Surprises in the Garden

The following post is the beginning of something that I’ve mulled over for a while now: my desire to find the sacred in the dirt. The Creator in His creation. 

So often when I go and work the soil, Holy Spirit reveals part of Himself to me there. So here’s my humble attempt at putting words to what I’m learning in the garden.


In the backyard, there is one long raised bed that I’ve designated for strawberry plants. It’s only two thirds full, so far. So the back third has room for small weeds and grass that I am constantly pulling out. This past weekend, however, I discovered some new basil and tomato plants appearing that I had never planted. These new mystery plants, aren’t actually all that mysterious. They are there because I let last year’s crop go to seed at the end of the harvest. And because we live in an area that doesn’t have extremely harsh winters, the seeds were protected and able to sprout this spring.

Last year’s tomatoes, for example, dropped some fruit. The fruit rotted, for lack of a more delicate verb. And, the seeds scattered themselves on the dirt.

I started researching the tiny sprouts to learn more about them, and I learned that the plant savvy people of the universe (is that a thing?) call them “volunteers”, and these unexpected treasures have caused me to reflect on what it takes for a seed to sprout in the first place.

What has to happen to a seed for it to grow a whole new plant?

It has to die first.

Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. John 12:23-25

The one about herbs.

My favorite bible teacher preached a sermon where he said, “discipline isn’t our punishment. It’s our reward for producing fruit.”


Where we live, this winter has been very mild. So mild, in fact, that several of the herbs in my tiny garden have voted to skip dormancy this year.

The ones that have really caught my attention are my rosemary plants. Over the past few years, I have planted several rosemary plants, and most of them are lively right now. But, one of them is triple the size of the other ones.

Now, I’m no master gardener. So I probably did something wrong to cause most of the other ones to be so small still.

But, whatever the reason, I have this one that continues to mature faster than the others.


If I’m honest, I’d have to say that I don’t know if discipline is a reward for producing fruit. I don’t know much of anything. Maybe discipline is simply a part of life that everyone eventually goes through. But I know this: as a novice gardener, I keep pruning the plant that keeps growing.


It seems to be a cycle. I prune it, so it grows. So I prune it, so it grows.