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Logo of AdAgrA 2019: True Success

Seven Steps to Creating Beauty

Rick Westermeyer



  • January 18, 2019
    10:45 AM


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Very happy to be here with you today you know in many ways creating beauty is sort of esoteric maybe sometimes on our minds not as a central part of the simple agricultural gardening lifestyle but you know from my personal feeling I don't know why each of you are here. One question I'd like to answer we could ask you all but I'm going to guess it's because God created in you the desire for beauty and in ecclesiastics it says God makes all things beautiful in their time and that also that he is placed eternity within the heart of man and so you are created with appreciation from a God who love beauty and created beauty at the very beginning of the world and he wants to make all things beautiful not just landscapes and you know our gardens you know he wants beautiful relationships beautiful music beautiful. Homes with a full lives and so you know it's part of a life of beauty and I really think that. You know when you think of all the compelling reasons for there being a creator god you know in science which I'm heavily into you know there's all this complexities of the human body and you're reducible complexity here about that says you know we must have a creator god but I really think the presence of beauty in the world the beautiful sights that we see that have been created that evolutionary thought really. Has a really tough time you know explaining the beauty that we see us around the world and I think that's the fingerprint of God in the world and I think within your own hearts you have created you know you have that desire to create beauty that came directly from the Creator Well I would like to spend a little bit of time talking about these 7 steps towards creating beauty and I you know you'll get these 7 steps and a few of the questions that I've asked. I. Think that you know the only pictures that we have them of the Garden of Eden are our artist renditions of what they think it might have looked like and you know this is Nathan Green's viewpoint you know he's he's mixed if you're into international Florence on and so forth he's mixed South American spoonbills and African lions and a waterfall from Oregon and purpose and he's got the whole world there kind of in one picture and I don't know what it looks like but I do know that it was very beautiful and Ellen White says it was exceedingly beautiful probably beyond anything that various artists would have come up with that the Garden of Eden looks like and so you know this 1st step towards creativity is something that you don't have to work on because God has put it in your heart God created us in His image Dominion women with the desire to be creative and to reproduce and and to tend what he created in even make it more beautiful I mean he actually Ellen White says gave us the role of of building our homes from the vines of. Beautiful flower Ayn branches and and he gave us the ability to create our own beautiful space and he wanted us to do that so you know things that I share with you or not you know there are things that might reflect my sense of beauty and I But you know really when you leave this it's going to be about creating your sense of what is beautiful what God is create created in your heart and that starts at the very beginning but let me read this quote as the earth came forth from the hand of the maker it was exceedingly beautiful the surface was there 1st of Tide with mountains and hills and plains interspersed with noble rivers and lovely lakes graceful shrubs and delicate flowers greeted the eye in every turn the entire landscape out by it in beauty the decorated grounds of the proudest palace the angel the close view the scene with the light and rejoiced at the wonderful works of God in that beautiful soul that is what God created this into and you know created for us to do I mean you know in in Genesis 2 I mean this was the 1st work of man that God gave man. Most of you would not realize that. In Genesis 2 the very next profession that was mentioned in the Bible and you know people are just kind of shocked when I say this but the very next thing that could be considered a profession on earth was that God said that he caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and so there's the 1st anesthesiologists right there. And in fact in Daniel Chapter 12 where. We're Daniel talks about there's going to be a Titan that day Michael shall stand up and they'll be a time of trouble such as never was from the beginning of the earth and then he says in multitudes that sleep in the dust of the earth will be raised some to write just enough and some to everlasting chain you know to me you know as an anesthesiologist I mean we're not really about putting people to sleep I mean people think that's what it's about you know peeves are just knocking out you know. You know honestly one of my partners once said some of it just was flippant like you know just just put me to sleep you know don't worry about the fact that you know I have a 99 percent stenosis of my corner artery and I've got a carotid stenosis and I'm you know one heartbeat away from dying just put me out and he said to them you know anesthesiology is not about putting people to sleep it's about waking people up and you know that's what I live in fear of I mean much of what I do you know after 25000 times of doing this I can I can do very safely and quickly and almost you know I'm thinking about my garden while I'm doing it but I always live in the fear of waking people up and you know there at the end of the world what is God going to do wake these people up there in the dust of the earth you know dust you