Saturday, 27 March 2010

The Garden and The Gardner.

I have my vegetable plot dug ready for next weeks planting of seeds. My potatoes are already planted and the neat mounds of earth stand in anticipation of the coming growth. Once the seeds are planted begins the waiting and the tending. The fertile soil is the ideal place for weeds and they compete with the seeds and plants for the nutrients of growth. It is a steady task hoe and keeping the weeds in check.

There is the story of the old man who lived on the edge of the village. He spent so most of his time in his garden now that his working life was behind him. His front garden was full of the most beautiful flowers each tended and supported. He diligently hoed between the plants and picked off the dead heads of blooms to encourage further growth. His rear garden was full of the most wonderful looking vegetables. It was said if you could find a weed in his garden then there must be something up with him and the doctor should be called.

One of his pleasures was to take a break and watch what was happening on the road past his gate. He could often been seen proudly resting on the top bar of the gate watching the world go by. “A man out standing in his own field.” (Think about that one) One day as he stood there a preacher walked past and on seeing the beauty of the garden stopped and said to the old man, “My, what a beautiful garden you and God have made here.” “Aye,” said the old man, “but you should have seen it when it was left to God on his own.” The preacher sighed and continued on his way.

Who decides what a weed is and what is a floral beauty? I remember out walking with my father as a young boy. We stopped to rest and have a sandwich; after all we had walked for miles. (Actually not much further than he walked daily, to his place of work. For me it was a long way.) We were surrounded by beautiful flowers and grasses. I insisted on picking some and making them into a posy to take home. Neither my father, nor my mother mentioned that they were dandelions and weeds, and they were duly put in a vase. It was only later in life I realised that they were weeds and in Scotland had a terrible nickname. (They were called pee the beds) to me they look so intricate and beautiful. Even now one of my favourite soft drinks is dandelion and burdock. Dandelion leaves in a salad add a wonderful crisp sharp flavour.

Who would argue that a well tended garden is a thing of great joy and beauty, but left to its own nature makes a wonderful job of creating an equally beautiful array and can provide sustenance, if we but look. A weed is only a weed if it is growing in what we consider the wrong place. Nature does well without the use of a colour wheel.

I had a blog prepared today about the different kind of ways that we can find water  but on reading the beautiful comment made by Katherine on yesterdays blog I decided to leave that as well said. I thank all those who are reading my blogs and making comments on them either on the blog or in email to me. It means much to me.  I am not going to mention names but I thank those who are so encouraging, you know who I mean.  Someone said that they found the world of blogging such a supportive and caring place. She was correct and I thank you all.

The artwork is dicussed on my other blog and can be seen at:- Summer Evening Field


  1. breaking news Ralph--I forgot to put the word SCOTLAND on my package and it came back! lol--so sorry--I will send it out again on Monday. I am kind of a ditz sometimes! lol Golly, the post office are sticklers--haha.

    I loved dandelions when I was little. I would make mud pies and decorate them with dandelions. I was like you--I thought dandelions were fantastic!

    Your floral painting in this post is tops! keep the paintings and parables coming!

  2. Yes indeed.
    Have you ever noticed that the 'weed' that crops up in your garden has a similar leaf structure to the cultivated plant.....sometimes difficult to distinguish between the two.

    Can't wait to see fields of dandelions....glowing yellow, then fuzzy white; or trilliums growing en masse under shady trees, or marsh marigolds all aglow along swampy lands.....and daisies, ah yes, daisies! I know every season for each ... and get somewhat upset if I miss the instant each blooms in full power. Nature does it best!

    I tend my daughter's garden and have many weeds purposely planted by me in the garden. We have buttercups, pearly everlasting, wild violets, wild asters; in the pond marsh marigolds, wild swamp iris that rivals any cultivars....and so much more. They require some tending as they all like to spread.

    Can't imagine a garden without inlcusion of nature's own!

  3. Personally I just think God does masterful work when not interrupted by man. Maybe that is why I so love carpets of autumn leaves and wouldn't dare take a rake to them. They rather go away on their own in their own good time. And wildflowers are just so beautiful to me. I think yards that have those low to the ground carpets of dandelions are just simply stunning. Granted, I don't think they are quite so pretty when they start getting gangly though! My sister and I just had a bit of conversation about Creeping Charlie. She said it was ugly and that she hates and is planning some sort of swath of destruction on her yard to get rid of it. I have more than once thought that a carpet of Creeping Charlie would make a beautiful blanket for any yard. Those beautiful and delicate little purple flowers...sigh...

  4. I often dream of living in the country where the grass isn't cut and the wild flowers and trees have their own way. I'm not complaining, the view from my condo is good. The birds are still happy in this cultivated yard and everything is still His creation even if it is trimmed and polished. Nice painting!