The Joy of a Garden

daisy flowers

The Joy of a Garden

Give me a plot of ground, a hoe,
A mattock, some turned-up earth
And seeds and plants to go
Within this loamy soil, its girth
Covering, caressing as gentle rain
Falls and sunshine bathes the plot
Soon I will see green growth and gain
A sense of Eden’s garden spot,
Sweet place where cares are buried with the seeds
And happiness shines forth so bright
Its satisfaction tends and feeds
A soul restored, amended and set right.
A garden has this power of healing balm:
To grow beauty, fulfillment, enduring calm.

—Ethelene Dyer Jones

I’ve been living Ethelene’s poem for the last week and have thoroughly enjoyed it! I love to grow things to eat and I love to grow things to feast my eyes upon.

Our garden is looking lovely with the promise of beauty and bounty. The May garden is so orderly and calm with everything in its place sharing promises of good things to come. As the summer progresses sometimes that promise fulfills itself and sometimes it doesn’t, but either way the order of my garden always gets lost in the wildness of summer in southern Appalachia.

If you live close enough to visit Gray-ham county NC (as my good friend Sonny would say it) I encourage you to visit Satterfield’s Briarpatch Greenhouse & Nursery. It’s a wonderful place to buy beautiful plants at a good price and enjoy talking to the owners who are just delightful.

Last night’s video: Madstones and Mountain Talk.


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  • Reply
    Betty Satterfield
    May 9, 2022 at 8:58 am

    Thank you so much! It was an honor to meet you!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 6, 2022 at 7:46 pm

    Lovely heartwarming poem! Tipper, I have so enjoyed your yard/garden this year as you have spent many hours preparing it for the season. It is absolutely perfect! It shows up in the pictures, but it is even better in person. Every time I come by it seems that I am drawn to the garden to bask in the quiet beauty just ready to pop into full growth!
    You’ve worked very hard on it, and I commend you and the Deer Hunter for your fine work!
    It’s gonna be a bountiful year, I can feel it!

  • Reply
    Ron Bass
    May 6, 2022 at 3:38 pm

    I love gardening; being able to raise my own food is rewarding.
    I’m in eastern NC and am able to plant my taters in late febuary. So today I was able to scratch up some small taters. My wife loves them and this is my Mothers day present to her each year.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2022 at 1:05 pm

    Love her poem! I love my garden and thank God for growing it! I realize this scripture speaks to the spiritual planting, but I can’t help but apply it to garden planting too.
    1 Corinthians 3:7 (NLT) “It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.”
    And when it grows, I’m very thankful, giving Him the praise and glory for the blessing of the harvest.
    If it does not grow, I know it wasn’t meant to be for whatever reason. God has a purpose and timing for everything. We just need to accept and continue the planting. Both spiritual and garden.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2022 at 11:21 am

    The “order of May” gives way to the chaos of July in my garden. The rains put the poison ivy and kudzu on steroids. I’m out there with my weed whacker, my pruners and my sweat to keep it civilized.

    I truly enjoy Satterfield’s Briarpatch Greenhouse & Nursery in Robbinsville. It’s time I make another visit.

  • Reply
    Glenda G. Page
    May 6, 2022 at 11:13 am

    And yet another learning time spending the time with you. Thank you doesn’t seem to do it justice, but thanks again.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2022 at 10:34 am

    “A garden has this power of healing balm” says it all. The cares are laid aside as we totally become lost in the moment, as we anticipate the growing of beautiful plants, food, and flowers from a tiny seed. It never gets old for me.
    It is unlike any other work I ever do, as my spirit is renewed over and over as I watch the progress of my garden. Ethylene had the kindest thoughtful spirit. Her poetry is definitely as good as many of the old famous authors we learned about in Literature. So very glad her words can live on through thoughtful people such as you, Tipper. When you put poetry and a garden together you have some real magic coming together. Just what I needed as I plan a day of finding just the right plants at a local nursery. I bypassed the intense labor of growing plants inside and lugging them out to harden. Thank you so much Ethylene, as your words live on. Wish I could have met that wonderful lady!

