The Beauty of Hope

A well-tended garden is a beautiful thing, even a vegetable garden. I am an undeniably bad gardener. I’m also an undeniably hopeful gardener. Every year, I enter the battle (and yes, gardening is war) with great hopes of victory and harvest. There’s something about seeds and plants in rich garden soil that inspires hope in me like nothing else. This despite the fact that, although I have gotten some fruits of my labor, my yield never equals what I put into it in time and money. 

Little tomato plant in your crooked cage, grow like the wind!

So generally I choose to look at my garden as a part of my sanctification. I’m always weeding, always watering, sometimes harvesting. Then planting, watering, weeding again. So even if my garden is a complete disaster, I’ll still get something out of it. And although rational analysis might conclude that gardening is not a wise allocation of resources, there are multiple lessons — spiritual, practical, scientific, etc. —  that can be found in a garden.

This year, I’ve decided to spread some of the sanctification around, and I’ve delegated the responsibility of the garden to my sons. It’s now part of their daily chores, and each one is assigned one box and one potato tub. I’m foreman of our tiny farm, but, theoretically, they are the ones who will be doing the work. (At this point, the foreman is very hands on. The goal is to step away as they learn when to water, what’s a weed and what’s a plant, etc.)

One feature of delegating the work is that “neat and orderly” aren’t high priorities. Or even possibilities.

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And every year, I invest more time and money to improving my garden. I feed my hope. This year, we upgraded the fence, expanding the garden’s footprint to make it more easy to work in. 


A garden is beautiful, and so is the act and the hope of gardening — whether it’s “successful” or not. (But I’m really hoping it is!)

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