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. Robert Cordy, Organic Horticulturalist, was hired to design and install the new gardens.

The south garden was immediately planted with cover crops of rye, radish and clover to nourish and break up the soil. These cover crops continued replenishing the soil in 2018.

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, 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.

Also in 2018, a “donation garden” was begun at the extreme southern border of the church property, planted with perennials from the bounty of parishioners’ gardens.

The redevelopment of the south garden began in the spring of 2019 and will be completed in the spring of 2020. It, like the north garden, will be a micro-forest of fruit trees designed to feed both the human and the wildlife communities. Beds of indigenous, herbaceous perennials and flowers will add beauty and serenity to the view from the great window of the church. Its off-set swale layout will encourage retention of moisture and efficient drainage from the site and its mulched pathways will entice meanderings.

In the spring of 2019, St. Gabriel’s also created a community garden that supplies the Good Shepherd Ministries with fresh produce.