O God, the gardener, in straw hat and worn white gloves you set to work; digging, weeding, and watering.
How joyful you are in your work.
You do not force the growth.
You breathe upon the soil, and by an unseen grace the garden grows.
We kneel beside you, seeking our work in yours.
Bid us dig into our relationships, loving with healing love, Iiving with healing Intent.
Bid us weed our thoughts, pulling out those of little value.
Spacing and pruning the gems of wisdom, bid us water our hopes, pressing for a crop beyond our sight.
Forgive us our laziness and guilt, and grant us grace for growing.
O God the gardener, grow in us, that we might labour till the crops be ripe and whole.      Amen

Rothwell Bible Garden

The Holy Land has always been mainly desert and arid land, with the only fertile plains around Galilee. Yet on reading the Bible from Genesis to the Gospels there are many references to plants, fruits, gardens and agriculture.

In the spring of 1997 the children in the Rothwell Sunday Club expanded their annual garden planting and started the Rothwell Bible Garden. On the May long weekend Sunday during the service the children go outside and plant more plants that refer to one of the Scripture references. Always a fun event.

In certain instances where plants of the exact genus are either not available or would not survive, available species or cultivars of the same genus are used. As well, some plants and readings such as Forget Me Not, Jacob's Ladder and the Gentle Shepherd lily have been added because of their reference to a Bible story or were part of a Sunday worship service. The identification of plants of the Bible is a difficult task and one on which authorities occasionally disagree. In creating the gardens, our primary references were Plants of the Bible by Harold N. and Alma L. Moldenke; and the Warsaw Bible Garden website.


Plants in Garden 

Adam as Eden's gardener - Genesis 2:15 "Then the Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and guard it."

Adam's Needle (Yucca) - Genesis --The story of Adam and Eve

Anemone (the Palestine anemony) - Esther 11: 3 -- "Who was a Jew, and dwelt in the city of Susa..."

Artemesia - Jeremiah 23: 15 "Behold I will feed them with wormweed"

Becoming a well-watered garden - Isaiah 58:11 "I will keep you strong and well. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water that never goes dry."

Blossoming staff - Numbers 17:8 "The next day,Moses saw the Aaron's stick had budded, blossomed and produced ripe almonds!"

Burning Bush - Ezekiel 22:20-22, Job 15:30 Also reference to the story of the Burning Bush.

Cedars - Numbers 24:6 "... as cedar trees beside the waters..."

Cedars and fir - Song 1: 17- "The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir"

Flowers - Luke 12:27 "Not even King Solomon with all his wealth had clothes as beautiful as one of these flowers."

Flowering Dogwood - To have been the tree of which the cross on Calvary was made. The legend is that the flowering-dogwood in those days was as large and strong a tree as the oak and for this reason its wood was used to make the cross. ÒTo be thus used for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the tree, and Jesus, nailed upon it, sensed this and in His gently pity for all sorrow, said to it: ÔBecause of your regret and pity for my suffering, I make you this promise: never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used for a cross. henceforth it shall be slender, bent and twisted, and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross. And in the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red, and in the center of the flower will be crown of thorns, and all who see it will remember; and this three shall not be mutilated or destroyed, but cherished and protected as a reminder of my agony upon the cross.Ó

Forget Me Not - A small plant that reminds us that God will never forget us.

Garden - Song of Songs 4 & 5 "there the plants flourish...."

Garden Slugs (Hopefully none!) - Psalm 58:8 "May they be like snails that dissolve into slime"

Gardens to be planted - Jeremiah 29:5 "Plant gardens and eat what you grow in them..."

Gasplant - Exodus 3: 2-4 "a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush"

Gentle Shepherd - Day Lily - Isaiah 40: 11 "He will take care of his flock like a shepherd"."

Globe Thistle - Job 31: 40 "Let thistle grow instead of wheat"

God's Garden - Genesis 2:8 "And then God planted a garden in Eden, in the East, and there he put the man he had formed."

Gourd - Jonah 4: 6-7 "And the Lord God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah.

Grape Vine - John 15: 1-6 "I am the true vine and my father is the husband man."

Grass - Genesis 1: 11-13 "And God said - Let the earth bring forth grass."

Gypsophilia - Isaiah 17:13 "and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind."

Heath - Jeremiah 17:6 "For he shall be like the heath in the desert ..."

