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Scripture Garden

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The Scripture Garden is a contempletive space to enrich the soul through interaction with nature. Concentration is given to plants that originate in the Fertile Crescent, the area historically common to Christianity, Judaism and Islam, and particular plants symbolize and bring to light various religious stories. This area that includes modern day Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the northeast corner of Egypt contains rich botanical diversity. For example, a grove of olive trees (Olea europaea) is displayed in the southwest corner of the garden during summer months, reflective of the biblical story of Noah and the dove that delivered an olive branch to indicate that the flood had subsided. Olive trees are native to the Mediterranean and are not hardy in Denver. Other frost-tender plants are added to this garden during the summer months and live in greenhouses during the winter.

The arbor shown in the image frames the main entrance. This arbor was designed in the Byzantine style and supports grapes, which are vital for the producation of wine. Vitis labrusca is substituted for the Middle Eastern species of V. vinifera which is difficult to grow in North America because of an insect pest called phylloxera.

The original design for the garden was created by Denver landscape architect Jane Silverstein Ries. The garden was constructed with funding from the Coors Foundation and was dedicated in June 1981. The centerpiece is a ground level sculpture consisting of eight bronze medallions, four of which are Christian and four of which are Jewish symbols. These encircle a central medallion of alternating Christian crosses and Jewish Stars of David. The sculpture was created by William F. Joseph.

For a list of plants in the Scripture Garden, click here.

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Photography © Denver Botanic Gardens

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