Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the briar shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the Lord a memorial. – Isaiah 54:13
We at St.Thomas are blessed with a beautiful forty-two acre campus replete with trees, lawns, herbaceous shrubs, gardens and open space. The Landscape Commission is dedicated to promoting and maintaining our landscape in a manner which adheres to the principles of aesthetics, sustainability, function and historic preservation. The Commission seeks to create attractive and well maintained grounds, thereby contributing to St. Thomas’ overall sense of welcome, comfort and joy for parishioners, visitors and the surrounding community.
The Landscape Commission has primary management responsibility for all acreage other than that managed by the Cemetery and Hardscape Commissions. A comprehensive set of guidelines by which this mission is executed can be found in the Landscape Commission Policies and Procedures Manual. A hardcopy of the manual is available upon request.
Additional information pertaining to Landscape Commission programs can be found at the following links:
- Landscape Commission Members
- Requests for new Memorial Gardens, Plantings, Walkways, Benches, Lighting and Signage
- Part-time Gardener for Memorial Gardens
- Adopt-a-Garden Program
- Community Gardens
Landscape Commission Members
- Neal Pratt (Co-chair)
- 215-948-3808 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kay Sheldon (Co-chair)
- 215-542-7885 email@example.com
- Bob Lukens
- 215-836-7328 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Leslie Purple
- 215-233-9533 email@example.com
- Bill Potts
- 215-646-3526 firstname.lastname@example.org
- E.G. Rall
- 215-793-4144 email@example.com
- Chris Russell
- 215-619-2748 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tim Russell
- 215-619-2748 email@example.com
- Peg Krengel
- 215-628-0868 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Steve Bitterman
- 215-884-7762 Stephen.Bitterman@AIG.com
- Tom Lloyd
- 215-242-2931 email@example.com
- Don Beistline
- 215-233-3970 x111 firstname.lastname@example.org
Requests for New Gardens, Plantings, Walkways, Benches, Lighting and Signage
With considerable frequency, projects that affect the landscape are proposed by individuals or other commissions. These projects are varied and range from a single tree planting to a new feature such as a playground. Without oversight, there is a potential that individual projects could result in haphazard development from an aesthetic standpoint, become a safety issue, or tax the church’s limited fiscal or manpower resources beyond its capabilities. For these reasons the Landscape Commission has established a Project Review Subcommittee. Comprised of select members of the Landscape Commission and a professional landscape architect, the main purpose of the subcommittee is to provide guidelines for proposed developments and to facilitate project review and approval by the Commission.
Required documentation for specific projects depends on its complexity and potential impact. The basic application can be found at Landscape Project Application Form. Completed applications should be submitted to the Landscape Commission. If help is needed with completing the form, please feel free to contact a Landscape Commission member for assistance.
Specific Project Guidelines:
St. Thomas Church Landscape Project Application Form
To be completed by anyone proposing:
- New gardens
- Changes to existing gardens
- Planting or removal of trees and shrubs, perennials and annuals
- Walkways, paths and terraces
- Benches and outdoor Furniture, Planters
- Exterior Lighting
- Exterior Signage
For assistance in completing this form, please contact the STLC.
PLEASE NOTE: ALL CONTRACTS MUST BE APPROVED BY THE PARISH ADMINISTRATOR, IN ADDITION TO THE APPROPRIATE COMMITTEE
- Please describe your project. Please include your name, Commission and contact.
- How much will the project cost? Please submit bids and proposals.
- How will the project be funded? Are there any stipulations?
- What church resources will be required for construction and afterwards for maintenance?
- Who will take “ownership” of the project to ensure that it is built and maintained in the manner approved by the Landscape Commission?
- Who will build the project?
The following are required:
- Scaled drawings showing location and scope of project. Photos of details if possible.
- Three cost estimates for any project greater than $2,000.
- 15% of the project cost must be contributed to the Landscape Memorial Fund to provide ongoing maintenance.
Please use the back for additional information.
Plants and Trees
The STLC recognizes the value of native plants and encourages the use of them in campus gardens. Plant material however is certainly not limited to native plants, but planting of invasive species, native or exotic, is not permitted.
To help with plant selection, the STLC has identified through the expertise of professionals a list of plants that are not permitted or that are discouraged from being used due to their undesirable characteristics.
