A Psalm 23-inspired garden is being created this autumn around St Nicholas’ Church in Wallasey, Merseyside.
The inspiration came when churchgoer Elizabeth Brandwood visited the RHS Chelsea Flower Show last year and saw Sarah Eberle’s Psalm 23 Garden.
‘I knew we couldn’t replicate it, but we could do something,’ she said. Elizabeth hopes this will be true for the ‘huge footfall’ of people passing the church every day.
‘I always see people I don’t know and that’s something we can develop with this garden,’ she said.
‘I think the hardest thing for people who aren’t regular churchgoers is the first step. If we can provide a way in which they can access it easily, and feel the calm in this place, that’s so important. I’m hoping that the garden will have an emotional effect on people and give them a place to sit and think.’
Some £3,000 has been raised through holding Lent lunches, a concert staged by children from Dorset schools, and local donations. The schools were performing in the local area, and staged a concert at St Nicholas’ Church, donating the proceeds to the garden.
That will go towards creating a wildflower garden, planting native hedging around the churchyard, and installing more benches for people to sit and enjoy the garden.
Twenty people from the congregation are taking part in the gardening days. They’ll be joined by members of the Wallasey Tree Planting Group and a local walking group. ‘The interest in the garden is far greater than I expected,’ said Elizabeth.
One of those who’s got involved is Sally Stanford. Sally’s twin brother, Mike, died earlier this year. Psalm 23 was important to both of them.
‘The garden will provide a quiet space for prayer and reflection with a seat to chat to Mike,’ she said. ‘Being able to immerse yourself in the garden and touch, smell and see Psalm 23 brought to life will be beautiful.’
It’s a year since the Psalm 23 Garden scooped awards at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. But it lives on and is bringing its own sense of calm and restoration to a very special place: Winchester Hospice. Read more