We have a large, often unsightly drainage basin across from our house. Two years ago, as our neighborhood community considered using chemicals to reduce the weeds and foliage, I asked if I could plant flowers instead. I had recently seen a few rain gardens while staying at a spiritual retreat center, and I wondered if this wet basin could serve as one, too. Everyone graciously agreed, and three of the men offered to mow the grassy rim and trim the sides while I maintained the bottom of the basin.

During my not-too-thorough research, I learned that blue flag irises like very wet soil and will quickly spread. I soon began envisioning a big bowl of beautiful blue-purple irises right outside our door! I ordered the seeds and scattered them as best I could in the muddy bottom.

The irises can take at least a year to mature and fully flower, so when we had no blooms last year I was not discouraged. This year, I have been watching for any thin reedy stems or other signs that even a few have taken root. I have yet to see any irises, but my hope remains that they just need a little more time, that one day, a few will bloom. If there are no blooms next spring, I will try a different flower.

In my watching and waiting, I have gleaned another insight:
I may never find a blue flag iris, but I have found the joyful heart of a springtime gardener.

The springtime gardener…
~ plants seeds of promise and potential
~ envisions the future with hope
~ stewards, protects, and enhances the beauty of creation
~ sows good seed today without needing a guaranteed harvest tomorrow
~ is not intimidated by the possibility of failure
~ savors the work itself, the purpose of the moment
~ remembers the greater intention behind each small action
~ notices the gracious supply of God when personal efforts fail (notice the white wildflowers on the left).

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could keep the heart of a springtime gardener for all the seasons of life?

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant. — Robert Louis Stevenson

(Photo by Karen)


  1. One day, all the seeds may bloom.
    One day, the smiling sun will rise.
    One day the darkling shade of doom
    won’t hold hostage my grey eyes.
    One day, prosperity preachers’ shout
    ‘I do believe and I declare!’
    will be heard, and will win out,
    for after all, it’s only fair
    that the payment I have made
    for a book on How To Pray
    will in focused use have played
    the vital role to find the way
    to do what it is said to do,
    placing me in Favoured Few.


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