Plant Material Not Permitted:
- Norway maple Acer platanoides
- Sycamore maple Acer pseudoplatanus, Mock plane
- Tree-of-heaven Ailanthus altissima, Chinese or stinking sumac, Mimosa
- Albizia julibrissin Persian silk tree, silktree, silky acacia
- European black alder Alnus glutinosa
- Common alder Japanese angelica tree Aralia elata
- Empress tree Paulownia tomentosa, Princess tree, royal paulownia
- Callery pear Pyrus calleryana
- Siberian elm Ulmus pumila
- Japanese barberry Berberis thunbergii Red barberry, Thunberg’s barberry European barberry Berberis vulgaris Common barberry
- Russian olive Elaeagnus angustifolia Oleaster, wild olive Autumn olive Elaeagnus umbellata
- Winged Euonymus Euonymus alata Burning bush, winged burning bush, winged wahoo
- Glossy buckthorn Frangula alnus
- Shrubby bushclover Lespedeza bicolor Shrubby lespedeza
- Chinese bushclover Lespedeza cuneata Chinese Lespedeza, sericea lespedeza Japanese privet Ligustrum japonicum Waxleaf ligustrum, wax privet
- Border privet Ligustrum obtusifolium Blunt-leaved or obtuse-leaved or regal privet Chinese privet Ligustrum sinense
- Common privet Ligustrum vulgare European privet, wild privet Amur honeysuckle Lonicera mackii
- Morrow’s honeysuckle Lonicera morrowii
- Bell’s honeysuckle Lonicera xbella Bella or showy bush or pretty honeysuckle Standish honeysuckle Lonicera standishii
- Tartarian honeysuckle Lonicera tatarica
- Common buckthorn Rhamnus cathartica Purging buckthorn Jetbead Rhodotypos scandens Black jetbead
- Multiflora rose Rosa multiflora Rambler or Japanese or baby or seven-sisters rose
- Wineberry Rubus phoenicolasius Wine raspberry, Japanese wineberry
- Japanese spiraea Spiraea japonica Japanese meadowsweet, nippon spiraea
- Guelder rose Viburnum opulus Cranberrybush viburnum, red elder, cramp barkGrasses
Perennials and Vines
- Goutweed Aegopodium podagraria Bishop’s weed, snow-on-the-mountain, holy hay
- Garlic mustard Alliaria petiolata Hedge mustard
- Moneywort Lysimachia nummularia Creeping Jenny or Charlie, wandering sailor Purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria Swamp loosestrife
- Star-of-Bethlehem Ornithogalum nutans/O. umbellatum Silver bells, drooping star-of-Bethlehem
- Porcelain berry Ampelopsis brevipedunculata Amur peppervine, porcelain vine Wintercreeper Euonymus fortunei Climbing euonymus, fortune’s spindle
- Black swallow-wort Vincetoxicum nigrum Louis’ or Louise’s swallow-wort
- Pale swallow-wort Vincetoxicum rossicum European swallow-wort, dog strangling vine
Plant Material Highly Discouraged:
- Amur maple Acer ginnala
- Small carpetgrass Arthraxon hispidus Joint-head grass, hairy joint grass, jointhead
- Paper mulberry Broussonetia papyfera
- Butterfly bush Buddleja davidii Orange-eye butterfly bush Orange day-lily Hemerocallis fulva
- Velvet grass Holcus lanatus Yorkshire fog
- Chinese silvergrass Miscanthus sinensis Eulalia, zebra grass, maidenhair grass White mulberry Morus alba Common/Chinese/Russian white mulberry
- Amur corktree Phellodendron amurense Japanese corktree Phellodendron japonicum Lavella corktree Phellodendron lavellei
- Golden bamboo Phyllostachys aurea Yellow grove bamboo, fish pole bamboo Rough bluegrass Poa trivialis
- Ravenna grass Saccharum ravennae Hardy pampas grass Tall fescue Schedonorus arundinaceus
- Bee-bee tree Tetradium daniellii Korean Evodia Bigleaf periwinkle Vinca major Greater periwinkle Common periwinkle Vinca minor Ground myrtle Japanese wisteria Wisteria floribunda
- Chinese wisteria Wisteria sinensis
All new exterior signage (except temporary event signs) on the St Thomas Campus is subject to review and approval by the Project Review Subcommittee. It is important that exterior signage be consistent in color, layout, font and logo.
Permanent signs should follow the standards of existing signs on the campus as shown below:
These signs are supplied by:
Display and Sign Center
5 New Galena Road P.O. Box 74 Line Lexington, PA 18932
Ph: 215-822-9469 Fax: 215-822-0432
Although there are no restrictions on the design of temporary event signs, it is recommended that they conform as much as possible to a basic design of black block lettering on a white background.
