Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. –Genesis 1:11
On the third day God created plants. Anyone who has ever spent time tilling the soil, nurturing seeds and watching them bloom recognizes there is a very spiritual side to gardening—a deep communion with God that happens when we help nature flourish.
By growing the plants mentioned in God’s Word, we help draw that connection even closer. A Bible Garden, or Biblical Garden, is a cultivated garden filled with the plants that are specifically named in the Bible. These sacred spaces can be places of prayer and deep reflection. There are more than 125 plants, herbs and trees referenced in Scripture. The slideshow below features hardy varieties that would grace any garden. Add them to your own garden to create a space to draw nearer to God and hear His word.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment… Matthew 23:23
This lovely plant is used to flavor licorice. It is delicious in salads, and the seeds are also added to cakes, breads, soups and stews.
He told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Matthew 13:31
This ancient herb is easy to grow and quickly transforms into a highly prolific plant. Black mustard is an annual weedy plant cultivated for its seeds, which are commonly used as a spice.
They put a purple robe on Him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on Him. Mark 15:17
Christ's crown of thorns is believed to have been made from this plant. An ornamental shrub with small flowers that grow in small clusters, Christ's thorn should be placed in a container as it spreads easily.
But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever. Psalm 52:8
The olive branch is often used to symbolize peace and brotherhood and is mentioned many times in the Bible: Zechariah 4:3, Deuteronomy 33:24 Job 29:6 and Job 15:33. A small evergreen tree with brilliant yellow flowers and light green foliage, it is said common olive came to the United States with the Franciscan fathers.
The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. Exodus 16:31
The leaves of this tasty herb can be used to season soups, salads and salsa. Seeds are often used as a flavoring for pickles, means and sausage. Coriander was brought to North America in the late 1600s and was one of the first spices cultivated by early settlers.
Caraway is not threshed with a sledge, nor is the wheel of a cart rolled over cumin; caraway is beaten out with a rod, and cumin with a stick. Isaiah 28:27
Cumin is also mentioned in the New Testament (Matthew 23:23). The cumin plant is a small annual that only grows to be about one foot in height. Used since ancient times, seeds excavated in India date back to the second millennium BC.
When he has leveled its surface, does he not scatter dill, sow cumin, and put in wheat in rows and barley in its proper place, and emmer as the border? Isaiah 28:25
The dill plant provides a valuable food source for butterfly larvae and will attract beautiful butterflies to your garden. This fragrant culinary herb is often added to sauces and used for pickling.
Among the bushes they cry out; Under the nettles they are gathered together. Job 30:7
The nettle is mentioned in several Bible verses: Proverbs 24:30-31, Hosea 9:6 and Zephaniah 2:9. This perennial plant is often found growing wild so select your location carefully as nettles are very hardy and can spread quickly.
Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. Luke 12:27
From the Madonna Lily to the Easter Lily, there are plenty of variations on this classic flower to bring your garden a pop of color. Because lillies are a bulb plant, it’s important to plant them in fall or early spring.
Tending a garden awakens something deep in our hearts. Perhaps that’s because the joys and trials involved in nurturing, protecting, and growing beautiful plants have so many parallels to tending the garden of our souls. Finding God in the Garden will help you celebrate the metaphors of the garden, quiet your mind, celebrate each day, and be in awe of God’s creation each day.