- Mary Green
UMN Extension Master Gardener since 2000
According to Romans 8, the Earth is calling. As children of the Living God, we have a unique job: to steward creation.
Biblical Foundations for Gardening:
In Genesis 2:15 “The Lord God took man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” A few short verses later, creation bears the curse of God with man’s sin (see Genesis 3:17-19).
Isaiah notes in Isaiah 55:12 that creation responds to God: “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”
Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Creation is God’s evidence.
When “The Word became flesh” in John 1:1, we see Jesus of Nazareth introduced as the Creator becoming the created. Imagine how ‘cursed nature’ welcomed the one who designed and spoke it into existence! Later, we learn more:
“For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” Romans 8:19-21
Creation is waiting for you! Since Christ has defeated the cross and made us his own inheritance, not only are we to share His story, we share his mission of renewal and restoration. With His power and authority, He expects us to counter the curse in Genesis with LIFE. This is a living testimony – live like the creator through your hands in the dirt.
Good Gardens bring
Work, Rest, Harmony, Healing
Fellowship, Animal habitat, beneficial bugs and bacteria
Sustenance: Food, Oxygen, waste management, water management
A garden can be small: a pot. Or big: a whole lot. Gardens can be shared or found in common areas like churches, schools and empty lots or private, screened and secluded like a treasure waiting to be found.
Gardening takes a black and white drawing of lines (hardscape boundaries of driveway, sidewalk, edging) to full color.
Creating a healing, harmonious outdoor space takes a little artistic inspiration, never-ending learning, common sense, some muscle. A good one takes a lot of patience and a little time and money.
Some good rules of thumb:
- a home’s Landscape /gardens should reflect about 10% of the value of the home;
- Where people move and water flow are most important to consider;
- Trees, shrubs and perennials have individual needs, sizes, likes and dislikes –all take about 3 years to be comfy (think of 1st year it sleeps, 2nd year it creeps and 3rd year it leaps as a rule); when selected appropriately, their layers create a living Kaleidoscope.
- hardscapes like edging, sidewalks, paths and retaining walls are your yard or garden’s skeleton, they should be put in first, are most expensive and need some skill to do;
- good landscape design reflects nature’s elements – rocks/earth, open space (sky/air), water and fire;
- blooming plant colors are like the frosting on a cake and really are considered last.
Mary Green grew up in rural Minnesota. With farming as a family heritage and open woods as her childhood jungle gym, being outside in nature is in her heart. After moving to a home built on an old back pasture and farm dump (and neglected 1970’s agricultural waterway), Mary needed more knowledge to restore the nearly 3 acre property. She enrolled in the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener program and has served as a volunteer in that program since 2000. Mary Green, a retired Educator, consults about restorative landscape design and writes devotionals for webwomenconnect.org. She and her husband David (who constructs all their hardscapes) have 4 grown sons.