Hopewell Butterfly Garden
The Christian faith teaches that God is infinitely creative and finds delight in all His creation. Scriptures in the Old and New Testaments point us to the world of nature for signs of God’s glory. Consequently, one dimension of our community at Hopewell is to demonstrate and encourage the beauty of living things.
The 10′ x 30′ flower bed in front of the sanctuary is filled with full-sun loving, deer resistant, perennial plants, almost all of them native to Georgia. During the summer annual flowers attractive to butterflies are added to the garden for extra color.
Perennials in the garden include: Biokovo Cranesbill, Black-eyed Susan, Blue-eyed Grass, Butterfly Bush, Clematis (Nelly Moser), Dwarf Joe Pye Weed, Garden Phlox, Georgia Aster, Golden Fleece Goldenrod, Lily, Little Bluestem, Pink Chintz Thyme, Prairie Blazing Star, Purple Coneflower, Raspberry Wine Bee Balm, Scarlet Bee Balm, Spike Gayfeather, Spiked Speedwell, Tickseed, Wood Sage, Yellow Coneflower.
R.J. Burch Elementary School Garden
Hopewell United Methodist Church has built a garden/outdoor classroom for the elementary school across the street on Jenkins Road. The garden currently includes four 30′ x 3.5′ raised beds for growing food, two blueberry bushes, and a 47′ x 3′ trellis garden dedicated to pollinator-friendly plants and herbs.
Because the perimeter of the raised beds are concrete blocks, the holes have been filled with soil and are used as mini-gardens. Each mini-garden can grow radishes, carrots, leafy greens, flowers, and a variety of other small plants. Every class in the school has a dedicated set of mini-gardens (usually 10 per classroom). The main beds are currently managed by English As Second Language (ESL) teachers and the After School Program Coordinator.
Hopewell offers technical assistance to teachers and children wanting to grow food and also provides materials linking the garden to the standard curriculum. Church members have donated over 30 garden-themed books to Burch’s Media Center, supplied a variety of gardening tools for adults and children, and donated outdoor acrylic paints and brushes to classes wanting to decorate their mini-garden areas.
On April 21, 2015 six members of the church planted the 80 azalea bushes donated by the congregation for our Easter service. The church building is now surrounded with life. Seven varieties of azaleas were planted. Twenty-eight Formosa Lavenders and George Tabors will create a wall of lavender and pale pink, eventually 10′ high, along the northwest border of the church grounds. Christina azaleas frame the butterfly garden at the front of the sanctuary. Semi-shade varieties (Red Ruffles, Pink Ruffles, Red Slippers, and Fashion azaleas) now border the east and north sides of the church. Already the azaleas have softened the hard edges of the brick walls and are adding grace to our landscape.
Hopewell Community Garden
A 20-bed raised bed garden is installed in a section of the lawn on the east side of the church building. The garden is dedicated to providing fresh, nutritious food for families in the community who want a space to grow their own vegetables. Hands-on instruction is provided for people with little or no experience with gardening.