The Garden's Peace and Tranquility
When the present sanctuary was built in the late 1990s a new challenge presented itself. The problem: How to clear several acres of Florida wild growth area and convert it to a new tropical garden. Nevertheless, the Garden Crew took on this task to open a large area which defines the footprint of what is now the existing UUCGN Memorial. This included a beautiful chalice metal sculpture embedded in a large boulder. It was created by a young sculptor friend of Harlene Richardson. The chalice overlooks a beautifully planted and maintained tropical setting where ashes of departed UUCGN members are returned to the earth.
Enjoy our newly installed natural playground where children run, laugh, and play all afternoon as their parents sip coffee and socialize on our extended patio.
During the Covid -19 lockdown, the crew labored on, and added the meditation garden with a solar-powered water feature (shishi odoshi). You will find the meditation garden behind the waterfall. Spend mornings or afternoons in quiet peace enjoying nature.
The butterfly garden is attended to by our special youth Butterfly Garden program in which children learn about butterflies, seasons, and habitats together with their YRE teachers.
During winter we have the pleasure of housing our Purple Martin snowbirds which travel from Brazil in the winter. The Purple Martin colony which is located on top of the mound, started with six pods, because of its success we added six more pods the following year.
Of most significance in our garden is the updated Memorial Wall with individual marble plaques commemorating past departed UCGN members. It is located on the south end of the Pavilion as you enter the garden path. In addition, a paved area with benches allows easy viewing of the remembrance plaques. This setting is an ideal area for quiet contemplation beneath a canopy of birdsong with occasional sounds of wing chimes.
The area in front of the fountain was cleared for a viewing and sitting area. It has been used for weddings, recommitment ceremonies, anniversary celebrations, birthday picture-taking, and the like. Betty Shepherd generously supplied the funds to construct the brick walkway to the fountain so that disabled persons and those using wheelchairs would have easy access.
A new intimate outdoor gathering area, “Gazebo Place” is being developed in 2021 next to the Meditation area. It will provide a setting for small events such as small instrument recitals, special dinners with entertainment, an outdoor R. E. classroom and other creative uses.
The Pavilion is a large, popular gathering space where we host after-church social activities, events, weddings, drum circles, classes, and many other events.
Of most significance in our garden is the updated Memorial Wall with individual marble plaques commemorating past, departed UCGN members. It is located on the south end of the Pavilion as you enter the garden path. In addition, a pavered area with benches provides for easy viewing of the plaques of remembrance. This setting is an ideal area for quiet contemplation beneath a canopy of birdsong with occasional sounds of wing chimes.
The Fred’s Place was constructed on our garden grounds to commemorate special occasions such as garden weddings.
Enjoy the Garden
Our garden is a beautiful setting for your wedding. We have a light-filled Sanctuary, open-air patio, and gorgeous garden with a gazebo to host your big day!
After Church Socials
Join us after church each Sunday for a meet-and-greet that includes coffee, mingling, fun, and free child care. Many hugs and laughs are shared. We can't wait to see you there!
As you stroll through the garden you will find the majority of the plants are bromeliads. Out of 3500 species of bromeliads, we have about 100 interesting specimens, each with its own unique eye-catching leaf patterns or annual bloom displays.
Our Butterfly Garden Youth Program is a unique experience for our kids. They learn how to nurture and care for the earth while having fun with butterflies!
Look How Far We've Come
In 1976 our charter was granted to 46 signing members (some still with us). In 1982 our congregation purchased land, and two geodesic domes were built, primarily by members. Later a dedicated group of members took on the substantial project of clearing acres of overgrown land to create what is now our majestic garden.
Come Tend the Garden With Us
Volunteer with the Gardens & Grounds Committee
WHAT MEMBERS SAY ABOUT THE GARDEN
What our garden means to us
life on the garden crew
the garden brings us joy
Bill Haubrich & David Sleeper