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In choosing plants for a Bible garden, two questions had to be answered:
  • Do we restrict the plants to be those mentioned in the Bible? 
  • If we allow a broader range of plants, what is the criterion for including them? 
There are difficulties in using only Bible plants. One is that it is not always clear from the Bible the species of plant referred to. Another is that many plants from the Middle East do not grow well in our climate. The decision made, for this first stage of planting on view at the Open Days is to use Bible plants, or suitable relatives, as referenced in Nigel Hepper’s book Planting a Bible Garden

Regarding the second question, there are many plants whose names have a Biblical reference, but apart from that they have no links with plants referenced in the Bible. We have decided to exclude those. Two notable exceptions are the passion flower and the Judas tree. Again, we have gone with recommendations in Hepper’s book and both these plants are included. Both can be used as part of story-telling of an important Biblical event and deserve inclusion. 

It is our intention to include temporary displays that complement the permanent planting on specific themes associated with the Christian year. For these we may relax our self-imposed restrictions on which plants to include and as the garden develops we may find that we need to review our planting arrangements.