The Master’s Garden Special Edition with Pictorial Guide
This witty tale will teach you what it truly means to abide in Christ, the Vine–from a plant’s point of view!
Come into the fantasy world of Plantasia where plants come alive! See what happens when a spindly rose, who yearns to be more than she is, meets the Master Gardener. Listen in on the conversations she has with the Gardener, Mighty Oak, Ginni (the Obedient Plant), and Mr. Bugleweed. Learn with her as she discovers the secrets of how to abide in the Vine and experience true riches.
This Special Edition has the pictures of each plant character right in the text where they are mentioned. There is also a pictorial guide to the plant characters at the end with links to more information. A fun way to teach your kids more about gardening while they learn how to abide in Christ the Vine.
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An Allegory of Abiding in the Vine with Pictorial Guide to the World of Plantasia
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In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells us that He is the Vine and His Father is the Gardener. He explains that His followers are the branches and need to remain in the Vine and bear much fruit. Have you ever wondered what Jesus meant by that or how remaining in the Vine might look in your daily life?
Then enter into the fantasy world of Plantasia™ where plants come alive! This is a witty tale told by a grandmother to help her struggling granddaughter find true significance under God’s care.
The Master Gardener created this beautiful world where plants can think, see, hear, and speak. He longs for all to come under His loving care and be grafted onto His beloved Vine. Through this connection, plants are able to flourish and reach their full potential.
See what happens when a spindly rose, who yearns to be more than she is, meets the Master Gardener. Listen in on the conversations she has with the Gardener, Mighty Oak, Ginni (the Obedient Plant), and Mr. Bugleweed. Learn with her as she discovers the secrets of how to abide in the Vine and experience true riches.
This Special Edition of The Master’s Garden contains a pictorial guide to the plant characters in the fantasy world of Plantasia right in the text. Since all of the characters, except for the Master Gardener and His enemy, are real plants, it is helpful to know what they look like in the real world.
This guide also contains photographs, a brief description, and links to more information about each plant mentioned in the allegory. It allows the reader to discover wonderful things about the plant world while learning how to abide in Christ.
The Master’s Garden is written in a way that you don’t have to know anything about gardening to enjoy and understand Jesus’ beautiful garden metaphor. However, being able to picture what each plant looks like makes it a lot more fun! Plus, you’ll be able to grasp more of the innuendos of this witty tale.
Little Rose and Dogwood were good for each other. They helped each other to grow. Dogwood was stable and consistent. Little Rose was wildly enthusiastic, often trying to grow everywhere at once. He added calmness and security and gave her a place to blossom; she added variety and fragrance to his branches. They made a great pair. Many onlookers admired their undying love for each other. At times they looked as if they were only one plant because they were so intertwined.
After some time, though, Little Rose began to feel discontented again. There remained a longing for something more. She thought, “I’m just not totally happy. I have a comfortable environment and someone who loves me. But is this all there is? Why does it feel like something is still missing?”
Subconsciously, Little Rose began seeking to fill her emptiness. The Master Gardener, aware of her yearning roots, placed several of His plants near her.
The searching rose noticed there was something different about them. They were thriving and always at peace, even during bad weather. And they were constantly talking about the Gardener and a future Perfect Garden.
So, the curious and now less-shy rose began to talk with them. She was particularly attracted to one called Peace Rose, a beautiful—and famous—hybrid tea.
“Peace Rose, I noticed you were calm last night during that awful storm. Why weren’t you afraid? I was terrified and shaking all over.” Then remembering her prickly parent, she added, “I hope I didn’t hurt you with any of my thorns. I couldn’t help that my stems were flailing all over the place.”
“No. I’m fine,” Peace Rose said. “The Gardener protected me. I have very little damage. See?”
“Yes, I see that,” said the rose relieved. “Aren’t you the lucky one! I have quite a few branches that were tattered during the storm.”
“Luck had nothing to do with it. I belong to the Master Gardener and He protected me.”
“Well, I don’t believe the Gardener exists.”
“Why not?” asked the hybrid tea. “There’s no way I could survive, let alone have all these beautiful yellow and pink flowers without His care!”
“If you really want to know,” said Little Rose, “I looked for the Gardener when I was young. I knew I needed help, but I didn’t find Him.
“Many others, like Bishop’s Weed and Cardinal Flower, said they believed in a Gardener but it sure didn’t show up in what they said or did. It made no difference in their attitude or growth. They just gave a bunch of rules to follow—which no one did.
“My parent said she believed and relied on the Gardener. But all she did was constantly complain about her environment. She was never happy or content. Her roots were always seeking after more fertilizer because she didn’t believe she had what she needed. As a result, she produced lots of leaves and prickly stems, but very few flowers. She worried about every little cloud above, fearing it would turn into a major storm and cause her damage.
