“Life began in a garden.”
In the beginning, after the Lord had finished creating the universe, the skies, the stars, the sun, the land, the sea, as well as all the creatures living within it, He created the very first man and named him Adam. Then, the Lord created a garden in the east, in Eden. There, he made all kinds of trees grow from the soil – trees that were meant for food and pleasing to the eye. Water from a nearby river was used to irrigate the garden; the river flowed from the garden and from there, it was divided into four headwaters, namely, Pishon, Gihon, Tigris and Euphrates. And, right in the middle of the garden, stood the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This earthly paradise created by God was named the Garden of Eden.
The Lord placed Adam in the garden and asked him to tend it. Thus, the first garden, the first gardener –Adam – and the very first occupation of mankind – gardening – began in Genesis, in the Garden of Eden.
Despite being located on earth, the Garden of Eden was praised as a paradise where the first man and woman could live in peace with animals and a wide variety of fruit-bearing trees. It was known as the most beautiful and serene place on earth and also served as a place of fellowship for Adam and Eve. However, after The Fall, God expelled Adam and Eve from the garden and a flaming sword from God protected the garden to keep it away from them.
After the Garden of Eden, Biblical scriptures mention various gardens and their attributes. In Amos 9: 14 and Jeremiah 29: 5, 28, the garden is recognized as a place of provision of food. In Luke 13: 19, Song of Solomon 4: 12 and Song of Solomon 6: 11, the garden is considered as a place of shelter and shade, and also as a place for protection. The garden is also mentioned in Esther 1: 5, where it is used as a place for organizing a glamorous social event.
There are much more several mentions of gardens in scriptures but most of the times, the Bible considers the garden as a place for a quiet retreat.
I once heard a Christian gardener taking Psalm 23 as a parable of bringing a Biblical garden to life. He used verses of that beloved Psalm to describe a sanctuary garden, invoking images of rest and refreshment.
So, here are some ideas – inspirations derived from Psalm 23 – that can help you in designing the best Biblical garden.
The Green Pastures
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures…”
– From Psalms 23: 1-2
The First Stage
Many people yearn for a green garden design because it’s attractive to the human eyes and it adds a depth and beautifies a natural outdoor space. However, such garden design requires lots of time and effort.
The first stage consists of taking a look at your garden as a whole to find as much as you can about its position and direction. Whether it’s a long courtyard garden or a small green space, you must observe which parts of the garden get most sunlight. Not only will this affect your planting of vegetables, sunbathing or simply sitting outside in the morning to enjoy a cup of tea, it will also dictate how you can use the space more efficiently.
Next, if your garden is looking lackluster, use the right tools and gardening experts’ advice to get your garden back on the right track. And, you know what; you can ditch the common “rectangle” shape and go an oval, square or even an oblong shape.
What will happen after the first stage? Check out part 2!