The garden of St. John’s Episcopal Church is an oasis of natural beauty in an urban setting. It was begun in 1983 when St. John’s purchased the lot adjacent to where the parish office
|The Garden in bloom
building once sat on the north side of the church. This purchase was made specifically for the purposes of constructing a garden and an outdoor chapel.
The Outdoor Chapel was the first project on the lot, begun in the late 1980’s. In the early 1990’s construction began on the garden area, which was designed by parishioner Walter Moorman Jr. A serpentine brick wall was among the first projects, given as a memorial to William deRosset Holt, Hannah Pickett Holt and Charles
Calvert Holt by their family. Another memorial, to Jean Ashcraft Huske, provided the wrought-iron fence, copied from the fence in front of the church.
The first plantings were the mondo grass seedlings placed on the streetside berm in July 1991. They were followed by hundreds of spring and summer bulbs and annuals, along with a perennial bed. Two natural wooden benches were added to the garden, designed to resemble church pews.
Much of the work on the garden was performed or supervised by the late Augusta Knight, who made it her ministry to St. John’s. Also instrumental in the garden’s development was parishioner Patti Hutaff.