I’m embarrassed by the fact that my yard is dead. I mean, if it weren’t for a variety of non-grass weeds growing in what should be lawn, there wouldn’t be any green at all.

I live in the desert, it’s July, and not only is it expensive, but I feel a certain amount of guilt pouring potable water on my yard when so much of the world is in a drought. I mean, the church has even stopped watering the lawn at the LA Temple. Despite UT not mandating water reduction, I take solace in the fact that my yard is in good company.

Yet that doesn’t keep me from feeling, like Justine does in today’s Sabbath Revival post from October 2006. Anyone else feeling this way?


Do I need to have a beautiful garden to get into the Celestial Kingdom? Am I compromising my eternal potential if I have more weeds than pansies?

Seriously. I’m really not kidding.

There are so many gospel true-isms in gardening. The law of the Harvest. The value of hard work. You reap what you sow. Adam and Eve were cast out to overcome the thorns and bristles. You name it, you can somehow apply it to dirt.

And so it is, as I stare at my garden, I wonder. We had wonderful tomatoes and pumpkins this year. We managed a few raspberries and strawberries. But really, we planted those berries in the hopes they would “take-over” and reclaim a weed infested area. We kinda hoped the pumpkin would do that too. It didn’t.

Melissa Young wrote a piece for our Spring 2005 issue, “The Garden of Eaten”. I could so thoroughly relate to her frustration that it was comforting to know I was understood. But even Melissa has the most beautiful flower beds in the whole of Cache Valley.

So here I am left to wonder why I can’t seem to keep anything alive. Those dang people at the Nursery where we shop, they must love to see us. We buy plants, we plant them, we water them, we wonder at them, we watch them slowly wither and die. We’ve done it a hundred times.

If I can’t keep plants alive, if I can’t manage to keep weeds out, how could I possibly be entrusted with the glory of the Lord? Is this a stewardship kind of issue?

The pattern of poor gardening is so brimming with good intentions, I often feel those intentions should power my garden through each summer. Spring comes, and brings with it the hope and promise of a new start. We plant. We weed and water and fuss faithfully for weeks.

Then it gets hot. My very earnest and honorable intentions are tested. They are pressed up against the heat of the day, the sweat of my brow. I waver. I falter.

By July, everything is usually dead. The vegetables that are lucky enough to be planted in the path of the sprinklers feebly live on, but all else slips quietly into the great beyond. Even those plants still living are encased by bazillions of weeds. Intentions, somehow, have failed me.

I, during these times, feel strangely bound for hell.

1 Comment

  1. Pualele

    July 27, 2015

    Maybe this is one of those instances where we’ll get a pass based on the desire of our hearts? I live on a tropical island where the soil is so fertile random sticks speared into the ground supposedly grow into…something. You see, I wouldn’t even know what these sticks become because I can’t even get seeds to grow, never mind plants. I once contemplated growing dandelions in the front because surely they would grow and I’ve always thought they were so pretty. Of all the plants I tried to grow the only ones still alive (thank goodness!) are the ones personally planted by my best friend. If not for her, my yard would be the ONLY yard on the island without some kind of garden. Really.

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