were dust I mean it's just an amazing picture and to me that's kind of the anesthetic triumph of age you know waking people up out of the dust of the earth. Here's here's to me an important step in creating beauty simplicity you know I really love simplicity this is like a pot off my deck I used to try to like put like 5 or 7 different kinds of plants together and try to get them all to bloom at the same time you know now I'm I'm really looking for 2 or 3 things that are Hermione it's the blend together the just simple and easy and you know this is from this summer you know off our our deck and to me just 2 or 3 things that are very simple there's my grandson help me water out of his wading pool. You know just simple things can be beautiful they don't require a lot of complex of the and. Intercut see so here are some questions this is on your hand out you know that I have one you to ask yourself and each one of these steps can can I create a sample of the beautiful landscape should I take a minimalistic approach the landscape in gardening I love that the younger generation and many of you in this room ever embrace this idea of minimalism and in living a simple life I mean I think that that is just absolutely wonderful my daughters and my son in laws are really into that and and you know it just don't make life so complicated and don't accumulate so much stuff and I am totally sympathetic to people that have lost their home like in paradise and so forth but we tried to live a really simple lifestyle and you know we we didn't get power boats we got a canoe and we didn't get downhill skis we got cross-country skis but you know over 25 years you just end up accumulating a lot of stuff even when you're trying to live a simple life and my wife and I have kind of looked at the valley below us and we said you know by Wednesday the easiest way of downsizing for just the fire to just come sweeping up this valley and you know we would just start off and we would be more minimal as I can tell you if we were starting over we'd have a smaller house and we would have less stuff and we would you know do things more simply. What will the plants that I choose require excessive upkeep I mean many of us are not able to spend we're not full time out there you know I gotta try to keep it simple in terms of what can be maintained and what can't be I think you need to ask yourself that question and my wife if she were here she would say you know come on Rick my careful not to take on more maintenance than I can reasonably can be competed in amount of time and she'd say well you never do that but I'm trying to help you and you know I think that you do need to really try to not take on more than you are able to maintain and keep appropriate. And that's a real tough thing for us that are you know have creative energies that God has put in S. and we always want to do more and more and you know we just kind of extend our self into the on what we're able to keep up. This is a farm only an hour away from here this is the front yard of a farm how do you like to be living in this farm at the foot of Mount Adams my last picture is going to be from near here and for those of you that are young or old that are looking for a place to you know find a homestead you know they're still inexpensive land out in this area and my son in law and daughter in law are actually already looking for a land out there and it's just gorgeous but I just want to show you the house this is the farmhouse I mean it's not a simple house necessarily but there are landscaping approach was very simple you know they just they took this catnip put a big. Pile of it there and some simple shrubs along the bottom and yet it's just so peaceful and so beautiful and so simple and you know reasonably little amount of upkeep there so you know that's just an example of simplicity in Harare Zimbabwe in in 899 when the colonial farmers were stablish in their foothold in that part of the world they somebody you know took these jacaranda trees and for one mile on either side of the road plan of them 60 feet apart and this is 120 years later of just one planting and you can drive down that mile and I mean if you come to Zimbabwe in September or October I mean this is an incredible experience just to drive down this and my wife one time there was there was a gardener out on the street and he was busily trying to sweep these all up off the street and she and she she said why are you why are you taking those beautiful things off the street and he looked really worried and he thought about it and he said he said Well madam I'm just trying to make room for more of them to come down. But you know that simplicity Now this is from our gardens I don't know if many of you have been there this is the Japanese guy have you been there I mean we go there often it's my daughter's favorite place she went on her honeymoon you know it's just gorgeous a lot of gardening ideas this is is this simple to you I mean is this beautiful to you to me this is beautiful now at Butchart Gardens just a few 100 feet away from this they have another waterfall I want to just show it to you and see what you think. I think it's I think it's attractive you know but I don't know what happens to you but someone say it's too much isn't it I mean the components of this are all beautiful things and yet But you're are I just kind of jumps from thing to thing and you know you don't know where to rest your eyes and you know if I had a choice of sitting between in front of one of those waterfalls which one would it be you know now but I want you to look at something see down this bottom right hand corner I have a picture of that. Is that pretty all the sudden what what what have you done there. You simplify the scene right and you know just 2 things the coleus in the main here fern and