Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Catholic Gardener's Spiritual Almanac by Margaret Rose Realy

A Catholic Gardener's Spiritual Almanac: Cultivating Your Faith Throughout the YearA Catholic Gardener's Spiritual Almanac: Cultivating Your Faith Throughout the Year by Margaret Rose Realy

I'm not a gardener.

In fact, I'm so not a gardener that I realized I don't have a single plant growing in my home. I have a few container plants on the front porch which I remember to water when we're in the middle of the blazing Texas summers.

(Do you hear that? I think we can hear Margaret Rose's heart breaking right now.)

And yet I read and enjoyed her A Garden of Visible Prayer about making prayer gardens. I readily agreed to read this book, which I'd normally never do.

It's because I like the idea of a garden. I suppose I'm what you'd call an armchair gardener just as many people read cookbooks they'll never use (which makes me cry, but that's another story).

I also enjoy reading almanacs, believe it or not. (Is that armchair farming?) I love the rhythms of the physical year moving through its cycles, which may be a reason I love the Catholic liturgical year so much.  Margaret Rose Realy combines the two by taking the best tips for gardening year-round and linking them with the Catholic liturgical year to weave a lovely devotional for everyone.

Each month has:
  • gardening focus for that time of year
  • traditions and feasts
  • saints appropriate for gardening
  • faith-filled gardening keyed to the liturgical year (a Lenten garden in March, a rosary or angel garden in October)
  • practical gardening advice
  • Biblical reflections
  • prayer focus
I also really enjoyed the frequent charts and lists of plants associated with faith, such as plants found on the Shroud of Turin or Marian garden plants. There is even the occasional recipe. Best of all are Realy's insights and reflections in which she openly shares her own faith.

I haven't finished this book because I want to read it as the year unfolds. Even if I never get out in the garden, I go walking daily. This is the sort of book that keeps me connected to the nature that I experience even on those little jaunts.

Highly recommended for the practical, faithful, and armchair gardeners.

It was a free review book. But they were my own opinions.

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