He Restoreth My Soul

During our vacation, Ginny and I have worked restoring winter ravages to our garden. The outdoors work together also restored us. Here’s a brief photo tour:

To start off, a spray of bridal veil stands at the corner of our drive.

Stalks of amaryllis flank our front door.

The yellow flowers of a shrimp plant drape over beneath out living room window.

Rain gutter troughs wired to the fence rails contain decorations of impatiens.

A dried snake on the garden gate discourages intruders.

Lines of marigolds border the bromeliad beds. The logs edging the bed once supported trolley car rails (Jacksonville’s trolley cars stopped running in the 1930s).

Tubs of hibiscus decorate the pool deck.

Bathing beauties sun on the deck.

A Knight and his frog guard the back steps.

Our refurbished fountain gurgles beneath the fig tree in front of out deck chairs.

Stuffed monkeys cavort on our jungle trail.

A panther snarls from his lair beneath a fallen log. Don’t worry, he’s chained.

Clouds of wisteria blossoms hover above the garden cross.

Ginny and I raked millions of leaves, in places over three inches deep, to clear our yard and flowerbeds. Over our past ten days of vacation time, we raked and pruned and planted, restoring our yard in preparation for summer.

While the garden shapes up lovely, the work left me looking like this:

Here is Ginny planting marigolds under the bottle brush tree we just transplanted:

One reason Ginny and I love working in our garden is that here we can see we’ve made a difference. During our regular workweek, we see no change because of what we do. In our yard work, the result becomes apparent. Most of the time we work by faith, believing that somehow, our deskwork matters; in the garden, we work by sight. Transformation is evident. A weed is gone, a flower grows.

Not being people of great faith, we need to see results not and then.

When we bought this home 15 years ago, car parts, rusty barrels, construction debris, rotted lumber—all this trash littered the yard.

Maybe when we are dead and gone, the next owners may let the garden revert back to a junk yard; but, for here, for now, we have made a difference.

And all we have done is care-take. We can not grow a single flower. God gives life to all. In Him we live and move and have our very being. In life as in the garden, we just watch Him at work, marvel, and do a bit of weeding, raking, and care-taking.

As this old grave stone declares:

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive”.

More work in our garden remains.

For instance, weeding the cactus bed. We confine all thorny, sharp, bitey, bristled, stingy plants to one area. When the weeds there get higher than the cactus, I’ll pull them up, but I’m not sticking my hand in that bed beforehand.

• Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info, posted by John Cowart. Or contact John at johnwcowart (at) gmail (dot) com.

3 Comments

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. amrita
    Apr 05, 2010 @ 11:07:59

    a walk around your garden was really nice John. Pretty flowers and oh my all those garden decorations and ornaments.
    To tell you the truth if I put out garden ornaments-they would be nicked in no time, even the dead snake ha-ha-ha. You guys are lucky.

    the philosophy behind your gardening exploits is great. I need to see things too. Get results and take chances. You put seeds in, and they die in order to germinate. That ‘s neat.

  2. Tracy
    Apr 05, 2010 @ 22:48:10

    It’s great when we can see the fruits of our labor.

    Really like those rain gutter planters running along the garden fence

  3. felisol
    Apr 08, 2010 @ 03:06:30

    Dear John C,
    Thanks for taking me on a guided tour in a most thrilling and exotic garden.
    The plants blooming outdoors in Jacksonville are delicate indoor species here north.
    Your work indeed has made a difference. I think you both look so relaxed and satisfied when working. As long as you don’t decorate with dead rats and mice, I’m fine. Snakes are rather strange species to me, even though there lives one poisonous snakes out in the wilderness. We have met them out hiking, but I didn’t quite catch a glimpse of them, being too shortsighted…
    I saw a map of Florida the other day.
    I actually hadn’t quite understood what a big and important city Jacksonville is.
    Somehow it seems so familiar in my mind, like a neighbor town.
    I now understand that you have an eternal source to pour from in your books.
    And even in big cities there are suburban gardens of Monet-ish qualities.