

This is the finished product of the other side in the other flower bed.

Here is a more recent photo showing how nicely the larger flowers began to bloom.
The front flowers kindof went dormant for a while.

 Here are photos from today.
This side of the house does not get sunlight much, so it has struggled a little more than the other side. Some of these plants have the first blooms on them of the year, but they are finally blooming up a storm. I just hope the weather doesn't freeze on us soon and make the blooms stop in their tracks.


Also from today.

Both sides together.

 Some of our beautiful blooms.
 The bees have REALLY loved our flowers. There are a dozen bees out on our flowers at any given time. :)
Aaron Jr said something funny a couple of months ago about a weed in the grass.
"The bumble bees hate that kind of flower because they don't have any polish."
Since then he remembers the word pollen, but I thought that was so funny. :)
 And here is Aaron Jr showing off this side of the flower bed.
We had a lot of fun planting together and he has helped me weed a few times.
Aaron helps me water the flowers and took a special interest in this flowering weed that was growing at the edge of the flower bed and he calls it his flower. It does give little tiny daisy-like flowers on it and it doesn't spread, so I could handle leaving that weed alone. He really loves it.

When we first started these flower gardens, I was only in it half-heartedly, but by the time I had invested any time in it, I wanted it done right and I spent hours and hours outside in that next couple of weeks getting it looking as good as I could on the resources I had. And since then, I have spent hours and hours out there weeding and pulling off the dead flowers so that new ones can keep coming.
These plants are flowering huge amounts and there are dozens of little buds starting on most of these plants. It has been so much fun for me and it has been very therapeutic as well.

Around the time that I started these flower gardens is the time that I was getting down to business on the soul searching I have been talking about so much in these last posts on here.
My flower garden has taught me so much these past few months. I guess being out tending to it has given me a lot of time to just think these past few months. That has been so good for me.
In no way do I think I am more enlightened or have more to say than the next person, but sometimes I just love to find the parables (parallels) in my every day life... and if they have helped me in any way, I want to share some of those things with others...

When I think back on the parallels (parables) that can be drawn about the flower garden and my grieving and healing process, I find it quite interesting. I started the garden only wanting to do it half-heartedly... just enough to look somewhat decent and add some color to our front yard, but in the end, my personality type was not going to like how that looked and felt.

Just like the flower garden, my grieving and healing process has been half-hearted at times. At times, I would get more serious about healing and want to figure things out and move forward, but then at other times, I just wanted to APPEAR to be healing and to be finding JOY in my life so that I could just get by. But in the end, this summer I have figured out that it is time to be done with that. I figured out that I might as well do it right if I am going to do it at all... the healing process, I mean. :)

It has been extremely therapeutic for me to be cultivating a flower garden this summer. When a plant has struggled, I have mourned for it and I have worked hard to nurture it back to health. When it has finally begun to thrive and bloom, I have rejoiced in the health and beauty of the plant. In fact, there is one plant that has not had even one bloom on in yet in the three months since I planted it... and this morning, I finally noticed the first bud has just appeared.
I felt JOY and triumph and was so proud of my little plant for the fight in it. There are other plants that appeared to just be completely dead, they were lacking something... water, sunlight, whatever it may be... but after pruning back the dead bits and making sure they are getting plenty of water, they are fighting their way back. I feel so happy each day when I see this more green coming back.

This is just like us as human beings. When we know someone (or ourselves) who are struggling, they (we) must be lacking in certain areas of life... that is when we should be mourning over them and then stepping in and helping to nurture them until they are thriving once again... then we can rejoice when they begin to bloom again.
I feel like I am finally beginning to bloom again... from the inside out.
I am sure we all know someone who we have rejoiced over once we began to see them come alive again and to bloom.

Another parallel I drew with my garden and my life is when it comes to weeding.
When I was teaching Aaron Jr why we need to pull the weeds out of our garden, I told him that if we leave the weeds there, they can eventually overtake and choke our flowers. He began saying that whenever we were out weeding... making sure the weeds don't choke our flowers.
While weeding the flower garden, I came to the realization that just like I was weeding the flower beds to preserve their beauty and their lives, it was time for me to weed out some things in my own life as well. Weed out some things that were choking me emotionally or spiritually.

I realized that there were things in my life and even people in my life whose words or influence were choking me in a sense and have somewhat been a hindrance in my healing process. Now, I am not one to weed out a person from my life... I love people... but I have tried to figure out ways to weed out the things they do or say that bring me down and make me feel awful.

Weeding out the things that are choking my progress has really helped me in this soul searching and healing time of my life. When 'weeds' creep into my life, I need to weed out the things that set off the feelings of sadness, the things that bring me down.
Instead I have been trying to surround myself with good reading, uplifting activities, and people who truly love me and want only the best for me. People who bring JOY into my life.
These are the things that will help me cultivate JOY and HOPE in my life... and help me to reach the potential that is within me.

We are so blessed to know Who OUR Gardener is.
Our Father in Heaven is our Gardener... and He knows what we need in order to thrive.

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Tracie said...

Beautiful, thank you for sharing.

Tawnie said...

LOVE IT!!! Thank you! You are awesome!