A View From The Garden

By Peggy Barnell


A woman looks at spiritual parallels between flowers and people.


One adult woman, the more eccentric the better.

Props include a big floppy hat, watering can, a small stool, gardening gloves, and any assorted garden tools.


Well, good morning to you all!  Boy oh boy, it's a warm one today isn't it? (wipes her brow and looks around) Beautiful though...you've probably already noticed. The clouds look like great big pieces of sticky cotton candy.

Here we go now (slowing sitting down on the stool). I do believe the distance from up there to down here gets a little bit further every time I travel it; especially the going up.

Why, Miss Rosie, look at you! I turn my back for one minute and it looks like all of your blossoms are getting ready to open up.  I predict that you will have some of the largest buds that I have ever seen on a yellow rosebush.  When I stop to recall what you looked like when I planted you last spring; such a scrawny little thing you were. If the garden shop hadn't had you marked down 75% I probably wouldn't have given you a second look. I never could resist a bargain, you know. But even so, I almost passed you over.

I brought you home and gave you all the loving care I knew how: the best soil and fertilizer I had. I watered you twice a day all Summer.  But I still wasn't sure for a long while if you would pull through. You looked so puny for the longest time, with your brown shriveled leaves and spindly shaft. Now I wonder if that rocky spell didn't somehow prepare you for the rich spring we've had  this year? You nearly exploded, you grew so fast. I've never seen anything like it!  I'm so proud of you! I expect I'll see plenty of people stopping long enough to take a whiff of your delicious petals.

Dear Miss Lily, I can always count on you. You're as faithful as the sunshine. Please don't tell the others, but I think you may be my very favorite flower in the garden. I love to see the way you stand up so tall and straight and proud, but yet you're flexible enough to bend and sway when the breezes blow. Hmmm...I think there's probably a good lesson for myself in that statement!

Sometimes I do believe you encourage the other flowers around you, Miss Lily. You're beauty is unique, with your bold red and orange and yellow hues. Isn't it funny though, as much as I love to care for you and give you exactly what you need, I often see others just as beautiful as you, growing wild along the country roads.

Why hello, Little Ones. Pardon me for not using your proper name:  Chry--san--the--mum. Whew! What a mouth full that is --- whoever gave such an awkward name to such a pretty little thing ought to be ashamed!  Here now, I brought you a bit of fertilizer today. (pause) Oh, why not...let's make it a double for good measure.

Now you know what we must do today don't you? You must understand that it is for your good that I have to pinch off your sprouts. Any gardener worth her salt knows that pinching off all your little buds up until the first of July, prepares you for bigger and more lasting blooms at the end of the season. Now don't fuss about it, it has to be done. I don't know if this causes you any discomfort, but just remember what lies ahead for you. (If mums can remember, that is.) You'll be thriving and bursting with brilliant red, white, purple and gold blossoms when all the other flowers are done and withered up for the year. Yes, you'll be the talk of the flower bed this Fall. There now, that wasn't so bad was it?

Little Miss Iris, what am I to do with you? No blooms this year, and I just don't know why. I've given you everything any good iris could want: plenty of water, well drained soil, lots of sunshine, there's not a weed in sight. I was so looking forward to those lovely lavender petals. You have such potential, yet all I see is green stalks. It's so sad to know what could have been..... Oh well, there's always next spring for you. I'm not ready to give up on you yet. Oh dear, (looking around) I've been at it again, haven't I? I get so wrapped up with all of you...I wonder if any of the neighbors are looking out their windows? (back to the flowers)

There's some that think I'm a bit "touched in the head" you know, talking to all of you the way I do. But if you ask me, we're all a little odd in one way or another; we humans, I mean. It's funny,  people sometimes remind me of flowers. Now I know good and well that all of you don't have minds to reason things out with like we humans do, but you seem to understand and respond to the loving care and attention that  the good Lord and I give to you. You see,  sometimes  I like to think of God as a "Master Gardener". He knows exactly what it is that we need. Sometimes, that means letting us struggle a little bit as we go through a tough time. If we respond to Him in the right way, we can end up on the other side of that struggle smelling like a rose. (Pardon the pun, Miss Rosie.)  God can use that tough time to help us grow stronger, put down deeper roots, and maybe help us to learn  a little bit more about Him in the process. I've heard stories from some folks who  experienced terrible times, yet they're thankful to God, praising Him for what He's brought them through.Just like the little Mums here, they didn't shrivel up and die when I pinched off their little sprouts. But I've seen some people who have done that. The first sign of trouble and they throw in the towel, like everything is lost. What a pity.

Then I've seen other people, kind of like Miss Iris here. They seem to have had every opportunity given to them, everything that I would think would cause a body to be thankful and prosper, but they don't do it.  Who's to say why? Stubbornness? Self pity? I'm not sure, but it's a shame, I know that. That's where plant life and human life differ: we 're allowed to choose how we respond  to every situation.  I'm really glad God doesn't ever throw up His hands and give up on us...just like I don't give up on you, Miss Iris. Well, I've been off and running again, haven't I? (looking around once more to see if anyone has been watching) One thing I do know; if God is like a Master Gardener, then I intend to be a good and faithful plant. I will blossom wherever He decides to put me in the ground. I'll bloom where I'm planted, because I don't want to miss a single thing of all He's got in mind for me! And maybe, just maybe, I'll wind up like a Miss Lily; strong and proud, but flexible enough to bend down and encourage others in their growth along the way.   Well, our time her together has flown by, as always. (Stands and gathers her tools) Bye now, Miss Lily, Miss Rosie, Miss Iris and you  Little Ones, I'll see you all tomorrow.


Copyright Peggy Barnell, all rights reserved. This script may be performed free of charge provided no charge is made for admission. In return, the author would appreciate being notified of any performances. She may be contacted through her website, www.peggybarnell.com