God is still in the garden….come and see

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This is my favorite window in our kitchen. It overlooks the rose garden and lemon tree, but best of all, it has a great view of one of our birdhouses. I’ve been spending a lot of time at this window lately, because a family of Carolina chickadees has been nesting in the birdhouse. They seem to have raised an “only child” this time around. When I saw him looking about for mom the other day, I just had to go outside for a picture.

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Isn’t he cute?  He didn’t even seem to mind my presence, although his mom in a nearby tree gave me quite a scolding.  This tiny bird seemed eager to leave his house and explore the outside world….or maybe he was just hot.  A few years ago, three baby bluebirds were born in this same birdhouse in June.  The temperatures were in the 100’s during those weeks, and the poor little things hung their heads out of the “door” all day.  They looked pretty miserable.  They soon disappeared with their parents, so hopefully all went well.

The birds are such a precious reminder of God’s Beauty and Charm.  I love watching how the parents take such excellent care of their babies…which appears to be very time-consuming.  After the little guy above left a couple of days after I took this picture, I opened the birdhouse to view the perfect little nest, made of moss and so neatly packed into place.  Most lovely of all was the soft, downy material carefully arranged like a cushion where the eggs had been laid.  I’m always amazed at how clean the birds keep their little houses, removing waste and eggshells, etc.  Soon I’ll be enjoying the “newbies” at the feeders, tottering on nearby tree branches and waiting for mom’s or dad’s “instructions.”

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Here is a  picture of the rose garden.  You can see my kitchen window on the left, and the little birdhouse is on the far right.  Since my husband installed the fountain a few years ago, the birdhouse has been full every spring.  He says the birds like the “waterfront” property 🙂  They also love to perch on the top of the arbor…unseen because the photographer didn’t wear her glasses.

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That bench is where I thought I would sit and read and pray and just enjoy God’s beautiful garden.  But, I never do.  I’m too busy inside with “stuff,” or in my car running errands somewhere.  But walking about the garden taking these pictures, I made a promise to myself to truly “stop and smell the roses.”   Nature so naturally lifts the mind and heart to God.  I need to make time for the sights and sounds and smells of this beauty.  It might be October before it’s cool enough to sit outside for very long again, but I’m trying to spend at least a little time each day playing with my cat on the patio, and noticing which new flowers are blooming.

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I’m lucky there were some roses on the bushes to photograph that day!  My husband, grower of all that survives in our yard, loves to cut his roses and put them indoors.  Sometimes, the bushes are bare, but the vases inside the house are full!  I keep telling him that a rosebush deserves to keep at least a few of its roses.  We are fortunate that roses bloom in our climate about eight months of the year.  They are most beautiful and prolific in spring and fall.  They survive the scorching days of July and August, but the blooms are fewer and smaller and fade quickly.

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These Easter lilies are in the front yard near the driveway.  An Easter lily certainly has a big payoff!  I think we started with two or three bulbs about ten years ago, and now each spring, we are rewarded with dozens of these beautiful white flowers.  I only wish their blooms would last all summer!  Like people, some flowers have short lives, while others bloom for many months.  Often, we seem to value more the ones which soon fade.  We  excitedly await their first show of color.  And, we notice them, while often taking for granted the hardly little vincas and marigolds who endure months of harsh weather.

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These pink dianthus have been with us since we moved into this house 14 years ago.  They were one of the first flowers we bought.  They used to grow by the front steps, but it got too shady there.  My husband has moved the survivors to a few other places, and now they are in the driveway garden.  Soon they will succumb to the heat, but they will be back again in the fall.

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Of course, St. Therese has to have a place in our yard.  She who so loved flowers!  Here she is among more Easter lilies, but I see that the gladiolas are getting “fat” with their lovely spikes of flowers which will be visible in a few weeks.  Some faithful pink yarrow is also blooming in her garden, but you can’t see it in this picture.

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This little tree rose grows right across from Therese, so I like to think it is her rosebush.  It blooms generously, and the stems are too short for my husband to cut off all the flowers 🙂

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Here is a backyard garden full of begonias.  We tried at least a dozen different perennials and even more annuals, but nothing much lived except for the begonias.  So, we’ve given in and let them have this space.  They return year after year, and even bloom in winter if it’s not too cold.  My husband planted all that border grass, while I begged for more flowers, but since I can’t get anything to grow, he won the space.