all of a sudden you've got something very peaceful and restful and simple you know and look at another section of the the wall there you know it is that piece to you I mean some of you might find that attractive I mean it is pretty and the components of it are beautiful flowers and individually they're all beautiful but when you combine them all together it's just it's just a little too much for me exactly you know where to rest your eye you just kind of jump from place to place and so for me I go you know over the years I've just tried to develop a simpler and simpler approach to landscaping and trying to create beauty in our in our spaces this is our gardens to they've they've recently they've just taken to combining like 2 different flowers together. You know that are complimentary and here's a couple examples you know just foliage is that just blend together and are simple and you know I can go and stand in front of them and just just. Drink it in very early on and I've tried to take some of these same things to my own garden where you just take 2 or 3 elements in very simply try to combine them together these are swallowtail Columbina and barberry bush golden Barbary that just they bloom it's you know they're bright at the same time and just look at it that simple scene gives us a lot of pleasure and you know they'll disappear and somewhere else in the garden. It's my life and in front of our garden our front yard going into our house and you know we've used like a catnip up for mountain and different things that just have complimentary yet very simple things I mean I've changed the yard since this picture to even make it more simple on and honestly we're trying to even simplify even more is as as we go in this and the last step which we'll get to at the end which is patience you know growing a garden and. Growing the garden of our heart you know it's really the work of a lifetime isn't that you have to you have to learn from your successes and your failures and change and just keep moving forward towards what your goal is and be willing to to move you know grasses are a beautiful this is in our are just combining like 2 or 3 different colors that are complimentary and. This is also in our front yard you know just lilies and this partial machine he will oh it doesn't take a lot of complexity but for me that's the kind of thing that. Makes me feel peaceful and beautiful if I try to simplify things and that's something that I think you should consider as you're planning for your spaces in. This is a DIA Doris. From the Himalayas actually where my daughter is. For and I'll like the backdrops of creating just simple screen of a of an evergreen. Hemlocks I think are great backdrop this is a clematis that grows on a fence in our front yard and every time this comes out this these columbines are in bloom for a few weeks or months and I just like that simple approach towards. Minimalistic landscaping and it's also we spent some time living in London. When my girls were 5th and 6th grade 8 took a course in tropical diseases there because we do a lot of mission work and. 80 percent of what you're what you see out in the. The developing world is tropical diseases you know Larry. Just for my Asus and HIV and drug resistant tuberculosis solacing so I took a 3 month course 8 hours a day just studying tropical diseases and it's been very valuable to me. In Mission work but. The British you know have been gardening for literally centuries and I have a few pictures I I didn't put it in here but you know the British have perfected the cottage garden where they just have all kinds of things that are coming up constantly and I tried to reproduce that for a number of years after we got back from there but you know it's a very high you maintenance thing and you know most of the very shy I mean a lot of them have professional gardeners that are full time out in the air and you know so that complexity comes at a price in terms of you know upkeep and that sort of thing and I think for those of us that can't be full time you know I think we need to simplify so that's what this is it to try this I wouldn't put in my yard but you know it's it's kind of cool the contrast very simple contrast of a couple colors and. The like that I mean just 2 elements just grass and alliums And you know I mean I don't think many of us would probably have that much space to to do this long border like these people did but you know even a 10 foot of those 2 things together would just be a very you know there be the time of year when that came in that you just really enjoy standing in front of that and drinking in that beauty so 3rd step is. A symmetry. I think in nature when you look at nature natural landscape things are asymmetrical and you know things are. For in for size frozen you know as agricultural lest you know I mean it we end up you know planning things and straight roads because it's more efficient for machinery and you know taking care of and sort that sort of thing but when we're trying to create beauty you know this is from Butchart Gardens also you know having curves and you know asymmetrical things I think really enhanced is the natural beauty because I think you know the best I can tell that's the way God created what the Garden of Eden would have looked like everything would be in. Rigid grows and that sort of thing I just included just because I love some pictures from Colorado where you know I grew up and you know if you look at great landscapes like this is a few miles from where I grew up this also Maroon Bells some of you know that area I go my wife up there to propose to her at this spot not far from where I grew up and you know but look at the asymmetry there I mean that's that's just something peaceful about seeing a a cemetery and you know not having when everything's a straight