Accidental Gardening and What Makes Things Grow

Last year I had big and wild dreams of planting a vegetable garden and feeding my family from its homegrown yumminess all summer long.  The garden did well for a while but life got busy and I stopped tending and let it go.

Among a few things I did plant with success were these amazing artichokes.  We got about 2 crops from them and that was it. It was my first try with artichokes so I enjoyed them while they lasted and then figured it was over.  I cut the leaves back and as the garden was let go the little stumps just sat there.

I didn’t water them any more. I didn’t pull the weeds around them. I didn’t tend to the soil to prepare it for this year’s planting.  I did nothing.

Months passed and I began to notice the leaves had grown and become quite bushy.  I never bothered looking too closely at them lest I would feel the need to actually do something.  On occasion I think avoiding something altogether will remove it from my mind. Don’t you?

A few weeks ago, I went out there and look what I found.


So I guess I’m more of an accidental gardener because it seems like when I don’t try hard to keep something alive, it thrives and does better than when I put time and effort into a plant. Some day I’ll show you the roses I planted by my trashcans that are awesome.

The reason gardening seems to keep drawing me in despite my failures and fear of bugs is how God speaks to me through the process.

In his letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul talks about how foolish it is to boast about following human leaders.  He says to them,   “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.  So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (1 Cor. 3:6-7)

Only God makes things grow.


It seems like we live in a culture where if you have a problem, a particular sin you are battling against, a relationship issue or whatever… there is always someone, a book, a conference, something that will tell you that if you do this… or you do that… if you try a little harder… things will change…things will get better.

My artichokes are reminding me this year while God may appreciate my effort and loves excellence and perfection is only found in Him and what He loves most is when we finally realize He can do a better job than we can at pretty much anything.

He wants to prove to me again and again, He is the one who makes things grow.  He is the one who gives life and sustains life and sometimes no matter how hard I try unless I’m willing to let things go, I can actually stifle growth.

What have you learned in your garden this year? 

7 thoughts on “Accidental Gardening and What Makes Things Grow

  1. Doreen Hanna says:

    I see the beauty of Him in you Suzie as you have grown. You rooted yourself in good soil, God’s word. Been open like a flower to take in the Son, a delight to your heavenly father as you continue to bloom and sweet fragrance to those that touch your life.

  2. Linda Massey says:

    Thank you for being an accidental gardener and teaching me through your life. In my life I see Him growing something beautiful in unexpected ways – so like our incomparable, majestic God. As I see the garden of my life grow, I am reminded of the wonder of God and His ways and how He can bring something beautiful and life-giving to others out of the stumps and dry places of my life. This blog also tied in for me with your last one – how God gives us rest to remind us that He is the One who ultimately gives us what we need and causes things to grow. I am encouraged to trust Him more and surrender to Him as the Master Gardener of my life. He makes all things beautiful in His time.

  3. Martha says:

    Hi! Came over from the Simple Stories group. I am absolutely hopeless at gardening but at my last house God blessed us with birds of paradise and, at this one, with roses. I love these little gifts and the metaphor you brought out of them!

  4. Pattyogg says:

    8 volunteer tomato plants popped up this year in our garden. They were growing too close to our serrano chile so I pulled them gently out to transfer them and all the sandy soil just fell away from the root ball. Not good. Too exposed to the intense heat that day. The next spot I wanted them in wasn’t ready so they sat out for a few minutes and started to wilt. Note to self to have hole ready when transferring plants and wait until it’s cooler… I only took two of the tomatoes and planted them. One blessing we received this year were 4 other heirloom tomatoes from my sister in law and a friend. Anyway, the volunteers looked dreadful for at least a week. All wilted and lifeless looking. But we kept watering in hopes that they would revive. They did come around though a day or so ago. And it looks like we will have wonderful cherry tomatoes. Just like God with us. He just keeps on patiently watering us, waiting for us to put down roots and grow and thrive and produce fruit. Thanks for sparking the analogy for me. Never would have looked at those volunteers in this light without YOUR story!

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