Archive for April, 2011

Until I Return . . .

I know it’s been a while since my last post, but I really do have a good excuse!  Until time and commitments permit, here’s a pictorial post from the past week in the garden.  Thanks for your patience!

Judah Springs Forth

As you can imagine, the days and weeks leading up to Passover are a busy time at Glory of Zion.  This year, the added excitement and activity at the Global Spheres Center in Corinth have added a whole new dimension to our preparations.  In the Twelve Tribes Garden, we have maneuvered through some interesting weather patterns lately, including rain, hail, high winds, and the variety of temperatures typical of north Texas springtime.  This morning, I went to the garden to see the finished water feature.  The first thing I noticed was the sound: the water actually sounds musical as it cascades gently over the rocks and into the stream bed.  How appropriate that the center of Judah has musical accompaniment provided by the balanced combination of water and stone.  I can’t wait for you all to see it!

Just so you can appreciate the process, I have provided a series of photographs taken over the last week.

Before and After in Simeon

This morning, I was joined in the garden by five wonderful ladies and my grandson, Stephen.  Together we planted a truckload of plants in Simeon’s butterfly garden.  What would have taken me two days to accomplish was completed in less than three hours.  Many hands really do make light work!  What a beautiful example of the Body of Christ working together to accomplish good things!  We planted a fragrant and colorful array of larval (caterpillar food) plants and nectar (butterfly) plants for our crawling and winged friends.  In fact, just as we finished watering in the last plant, a butterfly came by to inspect and sample our handiwork.  Here’s a before and after gallery for you to enjoy:

Gardening in Benjamin

In the Twelve Tribes of Israel Garden, the tribe of Benjamin is situated just east of Judah.  The other boundaries of the tribe are Ephraim to the north and east, and Gad to the south.  In Deuteronomy 33:12 Moses said, “The people of Benjamin are loved by the Lord and live in safety beside him.  He surrounds them continuously and preserves them from every harm.”  Because Benjamin was Jacob’s youngest son, the children’s department adopted this section of the garden for their own.  Just as the Lord surrounded Benjamin and preserved them from harm, so those who minister to children feel the same protective instinct.  For that reason, we placed Benjamin in the heart of the garden, surrounded by the rest of the tribes.

Historically, the major portions of the Torah relating to Benjamin’s month of Kislev are associated with dreams during the night season.  The Feast of Lights–Hanukkah–is celebrated at the end of this month.  Additionally, the animal connected to Benjamin is the wolf, an animal that is certainly suited to the night.  And so, the children have started the planting of their garden area with white flowering plants that will reflect moonlight or bloom only in the evening.

Last Sunday, April 3, a group of children, parents, grandparents, aunts, teachers and friends joined together in the garden to clear weeds, roots, and debris in preparation for planting.  The children planted a white-blooming dogwood tree, night-blooming jasmine, variegated flag and hostas, shasta daisies, artemesia, and an Eve’s Necklace tree.  I was blessed and impressed by the energy and perseverance of this group of children.  They worked just as hard as any adult in the group and entered into the future plans with enthusiasm.  I am looking forward to our next work day!

Take a look at this beautiful group of young gardeners.

Signs of Spring

How lovely is Your tabernacle,
O LORD of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the LORD;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
My King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
They will still be praising You.

Psalm 84:1-4

I took a moment this evening to wander through my own back yard and enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of spring.  I was tempted to work, because I have neglected my own yard and gardens while overseeing the Twelve Tribes Garden in Corinth.  When I chose to lean the rake back against the wall and enter Shabbat with thanksgiving, I was greeted with the nest you see here.  In the climbing rose bush next to my garden gate, a pair of mockingbirds have constructed their nest.  Now I know who has been singing so exuberantly outside my window every morning for the past week!  Praise breaks forth from creation, and we are privileged to join in the song!

Shabbat shalom, y’all!

Preparing Judah and Simeon for Planting

After a week of warm, sunny weather, we were greeted on Sunday morning with a reminder of how changeable Texas weather can be.  Overnight, the temperature dropped from the eighties to the forties and the clouds moved in for an extended–and welcome–stay.  Although we didn’t receive a drought-breaking rainfall, any moisture is welcome.  Yesterday, I ventured out in the cool, misty weather to see what was happening in the garden.  You see, there is only so much my little army of gardeners can accomplish, so we called in the professionals to remove unwanted sod, lay some new pathways, and prepare planting beds.  By the middle of next week, we will be able to start planting the butterfly garden in Simeon.  For now, then,  here is what I saw: