The Garden of Eden
When God became the first gardener after creating the earth and heavens he noted that ‘no shrub of the field had yet grown on the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, he had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground.’
The Lord God planted an orchard in the east, in Eden and made all kinds of trees sprout from the soil, every tree that was desirable to look at and good for food. The tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil were in the middle of the orchard. So God commanded the man, ‘You may freely eat fruit from every tree of the orchard but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.’
‘In the beginning’ of your gardening career you can access a large body of knowledge via media or if you are fortunate from experienced gardeners. All the experience will acknowledge the effect of the ‘tree of life’ or more prosaically the eventual death of trees and plants – reading Genesis may explain why. We know even long lived plants such as Ginko, Bristle Pines and Wollomia have a finite life although they will outlast generations of gardeners yet to come.
What can we Learn from The Garden of Eden
- Gardens are a long term proposition. It possible that in the hands of a well meaning gardener they can lead to the Elysian Fields noted in ancient Greece.
- God noticed there was ‘no rain’ and no cultivation of the ground so there are the initial couple of key jobs for any gardener.
- With the concept of the ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ being in the middle of the orchard you may think the evil part included rot and pestilence. So a third task for gardeners is to maintain a clean healthy utopian garden.
- Adam needed help in the garden or was Eve the primary gardener as it is in my Arcadia.
- The garden of Eden should have ‘dominion over the fish of the sea (or garden pond?) and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth’. A manifesto for an environmentally friendly approach to gardening.
- The original biblical garden was planted in the east of Eden but there are few limits to where a modern garden can be situated nor what you can try to grow.