Disused land on housing estate set to become Psalm 23-inspired garden

In the village of Canford Magna in Dorset, three churches are coming together with locals to plan one such garden, on a disused 42 square-metre area of land in a housing estate.

The area of land, in Floral Farm, already has some of the key elements in Sarah Eberle’s design: a stream, grassland and a dark tunnel of cherry laurel trees. They evoke the ‘still waters’, ‘green pastures’ and ‘valley of the shadow of death’ in Psalm 23.

‘What is there already easily fits with Psalm 23, which is very exciting,’ said Dr Karen Mounce, chair of the mission and social focus group for Canford Parish Church.

A hardworking team is cutting back nettles and brambles, and plans are afoot to develop a meadow and create basic seating from fallen tree trunks.

The team hopes that, if the local council grant permission for the garden to go ahead, the verses of Psalm 23 would be positioned on boards around the garden.

‘The focus is that it should be a Christian contemplative area,’ said Dr Mounce, ‘but that it is available to everyone from the community as well. To have all the verses up will be really helpful for people in their thoughts. It might help some people to reflect on a loving God. It’s a real witness.’