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GLORIA DEI Prayer Garden
'GLORIA DEI Prayer Garden'  photo
Photo courtesy of Gloria Dei
  Listing last updated on 15 Apr 2024.
New Westminster, British Columbia
USDA Zone: 8a (10 to 15 F / -12.2 to -9.5 C)
GLORIA DEI Prayer Garden is built around the perimeter of an east-facing church parking lot, and on the north-facing entrance side of the building. I am treating the modest church structure as if it were an English country house, and attempting to thematically 'paint' it with varieties ranging from bushes to HT's, climbers, and ramblers appropriate to the architectural elements. A purpose is to express the theme of 'prayer' through a "theology of colour" and fragrance, and thereby offer a locus of grace and peace in the neighbourhood. Rose-covered arbours with benches are planned facing the public sidewalk as an offering to those walking by, including many from neighboring retirement homes often looking for a place to sit down and rest. Plants are mostly selected with names having some relevance to the theme of the garden, taking some literary license. The garden is "under construction," a multi-year spare time project. Pics will be posted in due time.

The garden's name "Gloria Dei" (Mme A. Meilland, Peace) is adopted from that given by Meilland's agent in Germany when it was released there in 1942. In light of the prevailing "Heil ---" of the day in Germany, and the persecution of the Confessing Church for refusing to support the state dictatorship, the naming of this rose--'Glory to God' or 'Praise of God'-- in Germany by Meilland's independent German distributor, may well have constituted an act of passive defiance and resistance that went unnoticed at the highest levels of the 1942 Reich. An excerpt of the text from the German agency's catalogue of 1942 reads in part:

"The beginnings of rose breeding are lost in early history. The culture of these kings of flowers has reached thousands of species and varieties today, and the breeders keep producing new ones with still greater perfection. So after many years of work and preservation, we can now work on a new rose, whose flawless beauty has inspired everyone who saw it in our cultures and which has already been described by experts and owners as the most wonderful new product of the last decades and the most beautiful rose in the world [this, in 1942 Germany!!]. It rightly bears the obligatory name “Gloria Dei”, "Praise of God!" (info taken from pic of catalogue page, courtesy Matthias Meilland; English by Google translate as my German translation skills aren't sharp enough). :)
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