Gardens of Saint John Kanty Parish Community
The Mary Garden, corner of Broadway & Brownell Streets: The Mary original to this garden is now located in the Convent yard. She ‘resided’ here starting sometime in the late 1980’s. She suffered damage to her hands and face, and as neighborhood rejuvenation project for a very successful fund drive directed at Saint John Kanty School Alumni and parishioners took place in 2014. The cornerstone from the original school was set in place, and new trees, perennials and bulbs were planted. Mary was crowned and blessed by Msgr Robert Golombek in May, 2014. This garden was recognized by ‘Buffalo in Bloom’ in 2016, and was described by our former deacon as a beacon in the neighborhood. In May, 2018 our beautiful Mary was vandalized beyond repair. Between newspaper coverage and a Go Fund Me account, funds were raised for a replacement.
In 2015 several overgrown shrubs were removed from the soon to be Saint Jude Garden, the area connecting the church and rectory. Perennials replaced the shrubs, new perennials have been added, and annuals provide color. Bulbs and ground cover provide early blooms, with the roses, original to the garden plan, not far behind. The statue of Saint Jude is in front of a clematis, also original to the garden plan, as are the purple coneflower. The white lilies throughout the grounds are from plants received to celebrate Easter.
To the left of the small driveway to Swinburne Street is the Garden of Saint Francis. It is thought that this garden, the Peace Garden, originated in the 1980’s. There are rhodendron, holly bushes, fern and lily of the valley. The original Saint Francis met with an ‘accident’, was repaired and now resides on Swinburne Street at the entrance to the rectory. The present Saint Francis, although missing the bird on his shoulder, has been in place since the late 1980’s and was donated by a parishioner whose wife had an appendectomy on the Feast of Saint Francis: October 4. A path to Saint Francis replaced some of the original plants in 2017. This garden includes bulbs from Easter, donated perennials, and annuals for color.
Our Garden of Saint Therese, the ‘Little Flower’, includes rhododendron, bulbs, and of course roses, with annuals added for color.
The Mary Garden, in the Convent yard, was established at the request of the Rosary Society, whose members donated for her purchase. Notice Mary’s hands: the fingers are missing, and nose (this damage may be due to weathering). This is our ‘blue’ garden, Mary’s color.
It is interesting to note that a few of our columbine, evident in all of the gardens, were original to when the Felician Sisters resided in the Convent, taught our children, and tended the gardens (the school closed in the early 1990’s). The columbine were found in the area in the yard under the trees.
On Swinburne Street many overgrown shrubs have been removed and replaced with the ever reliable perennial: hosta, split from others on the grounds.
You are always welcome to take a stroll through our gardens, and if you feel inclined to lend a hand some Saturday morning, we are in the garden by 9 a.m. and would welcome your help!