As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Hidden Art of Homemaking {Chapter 6: Gardens and Gardening}

What?  Chapter 6 already?

I have to confess that vacation waylaid me.  Not only the getting ready to go and the nine days away, but also coming home to a busy week.  And then trying to post all about our adventures. 

So...I am a post behind in the Hidden Art of Homemaking book club.  Although I have not yet written about Chapter 5 (I may do it later; I may not get back...), I am going to forge on ahead into Chapter 6.

 Chapter 6: Gardens and Gardening

I have never had a green thumb—not leafy green or grass green or even the palest shade of celadon. I am the "kiss of death" to houseplants. I forget to water the geraniums in my window boxes. And gardening? Well, consider my loathe of heat and snakes, and you might guess that I am a very reluctant gardener.  (And a wimp, you say?  Okay, that too.)

(As an father has a very green thumb. For years when I was growing up, he had a wonderfully diverse arrangement of plants in front of our dining room window—everything from several varieties of cacti to a miniature orange tree! And our yard...well, let's just say that it was one of the beautiful spots in our neighborhood.) 

But The Hidden Art of Homemaking is about inspiring creative ideas in the realm of the home.  In the first chapter, Mrs. Schaeffer acknowledges that we must make choices regarding our expression of creativity, as we humans are bound by limits of both talent and time.  So I was prepared to say that gardening is "not my thing."

Then I began to read Chapter 6, and I read this... does not need to have a degree, nor even a tremendous talent, to enjoy and bring enjoyment to others through the medium of gardening.

Again, I am off the hook!  I don't have to have talent (or a green thumb?) to do some small thing to "enjoy" or "bring enjoyment to others" through gardening. 

And then I thought of the few realms of gardening in which I have found delight.

One is my herb garden.  

I love that herbs make such few demands.  They are friendly and forgiving...and quite useful!  I will often step outside my back door with a pair of shears and snip something green and fragrant to add to what I'm cooking...chives for the scrambled eggs, basil for tomato sauce or Caprese salad, rosemary for roasted potatoes or chicken, parsley for the soup, cilantro for the salsa.

The small area of gardening that I enjoy is the planting of annuals.

I say "small" because we have scaled down to a more manageable level in recent years.  With my not-green thumb and my scatterbrained ways, I need a limited number of things to water during the summer heat.  But in the spring...oh my...I can get excited about lovely pops of color on the patio or on the porches!  I also enjoy that it is a family affair.

It was a little chilly on planting day!  :)

This gorgeous pot is a gift from my green-thumbed parents.  Thank you, Daddy and Mom!

At that, I am off to pick the strawberries from the garden before the day gets any hotter...

If you're interested in this book discussion, you may read along as I usually do 
(click ~here~ for all the posts in the discussion), 

or join in the discussion yourself!
(Click ~here~ for details on how to participate.)


  1. Wow! May I just say that I am so enjoying these larger photos? Magnificent!

    And wow again because you're doing very well for a person who thinks she has no green thumb. The pots and planters all look beautiful. The gift from your parents looks like perfection in that idyllic spot, too.

    I love my herb garden. Herbs do not overwinter here except for chives and mint. I have both. The mint grows in the front flower garden and the chives in the new raised bed. So herbs are where I'm devoting my budget this year with not so much attention being given to annuals, though I have a secret plan for later in the season.

  2. You nailed the heart of the message. It's what I love most about this book. Over and over Mrs. Schaefer reiterates that you don't have to have tremendous talent to enjoy or bring enjoyment to others. I love that you pointed to your herb garden. What a wonderful way to enjoy plants. They are delicious, they smell wonderful and as you say, they are forgiving in the garden. I once wrote a post about my chaotic approach to gardening. The strategic scattering of seeds to create the look of accidental. The beauty of this method is that if you get negligent in the care of the plants, it looks natural. I LOVE that! Get me started on any topic from this book and I can't shut up. Love it! Love you. :)

    Blessings, Debbie

  3. You sound like me with gardening. The much younger version of me, would get down on her knees and dig and plant and weed and prune. I'd come home from work, have a quick dinner and get to work and spend hours watering. Now, I have 4 pots done and a few more to do in the back and I am calling it a day. Thankfully my grass is cut by the HO landscaper xo

  4. I think you seem like QUITE a good gardener! Those potted/hanging annuals are lovely. And that beautiful rosemary -- I can almost smell it. Whenever I walk by a rosemary plant, I run my fingers through it and breathe deeply of the fragrance.

  5. Another great chapter! When I originally read this book - this chapter inspired me the most.

    Your herb garden is delightful and useful! The perfect combination.

    I love that you all are involved in planting your pots!


  6. Love the rosemary. I had the best time in the herb part of the Huntsville Botanical Gardens with my 2 year old granddaughter. I would rustle the herbs in my hand and let her smell them. She really seemed to enjoy it and it made me want to get my own plot going again.

  7. Beautiful! You've captured the spirit of the Hidden Art of Gardening very nicely. Love the herbs and the pops of color!

  8. What a lovely post,Cheryl, one of my favorite books and author. Your flowers , and herbs are beautiful, herb gardening is one of my favorite things to do, they don't need a lot of attention and like being pinched and cut. ~smile~
    Enjoyed reading of your vacation, Maine looks like a beautiful place, to be able to visit Ryan and his family, is a great reason for going, and to meet Vee and John, how special too. What lovely gifts you all received!
    Thanks for coming by I have been so lax in blogging, and now find myself busy gathering and preserving our produce. ~smile~
    Thanks for encouraging us women in homemaking, you are such a blessing, your daughters are a blessing too!

  9. Annuals are MY "Waterloo", so I'm impressed!

  10. Herbs are so wonderful to add to a meal and can be grown just about anywhere. Your pictures are wonderful and your flowers are beautiful.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...