Heath - Jeremiah 48:6 "Flee, save your life, be like the heath in the wilderness..."

Helleborus niger (Christmas Rose) - A little shepherdness, seeing the Wise Men kneeling before the manger and offering their precious gifts to the infant Jesus, wept bitterly because she had no gift to offer. and lo, where every tear fell to the ground there blossomed up a white flower with a crown of gold. Such a flower had never bloomed before. It was the christmas-rose.

Heuchera 'Ring of Fire' Story of Pentecost - "Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person." - Acts 2:3

Jacob's Coat - A plant with a variety of colours as was JacobÕs coat of many colours

Jacob's Ladder - Reference to the song we sing - "We are Climbing JacobÕs Ladder"

Ivy - II Maccabees 6:7 - "compelled to go in procession to Bacchus carrying ivy."

Jesus mistaken as gardener - John 20:15 Mary Magdalen "If you took him away, sir, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him."

Joyful blossoms - Isaiah 35:1 "The desert will rejoice, and flowers will bloom in the wastelands."

Lamb's Ear - Mark 14:12 "On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the day the lambs for the Passover meal were killed..."

Lilies - Ecclesiasticus39: 14- "... And flourish like a lily..."

Lilies of the Valley - Luke 12:27-28 "Consider the lilies how they grow: "

Lilium (flax) - Matthew 27:59 "And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a linen cloth ..."

Mallow - Job 30:4 "Who cut up mallow by the bushes..." Nuts - Song 6: 11- "I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley ..."

Rose of Sharon - Song of Solomon 2: 1-2 "I am the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valley..."

Roses - Wisdom of Solomon 2:8 "Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds, before they be withered."

Roses - II Esdras 2: 19- "and seven mighty mountains, whereupon there grew roses and lilies, whereby I will fill thy children with joy."

Ruta - Luke 11:42 "But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs..."

Salvia judaica, the Judean sage - It is supposed that the stiffly branched inflorescence of this plant served as model for the seven-branched candlestick of the Temple.

Thyme - Song 4:10, 5 "aromatical spices"

Tulip - Ecclesiasticus "And as the flower of roses in the spring of the year, as lilies by the rivers of waters, and as the branches of the frankincense-tree in the time of summer."

O God, the gardener, in straw hat and worn white gloves you set to work; digging, weeding, and watering.

How joyful you are in your work.

You do not force the growth.

You breathe upon the soil, and by an unseen grace the garden grows.

We kneel beside you, seeking our work in yours.

Bid us dig into our relationships, loving with healing love, Iiving with healing Intent.

Bid us weed our thoughts, pulling out those of little value.

Spacing and pruning the gems of wisdom, bid us water our hopes, pressing for a crop beyond our sight.

Forgive us our laziness and guilt, and grant us grace for growing.

O God the gardener, grow in us, that we might labour till the crops be ripe and whole. Amen

The Holy Land has always been mainly desert and arid land, with the only fertile plains around Galilee. Yet on reading the Bible from Genesis to the Gospels there are many references to plants, fruits, gardens and agriculture.

In the spring of 1997 the children in the Rothwell Sunday Club expanded their annual garden planting and started the Rothwell Bible Garden. Each Sunday during the May long weekend Sunday the children plant more plants that refer to one of the Scripture References.

In certain instances where plants of the exact genus are either not available or would not survive, available species or cultivars of the same genus are used. As well, some plants and readings such as Forget Me Not, Jacob's Ladder and the Gentle Shepherd lily have been added because of their reference to a Bible story or were part of a Sunday worship service. The identification of plants of the Bible is a difficult task and one on which authorities occasionally disagree. In creating the gardens, our primary references were Plants of the Bible by Harold N. and Alma L. Moldenke; and the Warsaw Bible Garden website.

Plants in Garden:

Adam as Eden's gardener - Genesis 2:15 "Then the Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and guard it."

Adam's Needle (Yucca) - Genesis --The story of Adam and Eve

Anemone (the Palestine anemony) - Esther 11: 3 -- "Who was a Jew, and dwelt in the city of Susa..."

Artemesia - Jeremiah 23: 15 "Behold I will feed them with wormweed"

Becoming a well-watered garden - Isaiah 58:11 "I will keep you strong and well. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water that never goes dry."

Blossoming staff - Numbers 17:8 "The next day,Moses saw the Aaron's stick had budded, blossomed and produced ripe almonds!"

