Our Memorial Garden began at the instigation of former Pastor Brad Lewis. Brad was intrigued by the idea of creating a labyrinth in the vacant area outside the rear doors of the Gathering Area, and so he asked a group of us to investigate this idea.  The result was the creation of our current garden. Some time after the garden took its initial shape, our trustees named the garden 'The Ken Christler Memorial Garden' in honor of our first pastor.

The garden progressed by degrees--the first effort being to lay out three separate plots and construct the western red cedar pergola. Shortly thereafter a small group of volunteers assisted in laying the paving stones beneath the pergola, using the memorial bricks that had been purchased earlier in a fund-raising effort. The initial plants that made up the first garden came as donated plants from member's gardens. Then we added teak benches and purchased plants from local sources.

Looking in the direction of our woodland walking trail, the garden is framed by red and white spring-blooming crab trees between Pinky Winky Hydrangea on the left and Endless Summer Hydrangea on the right . Climbing the pergola is Honey Suckle, Clematis and Trumpet vines while a mix of perennials and annuals grace the three small gardens.  

Each garden sits atop fast-draining, gravelly soil but benefits from regular watering by the in-ground sprinklers. Each year we add a few new perennials along with a palate-pleasing mix of colored annuals. Over time, the intent is to make our garden more people- and nature-friendly with a focus on use of native plants that demand less care and provide important benefits for our winged neighbors. A recent major improvement to the garden was the installation of a paving stone walk, completed through the generous donations of several church members.

The Garden Committee consists of Laura Bartlett, Herb and Jean Brinkman, Paul and Elaine Scheibner, Dick Dimmock and Bill Tudor. They are soliciting new members and/or ideas for the garden's continued development. They plan to develop a process so that all committee members will approve any additions or changes to the garden to insure conformance to overall design plans.   

Evolution of the garden continues as Good Shepherd Trustees have announced a plan to make the garden available to members for burying ashes of loved ones. More information concerning guidelines for this usage will be provided.

In the summer of 2013 our garden was selected for the Kirtland Garden Club's annual garden tour bringing scores of visitors.  After a hard start due to cold weather, the plants recovered and the garden looked beautiful in time for the tour. If you haven't walked though our garden, please stop by to enjoy the colors and shapes of our many flowering plants.

~~Information provided by Bill Tudor