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The Part That Was Left Out

When I shared the pictures of the church flower beds and the history of the church, I left something out. You see, the distance from the sanctuary building and the soup kitchen building is about 25 feet. The part of the sanctuary building that faces the soup kitchen building is actually the front of the church and except for the cement walkway between the two buildings, there is a large area of grass and play equipment for kids.

On the other side of the church from the flower beds, people also park to come to services. Last spring, the church decided that people shouldn’t have to park on that side and walk across the uneven grass to get to the doors, so they put in a sidewalk. 

The sidewalk is two feet from the wall of the church, leaving a gap. I saw an opportunity for another flower bed and I took it. It has taken me until this year to get it shaped up and growing something. Because of the two buildings being so close together and relatively tall, that flower bed is in the shade except for about three hours in the afternoon. 

That has presented challenges because I needed plants that do well in both heavy shade and intense afternoon sunshine. This is what I came up with.

The walkway between the buildings

This is a support that holds up a partial roof over the walkway between the buildings. The picture is facing the soup kitchen. There are two of these supports so I put in a hanging bracket and put pots on both. I didn't think to take a picture of the other one, which has a geranium.

This one has a fuchsia and a begonia in one pot and a hosta.

The plants that can be seen in front of the soup kitchen building are bell flowers, almost ready to bloom, and chives in full bloom. The chives were transplanted to that spot two years ago from my garden.

Red begonia

In the flowerbed nearest to the church walkway, I planted a begonia. This one is red. Because of the light, it looks sort of pinkish, but it really is red.

One of the ferns

Next, I planted ferns. There are actually three of them, but I didn't take pictures of all three. I should have because they are all different kinds of ferns.

A pansy

I actually didn't plant this merry little fellow. It was growing there when I put in the soil and composted bark, so I was just careful not to cover it. There is another, smaller pansy just to the right and barely out of the picture.

Another begonia

This is a yellow begonia. I also planted a brilliant pink one yesterday, which was after I took the pictures, so it isn't included in this set.

Another hosta

This is another hosta, but of a different sort than the one that I planted in the hanging pot. I love how the leaves have a white margin. Both hostas will put out flowers, but they are short lived. These are leafy plants, though, and that is why I planted them.

Another fern

Shucks, I did take a picture of one of the other ferns. This one is a five-fingered fern, so named because the fronds come out like the outstretched fingers of a person's hand. This plant looks very delicate cut it is actually quite hardy.

A columbine

This is a columbine and I planted it toward the end of the building where it will get more sunshine. They tolerate shade, but they aren't really a shade plant. When it blooms, the flowers will be pink.

There is one other plant that I didn't take a picture of; a bleeding heart. It has finished blooming for the year but should come up next year.

That is the shade beds that I didn't previously show. I did get a huge compliment today, though. I was planting and weed-eating when an older gentleman stopped and got out of his pickup. He came over and said, "I don't go to church here, but I just had to stop to tell you that you've done a fantastic job of the flower beds here. I sincerely appreciate it."

Mind you, I love it when someone in the congregation compliments how the flower beds look. However, it is truly special when a total stranger who doesn't even attend our church goes out of his way to compliment the flower beds. That is exactly the reaction I was hoping for when I first started this endeavor. It draws the good kind of attention to a house of worship.

What do you think?

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Written by Rex Trulove

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    • Actually, I built a bench two years ago. It sits to the left of the front doors to the sanctuary and just to the right of the pillar that has the hanging pots I showed. I made sure that it is sturdy. It is made out of 2×4’s and is painted so it looks nice. It is also in a spot that is nearly always in the shade, so it is a place people can sit when they want to cool down.

      The bench is used quite often, particularly by people who go to the soup kitchen or the clothing bank. The building that holds the soup kitchen also houses the clothing bank. My wife volunteers her time to work at the clothing bank. (Okay, that is off topic since it has nothing to do with the flower beds. 😀 )

        • It does indeed get a lot of use. We had a couple of benches, but they weren’t very sturdy and they were uneven, so I decided to make something that was a bit more functional and that looked nicer. I may end up making another one, though I’m not sure where I will put it.

          • One of the things I remember most about the church we went to in Indiana was the garden outside the rectors windows. We had four benches they were always full!!!

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