BCF is blessed to have a wonderful plot of ground with no debt except the debt to care for it in praise and thankfulness to God.  With the labor of our partner Scout troop and the members of the church, we’ve been able to create areas of beauty in which to relax, sit in the shade, pray, share some time together, grow delicious and healthy food and even a functional fire pit for the few cold nights that we get here in the area.

Our plan is to create a “Walk Through The Bible” through its landscapes. The gardens will start with what is known today as a “food forest” but back then, it was the Garden of Eden. Fruit trees, lush tropicals, mist from the ground, and an almost completely edible landscape will begin the journey.

Next will be the “Wilderness Garden” to remind the visitor of the 40 years that Israel wandered through the wilderness. Sun-loving plants such as Date Palms, Grasses, Aloes, Succulents, Coconut palms will reflect on an oasis in the center of the wilderness with a fountain flowing from rock.

The “Promised Land Garden” will be a highly structured pavilion, laid out as 12 bed, each 3 feet by 7 feet. This will be a productive food garden for vegetables and greens and legumes and will have paths which will be easy to navigate.  It will be surrounded by vines and Florida native shrubs and plants to draw in beneficial insects and birds.

The “Garden of Decision” is a central prayer garden built around our signature olive tree.  This olive tree was a donation from a gentleman in Temple Terrace about 2005 which we grew in a large pot at the front of the church for years. We planted the tree in the ground and it took off in a remarkable way. This garden will have a place for prayer and many Mediterranean plants, herbs and flowers just like the “Gethsemane” garden still contains to this day.  

In 2013, we began our plans for creating a large food garden at the southwest corner of the property to grow food, create our Prayer Garden and to utilize the land with more cultivation and care.  First was preparation and for one year, many large piles of mulch sat on our new garden area while they worked their way into the soil.  In 2014, we flattened the area for cultivation and began with a small food garden.  In the autumn of 2014, we finally placed the olive tree, with a prayer of dedication by Richie, in its now and future home, which will be the center of the prayer garden.  We also created a new church logo design that featured the tree.  We hope to inspire every visitor to enjoy our garden, as it grows more beautiful and productive each season, having been built with the same purpose described above by Gertrude Jekyll.

from Gertrude Jekyll: The Gardener’s Essential

And a garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all, it teaches entire trust “Paul planteth and Apollos watereth but God giveth the increase.” The good gardener knows with absolute certainty that if he does his part, if he gives the labor, the love, and every aid that his knowledge of his craft, experience of the conditions of his place and exercise of his personal wit can work together to suggest, that so surely as he does this diligently and faithfully, so surely will God give the increase. Then with the honestly-earned success comes the consciousness of encouragement to renewed effort, and, as it were, an echo of the gracious words “well done good and faithful servant.”

Our friend, John, donating time and equipment to move around the massive mulch piles. The mulch was dropped off by various tree cutters over the course of a few months and allowed to age.

The basis for the garden takes shape. The ground needs a good covering and we took this idea from the “Eden Garden” film.

Pull back the mulch and plant the plants. This is the first crop growing after just a few weeks in this fertile soil. Tomatoes, greens and other vegetables and herbs.

Our Signature Tree

Paul, Richie, Ron and Mark plant the signature Olive Tree that was donated and in a pot outside the front door for years. Finally in the ground, it has flourished in a remarkable way. Richie prayed a prayer of dedication using the Olive as a symbol of spiritual growth and in the near future, this will be the centerpiece of the “Gethsamane Garden.”