Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How's your garden doing?

So, my favourite bookseller's blog has been writing a series of updates on his gardening adventure. I'm impressed to see that he not only looks after his own garden, he also makes his own canned peaches, tomato soup, apple sauce etc. To do something like that in Singapore, where land is scarce, would be completely unthinkable.

But the one thing that he writes after every one of his gardening adventure updates is this:
"So, how about you others? Is your garden doing ok?"
It reminded me of my parents, who would subtly pose that question to me every time they wanted to know how my spiritual walk was going. And every time, I'd try to avoid the topic by throwing back an offhanded remark similar to "oh, yeah, it's kinda withering right now - check back in a few month's time".

But honestly, how is your garden doing? I like analogies, and Jesus draws a great analogy when he describes our hearts like a field in which a farmer sows his seeds. Some seeds were eaten up by birds, others fall on rocky ground where there isn't enough soil, some parts of the field have weeds that choke the plants as they grow, while others fall on nice fertile soil and grow up to provide a nice crop. You can listen to this parable (and its explanation) below:

Many people, after reading this, pose the question "what kind of soil are you"? But I would like to pose a different question - "Are you preparing your soil to have the conditions suited to sow the seeds?" Are you:

- Putting a cling wrap over your garden soil, hoping to protect it from the rain and the heat?

- Leaving those huge boulders that are in the middle of the garden because they're just too tiring to move?

- Not bothered to maintain your garden because "the weeds will grow anyway and weeding is a boring and tiring job"?

- Having fun gardening, and seeing the tomatoes and cucumbers grow?

I don't have green fingers, and I'm a lazy person, so I think my garden looks like an overgrown thistle farm right now. Unfortunately, eliminating adult thistles is a horrible task. Herbicides don't help - it just kills the adult thistles, but do nothing to the seeds already in the soil. A relatively fast and effective way to eradicate them would be to burn the whole field, but this is not only painful, it also harms the other plants in the field.

So, how can I get rid of my field full of thistles? It's said that one of the most effective ways would be to dig out or spud out the roots at an early stage of the thistle growth. You've got to be really thorough though - broken roots can lead to multiplying thistle growth!

But thistles are prickly and troublesome, and I'm not sure I want to start on my 'garden spring cleaning' now, even though I know that the longer I wait, the harder it'll be to clear.

Sometimes, we just don't know what's best for us.

But what about you? How's your garden doing?

Image thanks to the Happy Living Magazine

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