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.

The redevelopment of the south garden is in progress. Robert Cordy, Organic Horticulturalist, who has worked with St. Gabriel’s for the last two years, is now on site taking measurements and plotting the layout of what will be a micro-forest with herbaceous perennials and flowers. Its off-set swale layout will encourage retention of moisture and efficient drainage from the site and its mulched pathways will entice meanderings.

This spring, St. Gabriel’s established a community garden on the small patio, south of the window in the Gathering Space. The harvest from the garden will support the Good Shepherd Ministries, who have requested that our garden initially provide them with salad vegetables.


The spring and summer schedule for workshop will be announced here shortly.

Meetings, Events and Announcements

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

Spring Planting

Please take a moment to visit St. Gabe’s new community garden on the small patio south of the window in the Gathering Space. The produce from the garden will benefit the Good Shepherd Ministries. If you would like to help with watering and weeding, please contact the parish office at 416-221-8866.

On June 9th, the Children’s Liturgy group will tour the community garden to see the progress of their seedlings and taste some of the produce.

The Garden Ministry welcomes two student volunteers from St. Joseph Morrow Park High School who will be helping in the garden.

South Garden Tour

On June 23rd, Paul Hayden, owner of Grow Wild Native Plant Nurseries, will provide a tour of the new south garden, identifying each plant, its growing information, cultural uses, and other characteristics.

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!