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.
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.
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.