lines of one thing gets a little bit off then all of a sudden it looks bad you know but if you already have developed these graceful curves and so forth in your plantings then. You know nothing has to be. Lined up exactly this is up in Glacier National Park this is the Tetons or took my daughter to the top of that mountain when she was 12 years old and we. Built a great memory doing that I mean being in the out of doors and being in our gardens was just like what bonded our family together as they were growing up. So here are some of the questions this will be I think you should ask yourself what are the features that make natural landscape so appealing have a use natural period groupings of an even numbers an irregular shape so you know when you see a plant that you like you know you don't unless it's a specimen you don't buy one you don't buy 2 or 4 you buy 3 or 5 or 7 so that when you start planting them there it's really hard to put them in these little square configurations you'll get them more natural so they look more natural and whenever possible even though your farm mean sensibility say everything got to be in a straight line use curve planting beds and pathways so the eyes kind of just move easily across the landscape and just you know flow from one area of the garden to the other so Sigyn the gardens if you have a band and rock quarry like the butcher's did in a small fortune you know and 60 full time landscapers you know you can create this scene in your backyard but. You know there are things that you can see there I mean look at the the pathways there curved the the individual planting beds there are flowers there are all irregular shapes and flow from what you know one to the other I mean there's there's a certain purposeful randomness in the way they design that I think it's very appealing and. This is also from butcher but you know see the curve. Planter's I mean when she like to sit down at every morning and and read and have your devotions or something like that and you know you may be able to create this kind of space but you can create a small space in your house or a homestead that you know it's peaceful and brings you closer to the creator this is a little waterfall that we created in our backyard and our intent was to make it look like a Northwest Pacific mountain stream so you know you look natural. We actually. The quarry that we got the stone from. Put out a. Competition of people that were using the rocks and so we entered into this and we actually got $2000.00 prize for this waterfall which covered all the expense of putting it in which was an unexpected blessing. And just this last week I decided because I had never put in the winter flowering these are how a Morris. Flower here I mean this this is these are in bloom here in Portland right now these white flower so I put those then in again about 55 of them and you know put them in an all or irregular shape and I don't know what it will look like next year but I think it will look very natural and that's the what our intent is when we approach the. 4th Step is creating harmony in your garden and I just love this picture this is a picture that I got off the internet and I you know I just think look at the harmony between those shades of blue and the green and you know I mean. I could spend a lot of time sitting in front of that garden and soaking that in couldn't you. So here are some questions that we want to ask about harmony. How do I create a beautiful harmony between different elements of the landscape is there unity of theme in a sense of balance are the colors and textures of my plants complimentary. Or does the theme of my garden blend with regional floor and climate we get a lot of people moving up here Oregon from California and one of the one of the ways you can tell is that some of them plant palm trees in their front yard and you always know they're from California and. I want to be kind but if they just don't look well here in the Pacific Northwest you know to see if I in fact I took a picture in my life in Iraq when I didn't put it in but you know it was a picture of a guy he had a lace leaf maple on one side of that his walkway and he had a palm tree on the other side and it just really was sad and I took a picture of it he came out and he was really indignant you know like why why are they taking pictures and I just said you know I just joined looking at the landscapes and things like that. But you know things that and people even come up here and try to grow yaka in the Pacific Northwest you know on the yards and cactus and you know it needs to be think you know if I lived in the South you know I mean look at that which I did for a while I mean that dog would in the. Red in the in the mountain laurels I mean there's ways of incorporating those regionally you know appropriate things that you just blend into the surround the savior out and the you know if I lived in California the desert things you know I would want to try to grow lace leave me down there and fight with the heat all summer and have them you know so choose regionally. Appropriate plants and then think about plants that will feed and attract birds and butterflies and wildlife I mean that adds a lot to your home and you know we have swallowtail butterflies all summer fluttering around our place and we have plantings there you know currents that we plant for the birds and we have tons of birds around our house and bird baths and so forth so you know those are things that also create a sense of beauty and harmony. This is our up our Oregon conference flagship church for a large church here in Oregon that Ann and I attend and it happens to be contiguous with the. Hospital grounds up here and. You know I see Want To my fellow elder had elders from Oregon and we moved here about 7 years ago and you know in