Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Winter Walk-off 2014

I've been waiting for a pleasant day to take my Winter Walk-off for Les of A Tidewater Gardener. I almost waited too long but today is the day...and it was a mild day so I enjoyed it. I'm taking a walk around the gardens at my church, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hampton, VA.  Now that I'm retired I spend 10-15 hours a week working in it along with other volunteers. Lets start with the street landscape around the church sign.

Next up is Mary's Garden. The bed was created in 2010 by the Boy Scouts and Mary was added two years ago. I am pleasantly surprised by the number of people that spend a quiet moment in this garden. 
The ladies have selected quotes that have been placed throughout the gardens.
A landscaped area near the parking lot.
The cactus is still in its winter rest. The commercial area that abuts the church can be seen in this view.
The miniature roses near the administrative offices thrive in this warm spot. Time to cut them back too.
A parishioner has a landscape design/installation company and is the brains behind the landscaping.
This is the entrance view.
The Crepe Myrtle's on the left side of the entry walk are single trunk, 25 year old Natchez.
This is the landscape on the right side of the entry walk.
My eye seems to always focus on this rock…not sure why.
A view along the side of the sanctuary.
This is an access lane to the back gardens.
This is the cross garden. A parishioner made the cross on the wall.
This bed is mostly perennials that can be used for cut flower arrangements.
Zinnias, Gladiolas, Queen Ann Lace, and Sun flowers are grown in these raised beds for cut flowers. 
Lets take a look inside the trees behind the cutting beds. It's campground for the homeless at the edge of the Peninsula Town Center shopping district. So much could be said but this is a garden blog. 
A landscape plan has been developed for this area. Anything will be an improvement.
The main cutting rose garden consists of over a hundred different hybrid tea, shrub and old garden roses. This bed is three years old. The apartments are for seniors.
A small statue of St Francis behind some tulips. About 800 tulips were planted last fall in the gardens. 
This garden quote is my favorite.
This is a view of the rose garden looking back at the church. The arbor was built last year by the explorer scouts. Climbing roses have been planted at the post---it should be beautiful in a few years.
The gardens in back are for the enjoyment of the public but also a source of cut flowers for the 10-12 arrangements that are made for weekend liturgies, funerals and other events. The goal is to have flowers from the gardens from Easter to Thanksgiving. I plan to post pictures of garden blooms and arrangements on my blog each week


  1. Gene, I really appreciate your effort. You may call me pedestrian, but even with the exotic yucca, cactus and agave, my favorites are the crapemyrtles, and funny thing is I don't usually like single trunks. This time of year while most of the trees are bare, it is easy to see the numerous homeless camps all over Hampton Roads. I know many people rather not see these places, but I think it is good for people to know how bad some of our neighbors have it, perhaps it will make them do something about it.

    1. Les, thanks for the kind words. Some time ago I read about a sculpture called "Homeless Jesus" which came to mind when I was taking pictures for this blog entry. Here is a link about this sculpture.

  2. That was a lovely Walkabout, with some food for thought. Thank you!

  3. Growing your own flowers for the church makes them more special. That's so cool.