27 August 2013

This Week in the Garden: Farewell

We've been through a lot together, these plants, our family, and I.
My mother-in-law tells me that if we get to where we're headed soon enough, and in that super warm climate plant a "fall" garden for harvest in December and January, we'll have planted gardens in four states in one year.  Pretty good, huh?  We get around.

Last time we loaded up the car--really loaded it up--we brought all the plantlets along on our travels.  This time, they'll stay rooted where they are, bearing fruit to be eaten after we're gone.

And isn't that the way life is?  Our labors keep bearing fruit after we go, even when we don't see the results.  Perhaps, just perhaps, it's enough to realize with Paul that one plants, another waters, another harvests.

When we learned we'd be leaving that first state's garden plot behind, we weren't sure we'd be able to bring the things planted along with us.  But then we did.  And the first loss turned into a two-fold gain with two gardens in other people's yards.  Really their gardens, where they let our garden fit into the mix.  We still planted, we still tended, we still harvested.

And isn't that how God works--all things together for good, turning losses to gains?

It delights me to no end that the people who welcomed and comforted us this summer will have something to remember us by, something to add to their autumn stews and sandwiches that will remain in our place to give our thanks.

While I won't eat these fruits, I have fruits of a different kind--those tangible reminders that in the place where God plants, growth happens fast, that roots still crawl their way through the earth and take hold after even a traumatic transplant.

These once-tiny tomatillo plants are now just about up to my neck, and I thought it was good of them to put out the first ripe fruit for us just before we go on our next big adventure.

Here are the hints of a harvest as we hand off the work to another.  We've had pleasure and satisfaction in the work, as we've watched how something so small could turn out to be so large, and maybe even begin to feed a family.  

Now if they can merely bring a few tomatoes to perfection before the first frost?  I'll feel so delighted, so happy, even if so far away.

So it's not a sad goodbye to the garden today, but a grateful fare-thee-well, to my latest two gardens, and a hopeful looking forward to my next garden, which might just be planted in September and October to thrive through all the mild winter.

You've been a balm to my soul, a joy to my eyes, a delight to my taste, a little spot on earth where honey bees enjoyed to be.

Be fruitful and multiply, my plants!


  1. One of my favorite posts! This little garden certainly has a place in our family story, doesn't it? We will take good care of it -- and we'll send pictures! :) (Though they might not all be as great as yours have been -- I especially love the top one of the blossom seen through the wire!)

  2. The flowers are already enough to feed a family! (of bees) I counted more than thirty honey bees flying around the garden the other day; some of the more precosious bees undoubtably flew around to bee counted twice... but they all seemed to bee very happy!

    1. Oh, I'm glad the bees are happy there! It's pretty impressive that you counted them. Have you thought of following them home to find out where they keep their treasure?


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