churches you know there's so much drama that goes on in churches and you know if you're an elder you you get part of that and if you read the Internet and you hear about all the stresses in our world you know it's just kind of sad but you know I live by the you know what Ellen White says that you know feeble and defective as it might be the church is the one thing that God has put his divine credentials on and you know I believe God's Church is going to be triumphant and I think we've got to move past you know all the little things that are so distracting and so non missional and so far so anyway when I I went to we moved to this church and I said you know. I don't want to be involved in a drama I want to do something really simple so I when the they ask me what they would like to do and I mean I thought I'd be on the landscape committee and I thought you know that's got to be the you know the nearest to God and you know the simplest thing and so when I got there I found out within a few weeks that there were 2 different warring parties on the landscape committee. That had the yearlong feud and they tried to take me aside and explain to me why this you know this side of Rome and well anyway. I didn't join either side I decided I was going to stay in the middle I didn't want to get in a war so they had decided they wanted to real and Scaife the front and sense I was the only neutral party in the landscape committee they asked if I would drop a little plan for that and some of them had been to my house and so we I remember that picture of simplicity and so we tried to do this there I mean it falls short and it takes years to develop that harmony garden but what we did is we really took simple the elements and tried to repeat them like there's 3 different groups of these were being yes and the salvia the heathen so forth and Heathers and our goal is to eventually collapse them so there's just kind of a harmonious blend of of colors that are simple and easy to take care of and the whole committee got out in the fall and we planted this all together as one big happy family and we've kept it up and you know that can actually be you know I think our churches should be beautiful places that people drive by and see beauty and see God's creative power at work and you know it can be something that you can be involved in. We've got a long ways to go before we get to get to this but you know this takes years to develop and patience but you know there's there's the goal and that's something I like to. Hold out for you that you try to create harmony in your garden and in your churches too you know if you can. Seasonality we just see how we're doing for time really running out of time we're going to cap to pick it up here you know create things that are going to be attractive spring I put a lot of the spring stuff in pots because they don't last very long and then you can kind of move them back somewhere out of the way you know when the summer stuff comes on. This is our Everybody loves That's that's our violets in our front yard and one of our girls bunnies you know they played with when they were growing up. This is just a week ago this is an Indiana that gets this red color which provides you know interest during the wintertime when things are pretty drab around here in Oregon but you know you've got to have things that create This is a garden of Northwest position Joyce chose some of you might know her she's very into naturalistic and she's an ophthalmologist but she does a lot of lifestyle teaching and she just has this peaceful little garden in her yard and I asked her if I could throw a picture of it on here. So have I consider my landscape to be functionality is I think really important you know is there is there a place for my family and guests to navigate to see for prayer meditation for eating areas play structures possibly a fire pit you know can I bring beauty into the vegetable and fruit garden. Can I. You know consider pest control pollination I'm not going to get into that but you know here's my my grandson playing on the same swing that his mother did 30 years ago and you know we incorporated that into our landscaping and you know it's been a lot of little boys because they like dirt a lot more than my little girls did and my grandson is already out in the garden with me this summer playing. And what about creating beauty in your vegetable garden you know incorporating flowers like Mr Sheehan's which you know have beautiful pest control issues but they're also tasty if you. Or have them we do a lot of solid roles in our family and this is my daughter she made this solid role it has Mr she is wrapped up in it and you know that's kind of makes beauty brings beauty interior eating you know you sit there and you kind of enjoy that and then you take a bite of this I ate this one myself and you know every bite of the search him gives that peppery flavor you know natural if you've ever Mr him so. In our spring we grow a lot of kale and you know Violet Viola's or my daughter plays that deal of violets and pansies and then look where they end up on the table my wife made this salad with you know kale and sprinkled the edible petals on top and it creates a sense of beauty and it brings practicality into your work and I just found this on the Internet you know talk about simplicity I mean I've always grown my salad nice in the Rose or alternating colors of salad greens but you know if I was a market gardener you know I would I kind of think I would try to have a little place for my customers who would see some just the beauty of growing food you know I mean I've I just find that so beautiful and I I think I'm going to try to reproduce a little section of this in my garden this summer you know and see how it goes there prior we probably won't eat any lettuce all summer