“Even if a Gardener existed, why would I want to come under His care to become just like my parent?
“No offense, Peace Rose, but I think He’s merely a figment of your imagination.”
“None taken,” replied Peace Rose, knowing from where her security came. “May I ask you something, Little Rose? Where do you think we came from then? And all this beautiful world around us?”
“It evolved, of course! Over millions of years. Everyone says so. Look, I don’t want to talk about this anymore!”
Deep down though, Little Rose wondered: if all this beauty had evolved—then why was there so much ugliness and barrenness around her? But the hardness of her stems prevented the truth from penetrating.
However, despite her unbelief, there were two things she could not deny. Plants belonging to the Master Gardener were continually praising Him, and they had an unexplainable peace even during bad times. Still, she didn’t think she needed Him. The Gardener’s plants tried to convince her how important it was to come under His care, but she wouldn’t listen. “I don’t need the Master Gardener to grow and flourish! I have Dogwood and my own strong determination. I can thrive without Him!” Nevertheless, she was still attracted to them
and was glad they were in her vicinity. “If only they would stop with all this Gardener stuff!” she thought.
Peace Rose desperately wanted Little Rose to come know the Gardener. She knew what was at stake. So she enlisted Sweet Alyssum and Prayer Plant
in asking the Gardener to help Little Rose believe. Eventually, as the rose continued to see evidence of His care, she began to doubt her own unbelief. In fact, there were times she thought she caught a glimpse of the Gardener around those praising plants. “Oh, if only it was true!” she cried inwardly. “If such a loving, caring One existed I’d like to know Him.”
Then one day, she called out, “Is there a Master Gardener out there? Are You real? If You are, please show me, come to me. I want to believe in You!”
The Master Gardener heard her cry and appeared to her in an unmistakable way. “Yes, I am real, Little Rose. I’ve been trying to reveal Myself to you for quite some time now. I placed some of my willing plants near you, so that you could hear the truth about Me, and dispel the lies you were believing. This past year I’ve been passing by in the distance, but within your line of sight. At times I was quite near you, but you didn’t see Me. Your eyes were blinded due to your stiff stems and your persistent unbelief. Often, My enemy was blocking your view.”
Then with great passion the Master Gardener continued, “I want you to be Mine, Little Rose! Will you let Me place you into My Beloved Vine? Will you come under My care and let Me be your Keeper?”
“Yes, oh yes!” she exclaimed. “I see now that You are what I have been looking for all my life!…
Pictorial Guide to the World of Plantasia
Imagine. A world containing very unusual plants that can think, see, hear, and speak—a kind of plant-animal hybrid, so to speak. This is the world of The Master’s Garden. A world called Plantasia where plants have come alive.
Except for the Gardener and His enemy, all of the characters in this allegory are plants. Since not everyone is an avid gardener like myself, I want to help you know what the plant characters look like in this fantasy world.
This guide contains pictures of all the plants mentioned in this allegory, as well as the plant pests and diseases referred to in the story. Each entry is in alphabetical order within its category, and has a brief description with internet links for further study. I’ve also included some pictures from my garden in Maryland.
This material will help your imagination and understanding of this unusual allegory. It is designed to enhance your reading enjoyment of The Master’s Garden and as you learn how to abide in Christ, the Vine.
The information here is not meant to be complete, but a stimulus to learn more about how wonderful plants are. You could also use it to teach your kids, and yourself, more about gardening and the plant world.
Learning more about plants will increase your awareness of how incredibly amazing your Designer is! Father God, the Gardener, wants you to enjoy Him and the beautiful diverse world He has made.
Primary Plant Characters
A fifteen to twenty-foot variety of climbing rose with sweetly fragrant, pink blooms. There are thornless varieties of roses, but this is not one of them.
A small native American tree with horizontal branching structure and early spring flowers that appear before the leaves
Ginnie, the Obedient Plant
Botanical name: Physostegia virginiana
Perennial in the mint family with aggressive roots; common name is obedient plant
A groundcover with purple flowers in spring.
Note: many groundcovers are good weed inhibitors.
There are many different types of oaks. The most common are White Oak, Bur Oak, Willow Oak, and Pin Oak. They can grow quite large and are long-lived.
~Vance Hunt, Elder MABC
~Andy Terryn, IPM National Missionaries in Uruguay
~~~~~I love how the author brings the reader into the garden. I can visualize talking with the plants and the Master Gardener as I traveled through the garden. The story has led me back to God’s love and compassion with new eyes and a hunger to truly know God more.