Our Discovery Garden is a labor of love; love for learning about and preserving the wonders God has given us in this world. With the guidance of a School parent/landscape designer and the help of School and Church volunteers, the Discovery Garden project came to life in 2010.
Native trees and shrubs were planted. Raised beds were built and filled with flowers and vegetables. Tree cookies were added – the space was transformed!
The Discovery Garden is a fun place for our students and the community to meet, explore, learn, worship, and enjoy – and is still a work in progress. Future plans include the building of natural playground pieces like rock walls and climbing poles, and an outdoor chapel/classroom.
How Does Our Garden Grow?
The Discovery Garden flourishes by the grace of God, the time and talents of volunteers, and the generosity of donors. It is maintained solely by volunteers from the School and Church, and is funded solely by donations which take many shapes: money, plants, playground equipment, planting materials, and anything else needed to nurture and preserve the garden space.
What’s Growing ?
The raised beds in the Discovery Garden produce a variety of fruits, vegetables, and flowers that are nurtured, studied, and enjoyed by the St. James’ students and parishioners. Some of our plantings include:
Roma and cherry tomatoes
Green and chili peppers
Kale and spinach
Carrots and turnips
Basil, thyme, and mint
Zinnias, larkspur, black-eyed susans, and cosmos
Blueberries and chokecherries
There’s even a sunflower house and a morning glory tunnel to play in!
A Teaching Garden
The St. James’ Discovery Garden is used as a teaching garden for our students. We introduce school subjects in an environment that is inspiring and nurtures curiosity. Children that use outdoor classrooms develop an intuitive feeling of environmental responsibility, develop better eating habits from enjoying garden edibles, and learn cooperative learning and problem-solving.
St. James’ Episcopal School is working together with the Fauquier County Master Gardeners “Ready, Set, Grow” program to introduce gardening and environmental concepts to our elementary students. With the help of the Master Gardeners, the children plant seeds, raise them in the classroom, and plant them in the Discovery Garden.
A Giving Garden
The Discovery Garden teaches our students about giving back. Flowers are used to decorate the altar in St. James’ Episcopal Church; vegetables are used to feed parishioners and the local community at the St. James’ Café; and it is our hope that as the garden grows, it will assist local food banks and give back to the local community.