but we'll enjoy watching it in the garden so finally patiently. I'm really at the end here you know this is from England and you know it took years to create this landscape of these golden rain trees built over arches but look at the beauty the of of that the patients require So you know be patient you know wait for things to grow I mean this little heart on the Shiki right there is this one right here it was just before my daughter's wedding you know we had this at her wedding and it was you know a fun place to take pictures and so for this is out in our vegetable garden this is in Holland that Kirkegaard But you know there you have harmony a cemetery simplicity you know all mixed together and something that's very peaceful for the I this is kind of that happened in the Southwest gardens and this is an English border you know they had a straight road there but look how they made the flowers flow out over the edge so it broke it up into a symmetry and harmonious colors and you know fairly simple I mean that's an ambitious garden but incorporate some of these principles that you know I think you should think about this is the. Foundations for farming test farm in Harare Zimbabwe where they've taken 3 Christian white farmers they've taken they had their farms taken away from them this is like This is Grace this is an example of Grace right here. They decided that they were going to start a ministry teaching black them bobbins how to farm and one of these guys actually went out to his farm that was taken from him in his family for generations and taught the new owners that had just driven him out of his property how to farm his his farm and they're doing lessons here and they taught one of our workers actually spent some time with them and they're out working on our landscape our garden project there in Harare during Greenfield came with this there in October and helped us a launch things and helped explain to our students and staff some of the principles behind why we want to have a successful. Gardens and farms associated with our institutions and in a wonderful job there my wife and daughter you know since I was asked to speak here I never know who might be sitting here that might be willing to come I thought about Allan here and his sister you know we went to your presentations in Texas about irrigation and that's a big need we have there you know if you guys could carve out a few weeks to come over and help our kids that would be wonderful and there may be others of you that have interest that would like to come over and help not you know there's all kinds of needs there so this is what I want to tell you this is my wife is this little girl at the bottom in the 1960 S. in New Guinea where parents took hers missionaries and her 2 sisters her older sister Mary there was that agricultural last year and because they Her husband's a surgeon and she had raised a lot of the money for building this orphanage and we went to ag. With the hopes of you know finding some people that might want to help out and anyway there they are last Sabbath's my wife's middle sister there was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. A week ago and my wife flew out just immediately to be with her and they're praying and working things out to try to figure out how best to take care of her so. You know I'd like for you to keep her in your prayers. There spending time together the sisters you know just praying trying to find out what the best therapy in an approach for her yes but you know I know that God creates all makes all things beautiful in their time right and there's a purpose for everything and so. We want to encourage you to seek beauty in your lives in your homes in your families in your gardens and. If you ever want to come to the Pacific Northwest and you take one of the sheets here as you're leaving I have our contact information you can come stay on our guest house this is a barn that we have remodeled with a kitchen and bathroom and you get perfectly private and you can explore the northwest from there. If you come here in the summer it's it's really some of the most beautiful scenery in the world I no longer have any daughters to give away to young men but you know there's a lot of beauty up here. And here is I want to end with this this is the Houston Valley which is about an hour and a half from here some largest organic pear farm in the world is in this valley there still reasonably priced property there and sell you know Come explore the northwest and create beauty in your lives and I thank you for being with me I'd like to just maybe end with a prayer. For you as you create beauty in your lives and also I want you to consider my sister in law Mary as they're going through this time together let's pray together different have and I'm grateful that you've set eternity in our hearts that you have said that all things become beautiful in their time in the. Able to even create beauty from ashes I pray for each person that's here as they consider their life and the. Intent that you have for them their families for their careers and and wherever you may guide or lead them. I pray specially for Mary right now and I know that according to your will for your glory you can bring healing to her and I pray that we will leave her in your hands I pray Father that we would think of the prayer. That you gave us that let not the wise man glory in his wisdom that not the rich man or in this richest Let not the mighty man for in his might but let him the glory of our fighting the thing you know and understand through the greatest human this media was brought to you by audio person a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse for you would like to listen to more sermon leave it to W.W.W. dot audio Verse dot org.


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