St Mark's Mansfield

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Paradise garden


This is Katy.   She’s a beauty – perfectly formed, with soft white flesh, sweet, juicy and rosy-cheeked.   I found her fallen on the ground in the community garden on Tuesday morning, no doubt blown from the tree in the strong winds.  I was tempted and I ate her!

WP_20160823_09_15_13_Pro (2)The Eden connection reminds me of an inspirational interview on Radio 4 last Sunday with garden designer, Chris Beardshaw, who pointed out that the word ‘garden’ comes from two Hebrew words literally meaning ‘enclosed paradise’.   A garden can give us a sense of escape.   The clock seems to stop and we feel safe, unthreatened and at peace (though at times the weeds seem like an invading army!)

But the garden isn’t a retreat from the world, more a way of getting closer to the core of things.  St Mark’s Community Garden is a place where we’ve toiled and perspired, laughed and cried, partied and prayed together.   Thanks to Keith, Sophie, Martha and Bethany we’ve made a paradise garden in their backyard.   We’ll miss them all terribly.   However  the plants will continue to grow (I’ve just ordered 15 bags of manure!) and all that Keith, Sophie and the girls have taught us about open, hospitable and celebratory Christian community will continue to nestle at the heart of what we do just like the pips at the heart of the apple.  Happy gardening!