Burning Bush - Ezekiel 22:20-22, Job 15:30 Also reference to the story of the Burning Bush.

Cedars - Numbers 24:6 "... as cedar trees beside the waters..."

Cedars and fir - Song 1: 17- "The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir"

Flowers - Luke 12:27 "Not even King Solomon with all his wealth had clothes as beautiful as one of these flowers."

Flowering Dogwood - To have been the tree of which the cross on Calvary was made. The legend is that the flowering-dogwood in those days was as large and strong a tree as the oak and for this reason its wood was used to make the cross. ÒTo be thus used for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the tree, and Jesus, nailed upon it, sensed this and in His gently pity for all sorrow, said to it: ÔBecause of your regret and pity for my suffering, I make you this promise: never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used for a cross. henceforth it shall be slender, bent and twisted, and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross. And in the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red, and in the center of the flower will be crown of thorns, and all who see it will remember; and this three shall not be mutilated or destroyed, but cherished and protected as a reminder of my agony upon the cross.Ó

Forget Me Not - A small plant that reminds us that God will never forget us.

Garden - Song of Songs 4 & 5 "there the plants flourish...."

Garden Slugs (Hopefully none!) - Psalm 58:8 "May they be like snails that dissolve into slime"

Gardens to be planted - Jeremiah 29:5 "Plant gardens and eat what you grow in them..."

Gasplant - Exodus 3: 2-4 "a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush"

Gentle Shepherd - Day Lily - Isaiah 40: 11 "He will take care of his flock like a shepherd"."

Globe Thistle - Job 31: 40 "Let thistle grow instead of wheat"

God's Garden - Genesis 2:8 "And then God planted a garden in Eden, in the East, and there he put the man he had formed."

Gourd - Jonah 4: 6-7 "And the Lord God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah.

Grape Vine - John 15: 1-6 "I am the true vine and my father is the husband man."

Grass - Genesis 1: 11-13 "And God said - Let the earth bring forth grass."

Gypsophilia - Isaiah 17:13 "and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind."

Heath - Jeremiah 17:6 "For he shall be like the heath in the desert ..."

Heath - Jeremiah 48:6 "Flee, save your life, be like the heath in the wilderness..."

Helleborus niger (Christmas Rose) - A little shepherdness, seeing the Wise Men kneeling before the manger and offering their precious gifts to the infant Jesus, wept bitterly because she had no gift to offer. and lo, where every tear fell to the ground there blossomed up a white flower with a crown of gold. Such a flower had never bloomed before. It was the christmas-rose.

Heuchera 'Ring of Fire' Story of Pentecost - "Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person." - Acts 2:3

Jacob's Coat - A plant with a variety of colours as was JacobÕs coat of many colours

Jacob's Ladder - Reference to the song we sing - "We are Climbing JacobÕs Ladder"

Ivy - II Maccabees 6:7 - "compelled to go in procession to Bacchus carrying ivy."

Jesus mistaken as gardener - John 20:15 Mary Magdalen "If you took him away, sir, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him."

Joyful blossoms - Isaiah 35:1 "The desert will rejoice, and flowers will bloom in the wastelands."

Lamb's Ear - Mark 14:12 "On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the day the lambs for the Passover meal were killed..."

Lilies - Ecclesiasticus39: 14- "... And flourish like a lily..."

Lilies of the Valley - Luke 12:27-28 "Consider the lilies how they grow: "

Lilium (flax) - Matthew 27:59 "And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a linen cloth ..."

Mallow - Job 30:4 "Who cut up mallow by the bushes..." Nuts - Song 6: 11- "I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley ..."

Rose of Sharon - Song of Solomon 2: 1-2 "I am the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valley..."

Roses - Wisdom of Solomon 2:8 "Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds, before they be withered."

Roses - II Esdras 2: 19- "and seven mighty mountains, whereupon there grew roses and lilies, whereby I will fill thy children with joy."

Ruta - Luke 11:42 "But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs..."

Salvia judaica, the Judean sage - It is supposed that the stiffly branched inflorescence of this plant served as model for the seven-branched candlestick of the Temple.

Thyme - Song 4:10, 5 "aromatical spices"

Tulip - Ecclesiasticus "And as the flower of roses in the spring of the year, as lilies by the rivers of waters, and as the branches of the frankincense-tree in the time of summer."