updated 11/01/2011 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 11/09/2011 AT 12:00 PM ET
Between managing a household with three daughters and working on her first album of new music since 2005, Faith Hill rarely slows down, but lately she has found time to smell the flowers – quite literally.
“I have a rose garden that I’ve wanted for years,” says Hill, 44, in the new PEOPLE Country cover story. “It’s been a source of therapy and a moment of quietness in the middle of chaos. It reminds me how much gardening and sharing the fruits of your labor was part of my childhood.”
Over the summer, Hill would take her roses to the studio as she put the finishing touches on her album, due out early next year. The blooms offered a boost amid a lengthy and sometimes painful process of crafting an album that “truly represented where I am in life,” says the singer, who will perform her first new single, “Come Home,” at the CMA Awards on Wednesday.
Hill and 25 other country stars reflect on what’s most important to them in the magazine’s annual “I Count My Blessings” issue. And for Hill, chief among those blessings is husband Tim McGraw. “Tim inspires me every day in many, many ways,” she says. “I draw inspiration from his assertiveness and from watching him being a father and a husband.”
For more on Hill and country stars like Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE Country. And for a free playlist of holiday country songs on iTunes, go to People.com/free