This week is National Public Gardens week, May 13th—May 19th, initiated by the American Public Gardens Association (APGA), a sort of reminder to “stop and smell the roses.” While plantings at our nation’s public gardens include so much more than roses, the sentiment is the same — to halt our harried lives, be still, and treasure the blessings surrounding us, beginning with the public spaces cultivated for all to rest and refresh in the presence of botanical beauty.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
May is a particularly blooming month when so many perennials are in their prime, and fruit trees begin the production process in showy flower-dazzle. Take the nudge and take off to the nearest (or farthest!) public garden. Click here to find gardens.
Growing Plants of the Bible in Public Gardens
I have a special affinity for the APGA and its programs, as I will be speaking at their annual conference next month. So exciting! As part of my publishing relationship with BRIT Press, I will host a poster presentation on “Growing Plants of the Bible in Public Gardens.” Discussion will center on the potential draw this plant group offers the public.
Many may not realize how “at home” their Bibles are in a garden. Likewise others may not realize that the plants before them, bursting with color, fragrance, water savviness, or sweet fruit, have layers of literary reference and spiritual insight as well, beginning with their mention in the ancient text of the Bible. It is time, I believe, for all to see the connection of the land and the Word, and be moved, engaged, and delighted by a growing relationship.
Praise in Photos
Enjoy some of my favorite snapshots from public gardens I have visited since writing devotions for God’s Word for Gardeners Bible, and the Words that have come to life in mind and heart.
You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain…The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness.
Psalm 65:12 NIV
The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice and shout for joy.
Isaiah 35:1-2 NIV
Thus you will walk in the ways of good and keep to the paths of righteousness.
Proverbs 2:20 NIV
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Psalm 23:3 KJV
I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
Isaiah 45:3 NIV
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders. Where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.
Psalm 65:8 NIV
from everlasting to everlasting you are God
Psalm 90:2 NIV
For more on National Public Gardens Week, May 13th to 19th, 2019, go to www.publicgardens.org/
If you are attending the APGA Annual Conference, please come seem me! The Poster Presentation Session is on Wednesday, June 19th, 3:30 to 5:30 pm in the Omni Shoreham Hotel Exhibit Hall.
©2014-2019 Shelley S. Cramm
This bench at South Coast Botanic Garden beckons nearly as much as Jesus’ gesture in Matthew 11:28-30. I was pretty sure all my troubles would be gone if I sat on this bench surrounded by the bevy of nasturtium…but long after we go home and these flowers fade, Jesus blesses our souls with rest, hallelujah!