Gardening can be great fun, but it can also be a time to build into the life of your family. The family that gardens together — developing and cultivating God’s creation — grows together.

Me and Gardening

Horticulture isn’t a strength of mine.

Given the choice, I’d side with Bear Grylls over Sir David Attenborough; watch technology, and war history documentaries, over a Monty Don walk through French provincial gardens. 

(Nothing against Monty. I was never gifted with a green thumb.)

Ask me anything about theology, military, history, music, even politics and I’ll hit the target almost every time.

Ask me what genus a flower is, or what birds just landed with precision on the backyard’s trees — if it doesn’t have a NATO classification or a hyphenated letter followed by a numeral (as in M-60, or F-16) — I’d have to look it up.


I’m not a gardener. 

I consider most nature documentaries a form of torture. 

Additionally, I’m generally averse to over-produced virtual nature walks, with flowery language dubbed over mind-numbingly dull flowery scenes.

The few exceptions?

Neil Oliver walking tours of coastlines.

Jacque Cousteau exploring shipwrecks, and any Time Team archaeological dig with Tony Robinson narrating facts about a new geographic location. 

If it’s not Hazen Audel (or equivalent) running through climates and terrain, discussing how explorers and war survivors managed to navigate man, monster, myth and sun, don’t pass the popcorn, I’m probably asleep already.

Don’t get me wrong. I like nature. 

God’s Creation Mandate

None of this should be read as me not being open to the wonders of flora and fauna. 

I’m a believer in man and woman’s God-gifted office in the order of creation care. 

I have genuine awe at the skills and handiwork which formed the terra we farm, live, die and fight to defend.

We are caretakers. We are called to tend our own gardens. Look after the land. Steward the animals. 

This is why for some years now my wife and I have planted an annual Spring Garden event into our homeschool calendar.

This simple routine event brings us together. Even if the plants don’t make the season, we grow.

We learn. We plant. We pray. We water the ground where both seen and unseen seeds are planted. 

Gutsy Victorian preacher, xc once wrote

‘Look over the garden in winter, and you will not know that there is any preparation for spring.’

He follows this with,

‘But, the gardener sees in his mind’s eye—here a circle of golden cups, as if set out for a royal banquet, and there a cluster of snow-white beauties, drooping with excess of modest purity.’

Spurgeon states that the gardener’s

‘Eye knows where the daffodils and anemones lie asleep, waiting to rise in all their loveliness. He has learned the secret of the primroses and the violets, who wait in ambush till the first warm breath of spring shall bid them reveal themselves.’

When paired with humility the words “tend your own garden” have greater meaning.

The Value of Gardening

Regardless of how I might fail to grasp the green genius, there’s more to the garden gig than meets the eye.

American Writer, H. Jackson Brown said, ‘Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.’

Spring gardens are a tradition. A time to get creative. As Spurgeon illustrated, to see beyond cracked and barren soil, and see what every gardener sees. 

I am not a gardener; my wife is. As a father, I’m on board. As a husband, I’ll make room to learn from my wife, her expertise, talents and her interests. 

All I have to do is give her my attention. Invite my kids to wonder at creation with us, then stand back and watch their wonder grow.

To quote the great Monty Don

“When you plant something, you invest in a beautiful future amidst a stressful, chaotic and, at times, downright appalling world.”

The family who gardens together may well be the family who stays together.


Images by Crema Joe, Anna Earl, Jed Owen and Paige Cody on Unsplash.

About the Author: Rod Lampard

Rod, his wife Jonda, and their five kids are homeschooling veterans. Rod spent 12 years in management at Koorong, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Ministry & Theology, and is a writer for the theological, politically edgy news site Caldron Pool. Rod also writes for the Spectator. Find his personal blog here.

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