Summer mornings are a special time in the garden. I like to get out there a little before the sun is completely up and walk around before it gets too hot. Plants look different when they are not as hot. There’s dew on the ground and oftentimes on many of the plants. It always makes me think about the pre-flood days and how strange it must have been for the people to watch Noah building a boat. Can you image what they must have been thinking since they had never seen rain fall from the sky?
It’s quite amazing to see all of the life that is present. There are bugs, caterpillars, frogs and birds moving around. For some reason I don’t seem to notice them as much during the middle of the day. My hot tea tastes extra delicious on these mornings, and it feels like the reset button has been pushed. Everything has been given a new chance—another day.
My oldest son has rock in his yard with this saying chiseled in it, “One is nearest God’s heart when they’re in the garden.” He and I share a love for plants, and we both enjoy the presence of God while spending time in a garden. I love to walk and talk with the Lord, especially in the early morning. I’m undistracted, and it’s easy to see His handiwork. My mind has not been polluted with the concerns of the day, and I seem to bring into His presence the things that are most sincerely on my heart. Psalms 5:3 says, “In the morning, O Lord, Thou wilt hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to Thee and eagerly watch.” Our conversation sets the tone for the day and allows me to begin to eagerly watch and expect Him to answer my prayers.
This time is fleeting. It doesn’t last long. Before I’ve hardly had an opportunity to walk around and look at everything, the sun is completely up, and it’s bright outside. I can begin to hear cars on the highway, and most of the little critters have hidden themselves. The magic of the morning is gone, but in those few moments, my hope was renewed, and my faith was strengthened.
Perhaps, you’re thinking, “That sounds wonderful! I would love to do that except I don’t have a garden.”
Let me encourage you to create your own lovely morning spot. Not all gardens have to sprawl across acres of land or fill a greenhouse. Some of the most beautiful spaces I have seen are tiny. If you have a patio or a balcony, you’re blessed! Container gardening is very popular, and many vegetable varieties are now being developed to meet the needs of small-scale gardeners. Vertical growing is also fun, and one can get extremely creative in designing ways for plants to grow up.
If you would like to try your hand at gardening in smaller spaces, here are a few of my favorite vegetable varieties:
- Tom Thumb peas https://www.seedsavers.org/tom-thumb-pea
- Paris Market carrots https://www.seedsavers.org/paris-market-organic-carrot
- Baby Bubba okra https://www.burpee.com/vegetables/okra/okra-baby-bubba-hybrid-prod000766.html
- Astia zucchini https://www.reneesgarden.com/products/squash-zucchini-container-astia
- Blue Jade corn https://www.seedsavers.org/blue-jade-organic-corn
- Micro Tom tomatoes https://www.rareseeds.com/store/vegetables/tomatoes/cherry/micro-tom-tomato
Choose a place where you can put a comfortable chair and consider adding a small fountain with running water. Over time, invest in larger, ceramic or concrete containers that will not dry out as quickly and will protect perennial plants that you wish to overwinter. Create sturdy trellises that are made from weather resistant materials and think through your watering plan. You will have to have a good place for run-off from the containers. Use quality soil that is formulated for pots and containers and then find a piece of garden art that makes you smile.
Before you know it, you will be providing food for yourself, meeting with God in mornings and eagerly watching for Him to answer your prayers. Now’s the perfect time to put in a small fall garden, so get growing!