  • Reply
    May 6, 2022 at 10:23 am

    Sanford, that got me to thinking about the use of mom and dad. I noticed on this blog the use of mom and dad. Some say mama and daddy, others say mommy and daddy. My kin call their parents mommy and daddy, and my sisters refers to our parents as mommy and daddy. Somewhere along the line I started calling my parents mom and dad. That also made me think of people who say aunt so and so or uncle so and so that they are no kin to them.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2022 at 10:02 am

    No gardening today in It’s raining again.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2022 at 9:33 am

    Life began in a garden. I love gardening. The garden is a great place to focus on God and His amazing creation. As much as I love gardening here on earth I can’t imagine how much more intense and amazing it will be in Heaven.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2022 at 9:31 am

    My parents and my father in law always had big gardens, at least 1 acre or more, for as long as their health allowed them. It was not only a hobby or joy to them but for many years a necessity to help with their food. Both of them had several large chest freezers that would be full by winter along with jars of beans and other things they had canned. In the last years of their lives deer became a huge problem with having a garden of this size. I often think back and wonder what wood have been done to help control the deer when most country people depended on a garden for their food. I can’t help but think they would have had a permanent solution for this deer problem. Now if you can not fence around or put up an a complicated electric wire system around a garden spot, you will not be able to grow anything because of the deer.

    I never called no one other than my parents Mom or Dad even though I thought of my mother and father in law as being another mother or daddy to me. I did grow up calling some of my neighbors that I was close to Aunt and Uncle and call them this throughout their lives.

    • Reply
      Ron Stephens
      May 6, 2022 at 6:55 pm

      Been many a year, Randy, since I heard “Aunt” or “Uncle” said of a non-relative. Last one I remember was “Uncle Jilson” at the little country church in the woods when I was a boy. I wish that courtesy title use would return.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    May 6, 2022 at 9:28 am

    The first 2 jobs in Eden were; naming and dressing and keeping the garden. Each were a partnership with the Lord by His design. Gardening is still that. We plan and plow and plant and tend in hope, which is our part. But we do not control temperature, rain, sunshine or frost, which is His.

    If I do say so myself, my garden looks good this AM. As you mention, it really looks its best now; neat, clean, promising. Time will tell how it turns out. I’ve invested a lot of hard work in it. I’ll be investing more yet, but it rests mostly with the Lord now.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2022 at 8:03 am

    My “mom” was a kindergarten assistant at church. She loved children and us of course! I noticed later on the kids from earlier days , now grown up would come by the house to say hello. I am so happy she touched others lives as well as ours for comfort and great memories! Love ya mom!

    • Reply
      May 6, 2022 at 9:48 am

      Richard, there were 2 ladies at our church that me and the other children of my youth loved like this. I have noticed that the the children of today at the church love the daughters of these ladies the same way. All of them were teachers for the young children.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2022 at 6:56 am

    Our garden always gave us a sense of security growing up, and after a visit to the grocery store that sense is starting to return.
    I’ve found it’s a good place to think though problems as I work in it. A break in the the world’s noise, a place of solitude.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2022 at 6:56 am

    Vegetable Gardening is one of the greatest joys of my life (besides The Lord & my family). This year I am excited to share the experience w/my mom – who, at 60, has never had a garden. I really can’t understand this because she grew up extremely poor (1 of 10 kids: they lived in a one room school house for a time & had an outhouse into the late 60s) but they never grew anything??? we are trying an experiment, because their yard is mostly sand, w/lots of pine trees. We are growing in my saved chicken feed bags. Got a good book out of the library, & we have spent some time together fitting out the bags, buying/swapping/starting seeds. Hopefully, going to help her on Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, our weather in CNy has been terrible. Still pretty cold and wet! Also got my parents into wanting some of my chickens, so I am going to share 3 of my laying hens with them & I hatched out some chicks for them to take when they get grown up a bit. Tipper, I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day – w/your girls by your side in the garden! Your posts inspire me & bring a nice spot of joy into my life everyday. Thank you. (P.S. — i am curious about laundry hangin’ in your area – we’ve got some ways here)

    • Reply
      May 6, 2022 at 10:11 am

      I lived in a house for many years that had about 18 inches of sand before you ran into solid sand rock or clay. For my tomatoes I would dig a posthole and fill it with good dirt and compost. That worked really well.

  • Reply
    Sanford McKinney
    May 6, 2022 at 6:14 am

    We called our parents “Mom” and “Dad”. As the years passed, it was amazing how many others started calling them “Mom” and “Dad”. Most all friends of we siblings addressed them as, “Mom” and “dad”.

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