Digging The Gardens

A garden is a beautiful thing - when it's beautiful, and All Saints is no exception.  There are so many aspects to gardening, and it is said that one is never so near to God as in a garden.

While that may not be entirely true for all, I certainly find gardening both therapeutic, thought provoking and satisfying.  Many random thoughts come into my head as I'm wrestling with weeds, pruning shrubs to promote growth and form, or digging in the dirt to plant small miracles of beauty.

I often take time to look closely at the colour and forms of plants, buds and flowers, and am constantly amazed at how every colour seems to compliment every other colour around it, so random planting always seems to work.

Weeds are flowers in the wrong place, so the variegated nettle ground cover in the Memorial garden has proved to be plant of interest, rather than a problem.  Some plants of course take on a life of their own, and those need to be constantly 'tamed' in order that they do not become too enthusiastic in their bid to take over their neighbours.   Kind people have on occasion donated plants for the garden, and while some flourish, others wilt for want of optimum space or care.

It is always a lovely surprise to me when something 'takes' and does well in its allocated spot.

As many of you know, my husband Bruce planned and planted the original, garden when All Saints was rebuilt, and being a true English horticulturist, he favored the mixed borders, flowering shrubs and interesting ( if not well known) plants.  Sadly, though I inherited his interest, my talent is somewhat lacking, and contrary to popular belief (?) I am no expert.  I garden by the seat of my pants, and pray a lot! 

For some years we had quite an enthusiastic and capable group of gardeners, who under Bruce's direction, were able to take on specific areas of the garden, and attend the semi-annual clean up sessions.  Now we are all older, and our energy and facility at bending, kneeling and lifting is becoming an issue. 

I guess I am looking for some garden elves who might magically lend a hand or two with some basic weeding, deadheading, planting ( in season) and raking.  These are the chores of gardening, and while they are not so 'fashionable' they do provide and maintain the framework of a healthy garden.

I am always thankful for those who are already involved in supporting the garden, and hope that they will enjoy the fruits of their labours, and know that this too is ministry.  I appreciate that so many have their own gardens and plots to attend, and that time is always elusive when taking on other tasks.  However, the garden does not grow without love and attention, so if any one feels the call to share some skills, time and love of plants with our All Saints garden, please know that you are welcome, and that like Bruce, I can always find a job for you.

Liz Macdonald,  Garden Coordinator