Garden Ministry

We work to foster, develop, and preserve the beauty and vitality of the unique garden spaces at St. Gabriel’s as an inspiration for the congregation and a habitat for the creatures that make their home there. By virtue of the great window in the church, the garden becomes an extension of our worship space, reminding us of God’s gift of the natural world. St. Gabriel’s church architecture and the garden are symbols of our community’s care for the Earth and invite parishioners to live a relationship with other Earth communities in which we all can thrive.

Garden Revitalization Project

In 2017, a 3-year project was begun to renew the north garden and the garden immediately south of the great window in the church. In 2017 the south garden was planted with cover crops of rye, radish and clover to nourish and break up the soil. The cover crops continued replenishing the soil in 2018.

Also, in 2018, the north garden was installed as an interactive urban orchard. The three beds were prepared using a technique called Hugelkultur, which encourages moisture retention and the natural fertilization that comes from organic decomposition. The smallest bed, planted with lavender and, coming in 2019, currants, is a sensory garden. The mid-sized bed is a blueberry patch with six varieties of blueberries that fruit sequentially throughout the summer months. The largest bed contains a variety of fruit-bearing trees and shrubs with an understory of flowering plants. Log signs identify the plantings.

We have also begun a “donation garden” at the extreme south border of the church property, which is planted with perennials from the bounty of parishioners’ gardens. We will begin to see its seasonal blooming in 2019.

Planning is underway for the development of the south garden in 2019.


Organic Gardening

Saturday, March 23 from 1:00 to 3:00 in the Gabriel Room

Sunday, March 24 from 1:45 to 4:00 in the Gathering Space

This two part workshop will teach you everything you need to know about organic vegetable gardening, from basic garden mapping skills to planning and planting your vegetable garden. Maintenance, pest management, disease control, seed saving, processing, and composting will also be discussed. Feel free to attend both days or just one, and to bring a friend.

Meetings, Events and Announcements

Garden Ministry meetings are held on the second Sunday of every month, at 1:30.

Indoor Seed-Planting Event

On March 31, the children who attend the Children’s Liturgy at the 10:30 mass, will participate in a liturgy that connects scripture and their faith with the planting of seeds for our community garden: lettuce, tomato, pepper, kale and cabbage. The seed trays will then be put in locations where they, and you, can watch the germination. Parents may want to consider having the children dress in their “gardening best!”


This spring we are excited to launch a community garden project at St. Gabriel’s. The harvest from the garden will support the Good Shepherd Ministries, who have requested that our garden initially provide them with salad vegetables. An indoor seed planting event will be held on March 31. More information will follow. If you have surplus equipment and supplies or if you would like to donate funds to the project, everything will be much appreciated.

A list of needed supplies is available below. Donations can be dropped off at the parish office.

Supplies for Indoor Planting

Peat Moss
Seedling cells and trays (32 and 72 cells)
Seeds (salad vegetables)
Grow lights, frames and racks
For home-made grow lights:
   Bench/tables to hold setup
   Shop lights (2x 4 ft.)
   Empty Plastic containers (gal.)
   Sand (for containers)
   PVC piping (4×4’ lengths)
   Chains to hang shop lights
   Extension cords for lights
Large plastic containers to hold soil mix
Large tarp (at least 16’x16’)
Buckets (2)
Watering cans (children’s)
Trowels (3-4)
Pencils (1 doz.)
Scissors (child’s pointed) (4-5)
Plastic spoons (white) (2 doz.)
Coffee stir sticks

Come and enjoy the garden! Bright sun or warm rain, cardinals singing, a bunny disappearing in the undergrowth, last year’s planting of black currants bursting into leaf! Join us!

Planting Bee

Youth Group Workshop

Workshop – Building a Worm Farm

Insect Hotel Workshop