My husband and I have had a garden for all the years of our married life. In our beginning efforts, it was quite a struggle for us to have it watered adequately, yet not too much, to keep the weeds down and to know how to properly deal with the little garden pests, both insect variety and larger animal variety.We often had problems that we had to “weather” out, such as late frosts after the garden was beginning to come up or early frosts when we not prepared and hadn’t brought in the harvest. Hail and wind storms also wreaked their havoc upon our little garden plot. It was and sometimes still is frustrating when things didn’t go as we had hoped and planned. But so is our life, also not the smooth road we always hope and pray for. We have to learn to “go with the flow” and accept what happens and move forward. Yet we can find peace in our lives and grow and learn. The garden holds many happy memories and fun as the kids and now grandkids help us harvest, weed and enjoy the fruits of our labors.
This wonderful book, which entails four Novellas, written by four wonderful authors, shows how the gardens in our lives help us to move ahead and as stated in the final novella by the very talented author, Vannetta Chapman, Gardens will bless your soul.
“They are a place to rest, to draw near, and to heal.” I especially loved that line and marked it as I was reading the book, because that is how I truly feel about gardens, as well.My Review:
1. Rooted in Love, Beth Wiseman
Rosemary Lantz is the main character in this story. She is a talented young woman except that gardening has its challenges for her. In her courting days, she was together with Saul until she hears a secret about him that at her age of 16, causes her to separate from him. This was a hard thing for both of them, but Rosemary knows that a life with Saul under these circumstances would never work. As they begin to work together in her garden, they share work and laughter together. I especially liked the part with Rosemary’s father and there was a part that brought me to tears as I read the feelings between the two of them.
2. Flowers for Rachael, Kathleen Fuller
Rachael has a beautiful flower garden and spent most days tending to it. She loves her garden and even finds herself talking to her flowers, perhaps because she is lonely. She apparently has a secret admirer, however, as suddenly and daily a beautiful flower appears for her with a very short note. She has no idea who is bringing the flowers, although she hopes it might be Gideon. Yet, it appears not to be as he seems unaware of the flowers’ meanings when she gives a flower to Gideon.
Rachael cares for her grandfather and finds him collapsed one day, which leads to a hospital stay and Rachael feels she needs to be her grandfather’s caretaker. Her grandfather insists she needs to tend to her life and that God will take care of things all in their due time. Rachael still is worried about her grandfather but discovers that she must learn to trust.3. Seeds of Love, Tricia Goyer
This novella takes place in Montana and the main character is Sadie Chupp who is a young woman whose late mother left her with a legacy, heirloom seeds that are her special remembrances of her dear parents. She seems to harbor some unhappy feelings towards her siblings, who, after the deaths of their parents, sold the family home. Sadie being the youngest was heartbroken and moves to her uncle in Montana to start fresh. She brings her mother’s seeds and plans a garden to continue to keep the feeling of her parents close to her. A company has wanted to buy the heirloom seeds, but Sadie’s mother had not wanted to do so, because the seeds had belonged to her family for generations.She meets Eli who wants to help her with her gardening. As time passes she and Eli have a misunderstanding and Sadie is beyond sad. Her garden undergoes lots of damage and the heirloom seeds have all been planted. How will she ever be able to repair the damage that a bear cub has done?
The biggest surprise yet occurs when Sadie meets Eli’s grandfather.4. Where Healing Blooms, Vannetta Chapman
Emma is a widow who lives with Mary Ann, her mother-in-law. Mary Ann has a beautiful garden that she lovingly tends. Emma tries to find a purpose in life now that her children are grown. She learns that a runaway Amish boy has been hiding in her barn. She tries to know how she can help him at this troubled time of his life. She leaves food and hopes that he will feel that he can trust her to help him. She also is asked by the bishop to house an abused Amish woman and her two children. They find a safe refuge at Emma’s and begin to work together.Emma begins to find some meaning to her life and purpose
Her old friend, Danny, has returned home after many years absence. She had once hoped that they would marry, but Danny had disappointed her by moving away to pursue his life’s plans leaving Emma alone and to marry another. Emma feels she is too old now to find love again in her life.Mary Ann’s garden holds a secret which she reveals to Emma and Danny that may just change both of their lives.
These four stories will touch your heart. These four authors share how gardens can help you find peace, faith, endurance, hope and healing. I loved them all!