Saturday, February 10, 2007

Weeding and Feeding

One of the joys of belonging to St Mark's is that the church building and its surrounding gardens look so loved. It's in a prominent position, at a busy roundabout, and the message it sends, to the people who drive past every day, is that here is a place people really care about.

And the reason they care about it because their Christian faith is important to them.

The hedges and ornamental beds are always bright with colour, and the bank of agapanthus, planted in memory of a very loved past rector who was fond of preaching on "agape" (Greek for "selfless love"), is just spectacular with splashes of purple-blue in December.

So well tended is the garden that you'd think that the planting, clipping, weeding and cultivating was done by a garden service - but no. Every Friday morning a small band of around six volunteers from our congregation cheerfully turns up do whatever is needed, undeterred by heat, wind, drizzling rain, or cold. Di, in the photo above, is the "Head Gardener".

But the most wonderful thing for us is that once a month they come along here to the rectory and help us to keep the garden ship-shape. We all work together, and for 2 hours the garden is weeded, pruned, landscaped and whipped back into shape. It's positively unbelievable what is achieved in such a short time. I call them the "garden fairies" (though some of them might protest loudly at this!)

Today they came to us for the first time this year, and we really needed the reinforcements!While the men pruned the dead branches from a tree that had fallen victim to the dry conditions, Moo tidied up the mondo grass border, the others weeded and clipped and raked, Boak got covered in "cobblers pegs" clearing the undergrowth from a forgotten area down the side of the house, and I tackled the horrid creeper that is threatening to cascade down from the wall into our topiaried lillypillies.

Of course, after all that expenditure of energy, a healthy morning tea is called for!

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