Saint Mark's Garden

Thousands of people walk by, stop in and enjoy our garden everyday. We provide a green respite in the heart of the Philadelphia.

If you'd like to help us in the garden, know someone who would, or would like to make a contribution to our space, contact Addie Peyronnin.


Bees at Saint Mark's

On Saturday of Easter week (2015) two bee hives were installed here at Saint Mark’s and populated with colonies of bees.  The hives are located some distance from any normal traffic in the East Garden on the far side of the Lady Chapel behind some new plantings that will eventually screen the hives a bit from view.  We have been working closely with the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild, and both of our new beekeepers, Addie Peyronnin and Ellen Doster have received training from the Guild, and remain in regular contact for guidance, instruction, and advice as they learn about keeping bees. 

There are hundreds of hives throughout the city of Philadelphia, kept privately, at community gardens, and even at St. James School, where hives were established last year.  One of the hives at Saint Mark’s belongs to the Parish, the other belongs to a neighboring member of the Beekeepers Guild who needed a place for hives, and whose partnership with us allows for an additional set of watchful eyes and hands in the care of our bees.  Our hives are out of the way of any normal foot traffic.  Please feel free to have a look at them from Locust Street, but don’t plan on visiting the bees: they have work to do!  Urban hives have been around for a long time and pose no increased risk of stings to anybody except potentially the beekeepers, who have been trained and who have protective gear to wear when working with the bees.

Bees are invaluable to nearly every environment, above the water, where plants grow.  They pollinate the gardens and trees of Philadelphia as well as the crops of California.   And after years of the strange phenomenon of Colony Collapse Disorder an enormous proportion of the bee populations of North America and Europe have been lost.  Bees are also found in Christian iconography, as symbols of the virtue of industriousness and fruitfulness, and as symbols of the resurrection since dormant beehives that “come back to life” in the warm months have reminded Christians of the resurrection.  You will find the image of bees carved in the stonework of the pulpit at Saint Mark’s.  Perhaps there, they remind us of our vocation to share the Good News of Christ wherever we can carry it, and to pollinate the world with this life-giving news!