All furniture intended for outdoor use on the St Thomas Campus is subject to review and approval by the Project Review Subcommittee.
The goal is to maintain a consistent look with existing campus outdoor furniture. The preference is for good quality teak in a traditional style. For assistance in selecting and purchasing outdoor furniture, please contact the STLC.
All memorial plaques intended for use on the St Thomas Campus is subject to review and approval by the Project Review Subcommittee.
The pictures below illustrate samples of existing memorial plaques. New plaques can be ordered from:
Bronze Memorials Inc.
1775 SW Gatlin Blvd
Port ST Lucie, FL 34953
Call or email to place an order:
Ph: 772 200-2591 or 772-924-0083, Fax 954-862-3090
Lighting intended for use on the St Thomas Campus is subject to review and approval by the Project Review Subcommittee.
All new, decorative exterior lighting should be compatible with existing lighting that reflects the historic nature of the church. Examples of existing lighting on the campus are shown below. For assistance in selecting and ordering new lighting, please contact the STLC.
All planters intended for use on the St Thomas Campus are subject to review and approval by the Project Review Subcommittee.
The goal is to maintain a consistent look with existing planters on the campus. For assistance in selecting and ordering new outdoor planters, please contact the STLC.
Statuary and Monuments
All statuary and monuments unrelated to projects of the Cemetery Commission are subject to review and approval by the Project Review Subcommittee. For assistance in selecting and ordering statuary and monuments, please contact the STLC.
Part-time Gardener for Memorial Gardens
The planning and ultimate approval of new Memorial Gardens at St. Thomas must be made in a manner commensurate with the church’s fiscal and manpower resources. An amount equal to 15% of the project cost must be contributed to the Landscape Memorial Fund to provide ongoing maintenance. During the growing season a part-time gardener is employed to tend to the upkeep and maintenance of the Memorial Gardens. This position is funded through use of the Landscape Memorial Fund.
Gardener for Memorial Gardens
St. Thomas Church Landscape Commission
The part-time gardener tends to the upkeep and maintenance of the Memorial Gardens during the growing season April through September. The Landscape Commission establishes the required duties, the number of work hours and provides oversight as necessary. The position is funded through the Landscape Operating Budget. The Commission is responsible for maintaining adequate funding in the budget to ensure stewardship of the Memorial Gardens for future generations.
Routine Maintenance Duties:
Clean beds of winter debris
Cut out deadwood and prune back shrubs as necessary
Weed, edge and mulch beds
Maintain weed-free beds
Water as necessary
Prune and dead head as necessary
Clean beds of dead perennials
Remove heavy fallen leaves
Mulch shrubs as necessary with shredded leaves
OTHER DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Gardener responds to oversight and requests from the Landscape Commission for special duties required for optimal maintenance of the Memorial Gardens.
Several years ago it became apparent to members of the Landscape Commission that the man-power needed to maintain the many gardens on the property was well beyond that of the grounds staff. The Adopt-A-Garden Program was introduced as an opportunity for parishioners to practice stewardship from the ground up. Its purpose is to maintain the many small and larger gardens on the church campus with help from volunteers in our Parish.
Approximately thirty gardens have been identified that could be cared for by an individual or small group. They range from well-established shrubbery gardens to smaller gardens of perennials and annuals; some are in good shape, some need only minimal care and some need almost a total renewal. Currently there are approximately twenty-five parishioners involved, and additional volunteers are always needed and welcome.
To learn more about this program or to volunteer, please contact Neal Pratt at 215-948-3808, email@example.com.
Each summer St. Thomas offers garden plots located in the back ten acreage at the north end of the property for rent by parishioners and community members. Each plot averages 20’ x 20’ and rents for $30.00. Water is available on site although renters need to provide their own watering hoses. Renters also must provide the fencing, seeds/plants and the hard work. Both annual and perennial plots are available. The perennial plots are not plowed and are available for growing year round. Annual plots are plowed in time for spring planting and require the fencing to be removed.
If interested in renting a community garden plot, please contact Maureen Lucak at 215-886-2409, firstname.lastname@example.org . Please include your email address and phone number to be added to the Community Garden distribution email.
Make checks payable to and mail to:
St. Thomas of Whitemarsh Community Gardens
P.O. Box 247
Fort Washington, PA 19034
Attn: Community Gardens/Maureen