One day Diana Harrison sat amongst the tall phlox and the stonecrop in her garden. After a few minutes she found herself surrounded by hordes of honeybees. “They were too preoccupied to even notice me,” she observes. “It was an experience beyond words.”
Experiencing creation is an essential part of Diana’s faith and faith is the driving passion behind her garden. “God has made everything…and if He’s made it, it’s beautiful,” she says as she explains her relationship with wild plants. She has saved many wildflowers to grow in her garden, including jack-in-the-pulpits (Arisaema triphyllum), mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum), wild larkspur (Delphinium carolinianum) and Adam and Eve plants (Aplectrum hyemale).
She has been working for around 16 years on her acre-sized plot in Missouri, and spent the first few weeks removing the many wild blackberry bushes which had overtaken the garden. There were also Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) trees and Osage Oranges (Maclura pomifera) which needed to be removed, not least because the Osage Oranges posed some risk of clouting unsuspecting passers-by on the head with their falling fruit.
There have been many successes, including the introduction of an Old Man’s Beard Tree (Chionanthus virginicus), along with frustrations: “The biggest failure has not been with the garden, but with my limitations.
“Working some sixteen years on this yard and ten from the previous has taken its toll on my body. I wished I could have charted everytime I had gotten down on my knees, or how many rocks I lifted.