Scouts Install Two Natural Gardens at Myoshinji

Enhancement of the grounds of Myoshinji through the installation of two natural gardens was the focus of a recent project coordinated by Eagle Scout candidate Alex Slepak. Members of Boy Scout Troop 100 (Buffalo Grove, IL) and Venturing Crew 747 (Long Grove, IL) spent the weekend of June 21 on the project. Working from a list of native plant materials selected by Myoyu Roshi, grasses, flowers and other flora were purchased with funds donated by Zen Center members as well as scouts and their families.

The students arrived on Friday evening, and worked hard through the weekend to clear invasive grass and weeds from the garden sites—one near the front of the house and the other around the new sign that greets visitors arriving on Falk Road. Once the beds were prepared, a mix of native plants chosen for their adaptability to Myoshinji's climate were planted and mulched. The garden by the house received a white plum tree, significant for representing Myoshinji as a temple in the White Plum Lineage of Taizan Maezumi Roshi. The gardens were given a finishing touch with the addition of some solar lighting that provide a subtle effect for the gardens as well as offer illumination for the entry sign.

On Saturday evening, at the scouts' request, dinner was taken in the zendo in a modified oryoki format. Myoyu Roshi then led the scouts in a brief period of silent meditation. We are grateful for the hard work done by the students, as well as parent volunteers and Zen Center members. The gardens turned out beautifully and will fill in nicely over the coming years and contribute to our vision of prairie restoration efforts on the Myoshinji property.

The topsoil arrives

Completed house garden

Completed sign garden