Monday, March 23, 2015

Book Review: A Catholic Gardener's Spiritual Almanac

A Catholic Gardener's Spiritual Almanac: Cultivating Your Faith Throughout the Year

by Margaret Rose Realy
Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 2015

A Catholic Gardener's Spiritual Almanac by Margaret Rose Realy is a "book designed to take your desire to be near god and find a way to make him more apparent through your gardens. We can bring elements of our faith into outdoor spaces to help us focus on prayer, see more clearly relevant Bible passages about nature and appreciate our Catholic heritage on a deeper level." Designed for an experienced gardener, it offers both spiritual and practical information on gardening.

Realy offers a topic for each month: January, seeding; February, light; March, pruning; April, preparing the soil; May, beginning to flower; June, transformation and new life; July, storms; August, fruitfulness; September, harvesting; October, preparing for winter; November, dormancy and rest; and December, discerning what is of value. Each month includes "a garden theme focused on the Church's monthly dedication; liturgical events or topics during the month, Bible stories or verses related to the theme; stories of saints . . . including gardening-related saints; practical gardening tips . . . and faith-filled gardening activities." Realy includes some innovative ideas for creating themed gardens, including ones based on the Rosary, Stations of the Cross, and a Christmas garden.

A Catholic Gardener's Spiritual Almanac would be a lovely addition to any Catholic gardener's library. Even as a non-gardener, I found the symbolism and saint stories to be very interesting.

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