Genesis 1:29-31 - "God said, "See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit, you shall have them for food."
ALOE - John 19:39 - (burial of Jesus) “Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds.”
ASCLEPIAS - Genesis 1:30 - “…And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food. And it was so.” (if the Monarch caterpillar does not eat Asclepias, it will be eaten by birds)
ANEMONE – Luke 12:27 KJV - Although many flowers in the Holy Land were called lilies, the anemone is believed to be the one referred to by Jesus in the Gospels.
BALM – Ezekiel 27:17 - Judah and the land of Israel traded with you; they exchanged for your merchandise wheat from Minnith, millet, honey, oil, and balm.
BEAUTY BERRY - Psalm 27:4 - “One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.” (the triumphant song of confidence of David)
BOW - Genesis 9:13 - “ I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” (God speaks to Noah after the flood) (pansies make a bow in the fall; zinnias, marigolds, etc. in the late spring and summer)
BOX – Isaiah 41:19 – “I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together …”
BURNING BUSH – Exodus 3: 2-3 - “There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed.” (The Euonymus americanus L. represents the burning bush in the garden)
CEDAR OF LEBANON – Psalms 29:5 - “The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars: yea, the Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.” (The cedar of Lebanon growing in the island, south side, is grown from a seed found in the Holy Land by a congregation member.
CINNAMON - Exodus 30:23 – Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh, five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels…” _ (cinnamon basil substitutes when available)
CORIANDER – Exodus 16:31 - “The house of Israel called it manna; it was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.” (bread from heaven)
CROCUS - Isaiah 35:1-2 – “ The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus – it shall blossom abundantly.” (the return of the redeemed to Zion)
CROWN OF THORNS – Euphorbia milii Desmoul - John 19:2 – And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head …” (this plant, an indoor houseplant or a summer annual in this area represents Zizyphus spina –christi)
CUCUMBER, MELON - Numbers 11:5 – “We remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons …)
DILL – Matthew 23:23 - “Woe to you, scribes, and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others.” (Jesus denounces scribes and Pharisees)
FENNEL – GALBANUM - Exodus 30:34 - “And The Lord said to Moses, “take sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum, sweet spices with pure frankincense (of each shall there be an equal part) …” (directions for making incense given to Moses)
FLAG (yellow) - Iris pseudacorus - Hosea 14:5 – “I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. “
FLAX- Joshua 2:6- “But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with stalks of flax… .”
COTTON – Esther l:5-6 RSV – “And when these days were completed the king gave for all the people present in Susa the capital, both great and small a banquet lasting for seven days, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace. There were white cotton curtains and blue hangings caught up with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and marble pillars …”
FLOWERS - Isaiah 40:8 – “The flower fades, but the word of God endures forever.”
FLOWERS of the field - James 1:10 - “…and the rich in being brought low, because the rich will disappear like a flower in the field.”
FORESTS - WILDERNESS - see Flag: Hosea 14:5 and Box: Isaiah 41:19
GARLIC - LEEKS - ONIONS Numbers 11:5 - “We remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic …” (the followers of Moses complain in the desert)
GRASS – GRASSES - JOB 38:27 - “… to satisfy the waste and desolate land, and to make the ground put forth grass?”
HYSSOP – I Kings 4:33 - “He would speak of trees, from the cedar that is in the Lebanon to the hyssop that grows in the wall: he would speak of animals and birds, and reptiles, and fish.” (fame of Solomon’s wisdom)
IRIS – Hosea 14:5 - “I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily, he shall strike root like the forests of Lebanon.” (an assurance of forgiveness) (Biblical horticulturalists feel that the lilies referred to in most passages are forms of iris – about 50 kinds found in the Holy Lands)
KITCHEN GARDEN – Proverbs 30:8 - “Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that I need.” (NRSV) “Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me.” KJV, Solomon, Proverbs 30:8
LAMB’S EARS - Revelation 21:23 - “And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.”
LAVENDER - Song of Solomon 4:10 – “How sweet is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your oils than any spice!” _John 13:12 - _” After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table …” _ (from the Latin, lavare - to wash)
MADONNA LILY – Song of Solomon 6:2 - “My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the beds of spices, to pasture his flock in the gardens, and to gather lilies.” (it is believed that only a cultivated lily of outstanding beauty would be in Solomon’s garden)
MINT - Luke 11:42 - “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God: these you ought to have done, with neglecting the others.”
MYRTLE – Isaiah 41:19 - “I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive; …)
POMEGRANATE - I Samuel 14:2 - “And Saul tarried in the uttermost part of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree which is in Migron … “ (this tree is found in the back left hand corner of the surprise garden)
ROSE – Song of Solomon 2:1 - “I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.”
RUE - Luke 11:42 – see mint
SAGE, SALVIA - Exodus 37:17-18 – “He also made the lampstand of pure gold. The base and the shaft of the lampstand were made of hammered work; its cups, its capitals, and its flowers were of one piece with it. And there were six branches going out of its sides, three branches of the lampstand out of one side of it and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side of it: …” (the menorah shape is taken from the sage or salvia plant)
SOIL – GROUND - EARTH - LAND - Joel 1:10 – The fields are devastated, the ground mourns; for the grain is destroyed, the wine dries up, the oil fails.” Leviticus 25:23 – “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; with me you are but aliens and tenants.” (God speaks to Moses) Genesis 1:1 - “God created the heavens and the earth …”
SOLOMON’S SEAL –Although not found in the Bible, it is thought that the six-petaled flowers–six points to each blossom, are like the six points of the Star of David, which in early days was known as Solomon’s seal. Others think that the plant was used to seal up wounds and broken bones, and was called Sigillum Salomonis.
STYRAX, STORAX - STACTE - Exodus 30:34 – And the Lord said to Moses, “Take sweet spices stacte, and onycha, and galbanum …); also, Ecclesliasticus 24:15
SYCAMORE - Luke 19:4 – About Zacchaeus, “So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way.”
TULIP – Isaiah 35:1 - “The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and Blossom.” (Biblical experts feel these blossoms would be bulbs, such as the “rose” of Ecclesiasticus )
WORMWOOD–ARTEMISIA–Lamentations–“He has filled me with bitterness, he has glutted me with wormwood ”
YUCCA - ADAM’S NEEDLE - Genesis 3:7 – “The eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.” (stripped ‘strings’ of yucca leaves can be used to sew or stitch two items together)
Created for the Watershed Steward Program, the rain garden diverts runoff by steering the water into the garden where it is then recharged back into the aquifer. Previously the runoff dumped into the storm drains and sewers. Now, instead, the rain garden allows the water to be naturally filtered and purified as it makes its way through the garden and ground so that the quality of the water in the Chesapeake Bay is improved, thereby improving the quality of the water we use everyday. The rain garden was spearheaded by Dale Moeller and Peter Cooper who participated in the Watershed Stewards Academy and received a grant to create the garden. It is one way Woods can help to be a good steward of the earth and be environmentally conscious and responsible.
Custodian Walter Ford put an ad in the Woods Church newsletter asking for someone to please come help clean up the church grounds and make it a beautiful place to be and to find refuge. This call for help and beautification began a journey where many involved in the life of the church began to capture the beauty of God's creation through gardening around the church property. Specifically, the area of the meditation garden began with Jane Iglehart and Lee Kaus circa 1998. Their desire was to give people a place to connect with God's creation and to have a place to be still; to dwell in God's presence and meditate.