Spring for an Easter Garden

Celebrate Easter. Celebrate spring. Sometimes it seems as if there’s a tension between the two. The stores advertise cute little lambs and chicks, jelly beans and hollow chocolate rabbits. Us more spiritual types prefer to concentrate on the resurrection.

Spring and Easter do not need to compete for our attention. Budding plants, baby animals—they should all remind us of the new life possible because Jesus died and rose again. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that the renewal of life and the resurrection of Jesus happened at the same time of year. (Of course, those living in the southern hemisphere miss out on this connection.)

As an enthusiastic gardener, I was delighted when I found an article at “A Holy Experience” on how to plant an Easter garden. Take a look now; it’s all photos. With snow still likely, here in Colorado it’s way too soon to plant anything outdoors, so I plan to create this dish garden out of houseplants.

I’ll use a large container; a shallow one will dry out too quickly. I’ll pick small, slow growing plants with similar cultural requirements—the ones that come in 2-inch pots at the garden center. Small polished stones can be picked up outside or purchased at a craft store. The cross (there should really be three of them) can be constructed from two rusty nails bound together with sturdy brown thread. Add a layer of Elmer’s glue to anchor the thread.

The only item that had me scratching my head is the rock enclosing the tomb. How did they get that hole in there? I finally realized that it’s not a real rock. You can create your own tomb with papier-mâché. Wrap the strips around a balloon, pop the balloon, saw off the bottom, then cut out the tomb entrance. Spray your creation with a plastic coating to protect it from water. A nice addition would be a round, flat stone—the one that was rolled away.

The garden illustrated has votive candles, another one I found online had tiny bouquets of flowers stuck into small cups full of water. Consider adding sphagnum moss, sand or gravel, or whatever your imagination can dream up. You can get as creative as you want.

I can’t wait to get some potting soil under my fingernails. With some supervision, this would make a wonderful Easter craft project for school-aged children as well. I hope this garden becomes part of our family Easter traditions.

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