Blessing of St. David’s Indigenous Garden by the Rev. Simbarashe Basvi on Sunday, September 17, marked the end of a fifteen-month project, and its beginning as a new place of meditation among the broader-locale’s healing plants.

Transition of a hidden corner of church property, that had become a wilderness of invasive weeds, began when the then-people's warden Phil Severy and assistant warden Mary Savage headed a committee to ‘break new ground’. Thanks to an incredible team of shovels-and-sweat-volunteers, and the ongoing support of Claire Forster (parish garden expert), the restored area was ready for planting by early-June.  Then came establishing  and identifying some 40 native species in three areas --  a pre-defined stone circle medicine-wheel, a ‘meadow’ of berries plants, and a walkway of ferns and flowering shrubs.

The intrepid gardeners were advised by Tsawwassen First Nation to work with Coastal Salish Plant Nursery.  Its ethnobotanist, Cease Wys, visited the site to help in the selection and location of plants,  in sensitive accordance with proper protocol.  

On the Saturday preceding the dedication of the garden, herbalist Leona Browne of Nisga’a' and Gitxsan First Nations conducted a well-attended workshop in the parish hall. At the end of an instructive demonstration in Making Healing Salves from Native Plants, each participant went home with a small tin of healing Devils Club salve. 

St. David’s Indigenous Garden was made possible by two grants. The first from the Diocese of New Westminster’s Salal and Cedar Ministry, and the second from the Diocesan Climate Emergency Grant.  


  • Parishioners pass new medicine-wheel as they gather around the garden after worship September 17.
  • The Rev. Simbarashe Basvi blesses Indigenous Garden  Photo Loy Yeo
  • Former people’s wardens, Phil Severy and Mary Savage, the Rev. Basvi, and rector’s warden Anthony Hanna.
  • Leona Brown guides Claire Forster as she pours Devil's Club salve into containers for workshop participants.
  • Folks attending September 16 workshop in parish hall, pay attention to herbalist Leona Brown instruction in Making Salves from Native Plants.  

Photos Mary Horton (except as noted)