Actually I did get something to grow.  I bought two “star flowers” our first spring here.  I thought they were very special because they were perennials and cost $6.00 each.  I now call them the alien pods, seeded in dark of night by unseen invaders from the sky.  These things have multiplied into literally thousands of plants over the years.  They are everywhere!  We could not possibly eliminate them all, so my husband tries to corral most of them around the trees in the backyard.  They don’t bloom until mid-summer, and have small star shaped flowers which are hidden, for the most part, by the long spidery green leaves.  If we could pot them and sell them for $6.00 each, we would be very, very rich indeed.  At the very least, I sense a plot for a good science fiction movie……Hmmm. 

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Ah, and here is Mother Mary, surrounded by a few Easter lilies, a few roses, a few daisies at the moment.  I often wonder which of her Son’s flowers she loves most.  Does she have a favorite?  Surely, it’s not the dreadful star-flower!

This statue of Mary is cherished by our family, and I once wrote a post about it called Mary of the Morning Glories.

While touring our garden and taking these pictures, I thought of how God created the most beautiful garden to be a home for Adam and Eve, and of how God walked in that Garden in the cool of the day. (Genesis 3:8)

Surely God is still walking in the gardens of His creation, and is so delighted when we look for Him there.  Adam and Eve shamefully hid from Him when He called to them in the Garden..  But, because of Jesus, we can run to meet Him, call Him Father, and tell Him how we have found Him in the beauty of a rose and the fragrance of a lily…in the adorable chickadees and their lovely little nests.  He speaks to us in the miracle of a butterfly and in  the mystery of nature renewing itself.  The brilliance of the sun is a reminder of His Divinity and the earth sanctified by the feet of Jesus reassures us of His humanity.

Truly, all creation sings His praises….even my lowly starflower!

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Awake, north wind,
come, wind of the south!
Breathe over my garden,
to spread its sweet smell around.
Let my love come into his garden,
let him taste its most exquisite fruits. Song of Songs 4:16 (NJB)

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18 thoughts on “God is still in the garden….come and see

  1. This is beautiful. The photos are magnificent… what a gorgeous place to live, surrounded by beauty … and I especially love how you tied it all up at the end. You have made me join in with all creation today, to sing His praise!

    • Thanks, Nancy! It was a beautiful day, at a beautiful time of the year here in south Louisiana. I love spring..wish it lasted longer here.
      I love that God placed Adam and Eve in a garden. Makes me wonder what Heaven will be like…already the earth is so beautiful. Yes, praise Him! That was the hymn today for Morning Prayer at Divine Office.org. I love that one…All creatures of our God and King….

  2. Patricia,
    Thank you for the tour of your lovely gardens! I love the picture from your kitchen window~the roses and the vase you have them in are beautiful. You ahve created a beautiful prayer space~even if you don’t actually get a chance to get out there and pray. Then come to think of it, I remember North Carolina summers~ I would rather be in your nice, cool kitchen:)
    Thanks again; I enjoyed the visit.

    • Karin, what a lovely comment! I love that vase too. It’s square, and has birds at each corner, so you get a different view where each side meets. I remember that you also lived in North Carolina for a while. Actually, I live in Louisiana now (we still have the Carolina chickadees.) Anyway, summers down here are so hot and humid that I thought North Carolina was mild 🙂 (I grew up in New Orleans.)

      Yes, let’s stay in the kitchen. We can look out the windows at the flowers…much more comfortable 🙂 Thanks so much for visiting my garden!
      I’m looking forward to your book review. xo

  3. Love these pictures. I could spend hours in your rosé garden. Always wanted flower garden but alas, no green thumb in my house! Beautiful.. Thank you.

    • Thank you, Colleen. I know what you mean about the green thumbs. Thank goodness my husband has one! Nothing grows for me, and I really can’t endure the heat we have so much of the year. So, I just bring him cold drinks, and arrange flowers…inside 🙂 So glad you visited me!

    • Mary, I love the birds! When we first moved here, there were so many new ones, because it’s much more wooded than in the city an hour away. I had a bird book and got so excited each time I saw a new bird. I think what they like most is all the food they get 🙂 Honestly, my husband sometimes get them this bird version of trail mix with fruit and nuts in it. It smells so good. He actually has eaten a few bites when filling the feeders! 🙂
      Don’t you live in the country? Bet you have lots of birds too.

      Thanks for visiting me…and our gardens! Love and hugs…

      • I do live in the country and I love birds. I sit on my deck and watch the cardinals in the tree next to it 🙂 I put seeds out in the bird feeder but a squirrel keeps stealing them (though he’s cute too) !

