A Bible Garden
God made the plants . . . Genesis 1:29
|The Bible Garden at Shepherd’s Cross has a rural setting reminiscent of an English Country
garden. This pictorial garden is made complete with sheep grazing in the adjacent pastures. The
garden offers a variety of ornamental and practical vegetables, fruit and herbs. Being a “country”
garden, it speaks of a peaceful lifestyle, simple practicality, and the enduring work of farm life.
This Biblically-based garden is nestled in the yard surrounding a reproduction 1920’s farm home.
The Dickinson family moved to the farm in 1991, and immediately began gardening. The first
vegetable garden was producing fruit even before the family moved to the farm. At that time, there
were no garden beds, the home was simply nestled among some well established maples and
elms that grace the garden to this day.
The ornamental English-style beds that surround the home were the original inspiration of
landscape architect William Dickinson, Peter’s brother. At the time of the renderings, William was
living in England. He drew the plans for the garden as a Christmas gift for the family. Included
with the drawings in the Christmas package was a book about Bible Gardens. Thus the “seed”
was planted and the inspiration to develop a Biblically-based garden at Shepherd’s Cross began.
The garden has truly been a labor of love, and has not been an “instant” garden by any means.
The garden was established on a tight budget, primarily using purchased bare root plants and
seeds, as well as tubers and bulbs exchanged with friends. After decades of tender love and
care, the garden has taken shape. Many of the beds are flanked by classic English Country
hedges. There is a mingling of the ordered, well shaped trees and shrubs with the freeness of
natural, carefree flowers, herbs and vegetables.
There are only a handful of Bible gardens in the U.S., most of which include plants that are native
only to the Holy Land. In contrast, the Bible Garden at Shepherd’s Cross, grows types of plants
referenced either in the Bible, or in Biblical legends. Plants in the garden have been chosen for
their ability to thrive in Oklahoma’s climate, and are representative of Holy Land varieties, Over
one hundred plants in the garden have Bible references on placards, in the Bible Garden Book,
and on the audio tour. After visiting the garden, the Dickinson's hope that gardeners will recall the
Biblical references and be inspired as they labor in their own gardens, or view other local
An additional feature that adds to the English Country flair is the oak hedge which serves as a
fence along the half mile of road frontage, as well as along the drive to the home. This hedge was
planted using bare root Shumard oaks, and is now nearly completely established. Hedge rows
such as these are commonly used in rural Europe for fences and also to provide a natural habitat
Visit the Bible Garden at Shepherd’s Cross and enjoy a peaceful respite in the country, watch the
peacocks strut on the grounds and the lambs leap for joy in the pasture, and learn more about
what Genesis I means when it says “God made the plants.”
16792 East 450 Road,
Claremore, OK 74017-0935
Hwy 66 & then 2.5 miles East on Akin Road
(EW 45 Road or EW 450 Road)
Tuesday thru Saturday
Tours available Th, Fri & Sat
or other days by appointment
Extended Hours & Days
for Special Events
Sundays & Mondays
New Year's week &