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Building a Woodland Garden and Romans Road

Updated: Dec 31, 2022

You’ve often heard it said that God visited the beaches then stayed in the mountains. I certainly think that's true. My wife and I and our boys are certainly mountain people. Hiking in the woods is one of our greatest joys in life. When we had the opportunity to acquire the woods behind our house we jumped at the opportunity, not only to create a buffer between our home and what might later be built, but also the access to a native woodland area to play in and enjoy. Some of our favorite places in the world are the little mountain towns of Saluda and Highlands, North Carolina so we call our little postage stamp, “Little Saluda”.

After a few months musing during our Covid quarantine we decided not to use machinery to clean out the woods because of so much wildlife contained there-in; deer, birds and insects and flora; wild fern, native trees and shrubs. We want to preserve the beauty of a natural woodland and enhance it. Our woods are connected to a greater woodland ecosystem of over 100 gerrymandering acres in the city.

We decided to use the philosophy of Permaculture to transform the woods into a woodland garden melding both the trees and plants that are there with appropriate shade plants that would fit into the environment. Permaculture takes nothing out but keeps everything in a plot of land to rot and decay thus it is a closed natural system. You work with the land instead of against it. Our concept is to create a circular rambling path through the woods using spaces that are already naturally occurring within the vegetation and topography. I’ll add shade herbaceous plants, shrubs and low growing understory plants like Rhododendrons and more.

So how are we getting all this work done? Easy! I'm using boy power! My sons, as young as they are, love cutting down the small trees using pruning loppers and even a small saw. I've been amazed at how good it is for them to get outside and work hard and how much they have enjoyed helping to clear away debris from the woods.

Once we have debris cleared away we want to light the garden with pathway lighting and place café lights between the trees overhead of the path. In the center of the woods we've conceived a patio type space eventually with a fireplace and seating. Along the path we want to build a sculpture garden with a Romans Road.

A Romans Road uses the Bible verses from the book of Romans to help lead people to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. It is my hope to create a shade garden filled with sculpture and seven large rocks containing engraved verses. I also have plans for a stream garden, tea house and prayer garden, but it will take decades to realize. Right now I’m content to sit in my deer stand in the woodland and just watch the beautiful deer as a write this. I’m excited to take you on my horticultural journey of making 1.5 acres look like the Appalachian Highlands.

Romans Road of Scripture

I. Romans 3:10

As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one.

II.Romans 3:23

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

III.Romans 5:8

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

IV. Romans 5:12

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.

V. Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


VI. Romans 10:9-11

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the scripture saith, whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

VII. Romans 10:13

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. _______________________________________________

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