Garden of Seasons

 

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die;…a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance….

Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

DSCN0697

 
About the Garden of Seasons
In the spirit of the words from Ecclesiastes, the Garden of Seasons was created as a place with many purposes: as a setting for outdoor services, as a peaceful space for prayer and reflection, and as a location on the grounds of St. Michael’s where parishioners and their families may choose to have their ashes interred. The stone altar enhances the appropriateness of this outdoor sanctuary for funerals and memorial services, weddings, baptisms, and worship services of all kinds. The garden walls evoke the simple beauty of New England stone walls and complement the historic stone HaHa, which is located at the east end of the garden. Slate plaques set into the walls mark burial sites for ashes or memorialize loved ones who may be buried elsewhere. Each plaque marks two burial sites or memorials and contains only the names of the deceased and the dates of birth and death.

The plantings in the Garden of Seasons were designed to reflect the changing seasons of the year, to provide screening from the noise and busyness of the street, and to create a serene natural landscape for St. Michael’s parishioners to enjoy through all stages of their lives. Two walls are currently in place in the garden, and plans provide for two additional walls as they are needed.
 

Care and Maintenance
The Garden of Seasons is managed and cared for by a board of three parish members, elected at the Annual Meeting, who act as Trustees under a set of by-laws for the garden. Maintenance is provided from the Garden Fund, which is funded by payments for reservations and by gifts to the Garden of Seasons. In respect for the simplicity and natural beauty of the setting, plastic flowers or plants may not be placed in the garden. Cut flowers or live potted plants may be placed temporarily in front of a plaque; they will be removed as their condition warrants.

DSCN0698

Reservations and Cost
The cost of reserving burial space is determined by the Garden Trustees and approved by the Vestry. The current cost to reserve a full plaque and burial space for ashes for two individuals is $2,200. Engraving the plaque is an additional cost. The current cost to reserve one half of a plaque and burial space for ashes for one individual is $1,100. Again, engraving is additional. A fee for the sexton is required at the time of burial. The church office will handle all these matters. The specific burial space in the wall is selected at the time a reservation is made and payment received. A certificate confirms the reservation and documents the location. Payment plans may be discussed if needed. Please contact the church office if you are interested in reserving a plaque and burial space, would like to make a donation to the Garden Fund, or have any questions.

 

The Lord will guide you always;
He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
And will strengthen your frame,
You will be like a well-watered garden,
Like a spring whose waters never fail.
Isaiah 58:11