St. Peter's Episcopal
A congregation that meets to worship God:
                               Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
     
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The Memorial Gardens

When St. Peter's opened in May of 2008, the church sat in a large field, recently cleared of most trees and sparsely planted in grass.  A Garden Committee was quickly formed and a design for the plantings around the church began.  There are now several gardens around the church.
              

The foundation of the church has been softened by the addition of red-twigged dogwood, false cypress, rhododendrons, and hydrangeas.  Under the east window of the church a semi-circular cottage garden has been started with roses, bee balm, columbine, salvia, and other garden favorites.  Two crab apples were added in 2009.  Additional shrubbery, including chokecherries, nine-bark, lilacs, sand cherries, and blueberries, help to give texture and color to other areas around the church.  Tubs of summer annuals sit on the front porch.  At Christmas time, the pillars of St. Peter's are decked in evergreens and wreaths hang from the front windows.

The generous donation of a three foot high granite Celtic cross in 2008 provided the centerpiece of the prayer garden.  The cross is elevated on a granite platform formed of foundation stones from the farmhouse that used to occupy the land where the church now stands.   Rustic granite benches provide a quiet place to enjoy the plantings around the cross and allow for a space that gives praise to God for the loveliness of Creation.  Located at the southeast corner of the church, the prayer garden can be reached by a wood chip pathway.  Although the shrubbery is still new, as the garden matures the shrubs will provide privacy for those who wish to sit in the garden undisturbed.  On Christmas Eve, the area around the cross features luminaria, mirroring the lights placed along the pathway to the church door.

The Memorial Garden is actually three spaces.  To the east of the prayer garden, abutting the retention pond, is St. Brigid's garden, where daffodils, iris, and daylilies soften the outlines of the pond (which, despite its name, is usually dry).  Across a rustic granite bridge and up a pathway are St. Francis's  and St. Fiacre's gardens.  St. Francis, to the west of the area, is marked by a small statue of the saint and some plantings.  St. Fiacre's garden, on the east side where ashes of the deceased have been interred, features another rustic bench, nestled beneath  tall trees.  The three saints were selected for their intimate relationship with the physical world of Creation.

The gardens of St. Peter's are a labor of love.  Several times a year there are work parties where volunteers plant, weed, spread mulch, and clean up the church grounds.  Members of the parish have generously donated plants from their gardens or provided nursery stock to help the gardens take shape.  Despite rocky New England soil and tenacious weeds, the people of St. Peter's have created gardens that draw the eye and the heart.  Together, the gardens of St. Peter's church help to remind us all of the exquisite gift of the physical world that God has provided for us.  Time spent quietly contemplating the smells, the colors, the textures, and sounds of creation help parish members and visitors reconnect with God's world.

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Connecting members of the church
Connecting the church
to the community
Connecting the past
to the future
 
 

 

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