The History of our Gardens
The Gardens at Holy Innocents Church aren’t just ordinary church gardens. They are labors of love by a number of people who care about the spiritual connections between religion and all of God’s Creation.
The first gardens were started at the original Church on Stella Street by Mary and Gene Wheeler, because Mary felt that all churches should have gardens. She was concerned that churches don’t focus enough on God’s beauty outside the church. As the gardens grew, parishioners were inspired to add more plants, so even though the lot was small, there were plantings in every available space around the church.
When Holy Innocents moved to Cherry Valley, and there was ample room for gardens, it was decided to bring as many of the plants from Stella Street as possible.
A Holy Landscaping Committee was formed to design the new gardens, which would connect the new Church with the beauty of the natural landscape of Snoqualmie Valley. The architect had placed Mt. Baker on the Altar, when designing the floor to ceiling glass window, so that the entry from the Narthex would immediately connect the beauty of the Cascades and the Valley with the inside of the church. This helped inspire the Committee to do more about connecting our gardens with God’s botanical wonders.
We put out a call for plant donation at the Masses, and soon the Holy Landscapers were digging up giant rhodies, plum trees, and other great donations from the congregation. The good hearted Church members, most of whom had never moved plants, carefully dug up the donations and transported them to the new Church holding gardens until the construction was completed. Then the Committee moved the plants and even the bulbs from the old Church, to the various garden spaces, and every plant survived from the loving care the parishioners gave them.
When the Lawns were put in, a group of Holy Mowers got fired up for keeping the grass in order, creating a great space for children to frolic.
The Holy Landscaping Committee also designed and planted a Trinity Garden to the North of the Patio. It was originally from an idea of a meditation garden, as a place of peace and tranquility. The idea is to connect God’s botanical wonders in the Valley, the grazing cattle, Snoqualmie River, and all the surrounding the hills with the Church, unifying all of Creation. The design of the garden is based on the Celtic Trinity Symbol, in which God and all of God’s Creation is interconnected. The paths represent that symbol, and most of the plantings are reflecting the Trinity by having 3 of each kind, or a multiple of 3. There are 3 benches, and 3 groups of rocks.
There is also a vegetable garden which was created to provide vegetables for our weekly Food Pantry.
The Gardens are maintained by Holy Landscaping volunteers. As the gardens began to grow, people have been inspired by the unique individual designs brought to each garden as the Landscapers found their creative inner Spiritual gifts, and added to the special beauty of Holy Innocents.