This plaque was given to me by my mother-in-law a while back. It has been in one corner of my garden ever since. What I didn't know is that the verse written on it is adapted from an old poem by Dorothy Frances Gurney.
As I looked at this beautiful poem, it does not talk about the gardens that we grow in our backyards at all but rather the garden that God intended and designed for mankind. The garden described in the first stanza refers to the Garden of Eden where God placed Adam. It was a peaceful place very close to heaven. Adam and Eve allowed themselves to be defiled by sin - God's garden is off limits to sinful man. But that was not the end of it. God provided a way for mankind to be forgiven so that they could go back to His Garden. The garden in the last stanza speaks of Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane before he was crucified - the crucifixion that opens the gates for us, Adam's children, to enter the Garden once more.
Read the poem for yourself and see what you can get out of it.
THE Lord God planted a garden
In the first white days of the world,
And He set there an angel warden
In a garment of light enfurled.
So near to the peace of Heaven,
That the hawk might nest with the wren,
For there in the cool of the even
God walked with the first of men.
And I dream that these garden-closes
With their shade and their sun-flecked sod
And their lilies and bowers of roses,
Were laid by the hand of God.
The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,--
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
For He broke it for us in a garden
Under the olive-trees
Where the angel of strength was the warden
And the soul of the world found ease.
~Dorothy Frances Gurney ~