The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


A bit of heaven

Ida Piccin's garden began simply enough, with a few Shasta daisies planted in a narrow strip behind her home in Owl Creek, Pa. That was 15 years ago.

Today the garden, which blooms from early spring to late fall, surrounds her property, front and back. Her patch of nature has become popular with neighbors, both human and other. Once a black bear sauntered in from the mountains for a visit, and deer constantly invade the yard, recently devouring a row of hostas.

Piccin takes those setbacks in stride and continues working on what she considers a beautiful reflection of God's wonders.

"It's God's earth and creation," says Piccin, a member of Zion Lutheran Church, Tamaqua, Pa. "I'm just a part of that creation. It's hard to explain, but when I'm working with God in my garden, I feel happy, contented. I feel better."

Health problems prevent Piccin from working as much as she would like on her garden. In the summer, she is out in the soil at 6:30 a.m. and stays until the heat or humidity affect her breathing.

"This is sort of therapy for me," she says. "It's so beautiful to sit out here and relax, watching the butterflies and hummingbirds drawn to the Canterbury bells."

Roses are her latest addition, but her favorite flowers in the garden are the lilies.

"My sister-in-law said the area surrounding the old tree stump is like a heaven.’ There's so much bad in the world, but this is something I can do to make the world a little more beautiful and peaceful," she says.


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February issue


Embracing diversity