St. John's Lutheran Church

In the City for Good!

St. John's Lutheran Church participates in God's mission to bless, save, restore and reconcile the world through meaningful worship and faithful witness in the city of Des Moines and around the world.

St. John's Lutheran Church invites and welcomes all people to experience the Good News of God's grace, forgiveness and unfailing love. The Good News calls and empowers us to share God's love in word and deed throughout our city, nation and world.



Meets once (and occasionally twice) a month — usually 2nd Tuesday or Wednesday — from spring to fall to tour gardens or nurseries, listen to speakers, learn, & share.

Staff Liaison:
Darla Stiles


St. John's 2017 Gardening Schedule

Mark these dates on your calendar and join us for as many of these garden tours as possible and bring friends to enjoy them as well!

Tuesday, May 2,  6:30 pm, "Container Gardening" Robyn Hofland will come to St. John's and talk about container gardening as well as miniature "fairy" gardens.  Plan to join us in Neumann to kick off our 2017 gardening tour season.

Saturday, June 10, 8:15 am, Reiman Gardens, Ames  Meet at church at 8:15 to carpool to Ames, then enjoy lunch in Ames before returning in the early afternoon.  They have made arrangements to give us a guided tour at the gardens at 9:00 am.  Reiman Gardens is celebrating "Water" as its theme for 2017 and the plant, insect and human lives it sustains.  The Gardens are alive with colorful displays inspired by all things water-related--from umbrellas and fountains to sea monsters and surfing.  The importance of water will be on display with the "Washed Ashore Exhibit" whose trash to art sculptures highlights the importance of clean water.  Join us at the Gardens as we experience the power and beauty of water in the Gardens!  Cost of admission and guided tour is $10 (if you are a member, it is just an additional $2 for the tour).  There is a minimum of 10 needed for the tour.  RSVP to Darla at if you are able to attend.

Wednesday, July 12, 6:30 pm  Tour the Gardens of Jack and Jennifer Hilmes, 5115 Woodland, Des Moines.  As Jack and Jennifer refer to their back yard as "The Ragged Garden", a once overgrown woodlands with invasive buckthorn, they have kept the perimeter woods and defined a yard, created flower beds, and built raised beds for vegetables.  Several of the 75 year old yews have been removed and recycled into an arbor built by Jack along with Jennifer's dad.  Tree trunks line a woodland path.  All variety of trees, shrubs and perennials have been planted with recreating privacy, minimal maintenance and two aging gardeners in mind.  Once overwhelming (no wait, it's still overwhelming!), their back yard has slowly become a source of joy and a constant project!

Wednesday, August 9, 6:00 pm, Two stops:  Flying Frog Farm near Indianola (east onto Summerset Road off Highway 65/69 then follow signs;)  Central Iowa Organic Fertilizer, 155th Avenue, Indianola, Iowa  

       Flying Frog Farm:  Their gardens are on twenty wooded acres approximately 10 miles south of Des Moines.  They are growing 1000 different varieties of hosta, from miniatures to the extra large.  Their hostas are field grown and that makes for some nice root systems!  They will have plants potted up and in their sales area all labeled by size.  A selection of other perennials will be available, both for the shady or sunny areas of your gardens.  Get in on their end of season sale!

       Central Iowa Organic Fertilizer:  Come meet this Indianola couple who started a worm casting business as a retirement project.  We will tour their operations and learn more about the benefits of worm casting in your garden.  Worm castings are an odorless, child and pet-safe application that improves plant growth, soil structure and moisture retention--supported by lots of scientific research.  Some refer to it as Nature's Gold!

Tuesday, September 26, 5:30 pm   Center Grove Orchard, 32835 610th Avenue, Cambridge, IA    Meet at church at 5:30 to carpool to Cambridge.  The Orchard is owned and operated by the Larry and Pat Black Family, and has been open to the public since 1994.  They planted their first apple trees in 1986 and now have over 18 acres with 6,000 apple trees and numerous delicious varieties of apples.   As a working farm and apple orchard, they want you to experience a lively farm atmosphere and gather as many happy memories as apples.  They work hard to provide you with an enjoyable, educational experience in a peaceful country setting.  After a short tour, we will have time to purchase apples, etc.

Please join us for any or all of the tours!

 600 6th Ave. Des Moines, Iowa  50309 - 515.243.7691 - a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America