Helping to illuminate biblical context and background
A fascinating biblical garden located in sunny California. It flourishes as a witness of vision, cooperation and persistence. The gardern is located on the grounds of Pilgrim Congregational Church, Hemet CA.
Click on the arrow below to take a short tour of our garden.
Jerry was one of our parishioners who volunteered extensively both at the church and in the community. One of his favorite activities was caring for the garden that borders the church building, which became the inspiration for a fascinating spiritual project. Why not plant a garden containing only plants which have a reference in the Bible? It was a great chance for research and an in-depth probe into the Bible. Each plant not only has a biblical reference but also a spiritual meaning. On the advice of a friend, Jerry also consulted Master Gardener Katherine concerning the garden design and for technical assistance with botanical questions. And so the crew went to work! The photos below show the garden in various stages of installation. Even with all the hard work that has taken place, the garden is still very much a work in progress. We had at first considered installing interpretive signs near each plant, but, because of the possibility of vandalism, that idea was shelved. Instead, an attractive brochure was 0printed which gives the name and location of each plant in the garden, together with its biblical significance.
Planting Our Garden
The photos below show some of the effort that went into planting our garden. First, of course, was the removal of all the old ornamentals. Then came grading, laying down landscaping fabric, planting, and installing and testing the irrigation system. If that wasn't enough, decomposed granite was used to simulate desert conditions. Hemet is a high desert community, but we decided to use the granite anyway. Then came some rocks to further enhance the appearance. The garden was dedicated in October 2010.
Our Garden Has Grown
Several years have elapsed since our Biblical Garden was dedicated back in 2010. Much has happened during this time. For one thing, the plants have grown! What were cute little plants back in 2010 have now become larger, mature growth which requires occasional, judicious pruning. And then there are the weeds! Despite the installation of landscape fabric and decomposed granite, weeds have made their presence known. As always, pulling them is one of the less-than-glamorous jobs in the garden. And yet, despite all the changes and work, our garden continues to be a thing of beauty and inspiration for both our congregation and members of the community at large. Let's take a look!
Pictured above is a collage showing some of our garden details. The photos below are of garden on the east side of our driveway. The photo on the left shows our "water feature". Can you see the small rock in the center of the photo? It is actually a fountain, from which water flows (when the pump is turned on). To the left of the fountain is a stone bench. In the photo on the right, the plant to the right of the tree is a Sunset Rockrose, while the one to the left is a Pomegranate.
Now let's look at the front of the church (below). Some of the most spectacular growth has occurred in this area. Notice the use of rocks to further enhance the desert effect. In the foreground of the left hand photo we see Ornamental Oregano. To the right of the rock you can see a Mallow bush, with a "Dwarf" Olive seen to the left. The photo on the right was taken at the extreme west end of the garden. Shown in the photo (from left to right) are a Rock Rose, Hollyhock, and Jupiter's Beard.
Let's turn next to the east wall of the church itself. The photo below on the left shows another "Dwarf" Olive. When planted in 2010m this tree was SMALL! The photo on the right shows, from left to right, A White Rockrose and two Sageleaf Rockroses. Directly behind the Sageleaf Rockroses is a "Majestic Beauty" Olive tree. Next comes a Rockrose, the "Dwarf" Olive tree, and Jupiter's Beard.
We hope you have enjoyed seeing how much our garden has grown! The photos on this page will change from time to time to show different aspects of the garden.