        I sent you an e-mail. I figured I better tell you about it…lol.

        • Mary…good thing you told me about that e-mail 🙂
          In the country, you must have lots of birds. We live in something of a super suburb…if there is such a thing. A small town almost adjacent to a larger one. But, we left the backyard almost completely wooded, so it has tons of old trees, which attract the birds. But, a lot of nearby property has been cleared since we moved here, and so I don’t see the huge variety I once did 😦 Cardinals and doves chow down the most at our feeders! It’s fun though, when the babies show up fluttering their wings. So sweet! I wish we had a deck to sit on. I know what you mean about the squirrels! We used to buy them their own food and put it on the ground, but they still wanted to get into the bird feeders. They really are cute though, and so funny to watch. God is definitely in the garden, in his precious little creatures!

  4. Patricia,

    Thank you for the tour of your garden. What a beautiful place! I love your statues and the lilies and the birds… Yes, you are surrounded by lots of signs of God.

    I wouldn’t dare posts photos of our garden with its overgrown dandelion grass. We are not really gardeners despite my botany degree. But I can see you have lots of patience and care for your garden well.

    God bless!

    • Sue, you have a botany degree? That’s awesome! Maybe you can identify my alien star flower. That’s not mine in the picture. Mine isn’t blooming yet, and it grows in bunches..like stacked one on top of the other, and in big clumps. I think I may have bought a weed! 🙂

      Well, if my husband didn’t like to garden, I would be lucky to have grass. I have tried over the years to maintain a little garden patch here and there, but my husband always has to rescue it. He really loves the yard and the plants and just being out there…no matter how hot.

      I’ve missed you! Are you taking a sabbatical after the big A – Z challenge? I still have a few letters to catch up on over at your blog. Congratulations on completing that…and so splendidly! I love Vicky’s blog too. What a talented artist she is! Any plans to write a book and have her illustrate it?

      So glad you stopped by! My first thought when I read your comment was that you don’t need to grow flowers; you are growing such beautiful children! God bless, dear friend! xo

  5. Patricia, I just want to get in my car and make my way to that beautiful garden for tea with you and those sweet birds. OM Goodness!! You are a serious gardener. My dad use to say that he always felt closest to the Lord in the garden and in yours how could you not. LOL Did you design and plant it all?

    I love your kitchen window and the vases, but that little baby chickadee peeking out from the birdhouse is beyond precious.
    Thank you for taking the time to photograph your beautiful home and garden and sharing it with us…. You’ve encouraged me to ‘up my game’ in the gardening department : )

    Love and blessings +

    • Caroline, I’ve been sitting here in the rose garden all day waiting for you. I have the iced tea ready. Can’t wait till you get here! Don’t forget to bring a book to read in the garden…as if I’d have to remind you about THAT! 🙂

      Oh dear, I am not the gardener around here. Thank God, my dear husband loves nothing better than to spend all his free time in the yard. We had flowers, even when we hardly had any furniture! He used to help his mother in their yard.

      All I can take credit for is suggesting the rose garden for the large patch of dirt that is right in front of the garage. This idea occurred to me after I had tried to keep annuals and perennials growing in that space for a couple of years. Of course, they all died! The roses have done very well..lots of light there.

      I remember you writing a post about fighting with your bougainvillea. We had one, but it would never bloom. It’s been laid to rest now.
      I’d love to see your yard. I have a feeling it’s absolutely beautiful. I agree with you that the little chickadee is the “star” among all the pictures. He was in the second brood this spring in that birdhouse. It’s too hot now for anymore.

      Love and hugs….and have a beautiful weekend!

  6. Your garden is just as lovely as I thought it would be! Between you and your dear hubby you’ve created a place of great serenity and peace. It’s not hard to imagine you sitting there amongst the beauty and adoring our Jesus! Lovely lovely pictures, my friend 🙂
    hugs and blessings to you. dear Patricia…Trish xx

    • Trish, I consider that high praise, coming from the lady who lives in the gorgeous Lily Rose Cottage….although I think you are calling it something else now 🙂 Anyway, I have seen your beautiful garden too. Honestly, I’m so glad I took those pictures last month, because we are now having daily temperatures in the 95 degree range, and my poor flowers are really suffering. It will be like that till at least September.

      It’s so good to see you here! I’ve missed you. I hope you are doing well. We have to catch up sometime. You have a cozy winter, while I’m here running the a/c non-stop 🙂 Love and hugs to you, my dear friend! xoxo

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