The gardens that adorn the LDS Church headquarters in downtown Salt Lake City are designed to mimic nature. Longtime ground services manager Peter Lassig, who retired about five years ago, used to travel to natural meadows and study how the plants grew. He would try to apply what he learned to the church gardens.

Gardeners who design and plant the individual flower beds use a technique known as throwing the garden. Plants are arranged in a random — but still organized — pattern, and the gardens almost look as if there were no designer involved. When throwing the garden, designers will use more prominent plants to form a sort of structure, or skeleton. Other plants, which are described as tendon and flesh pieces, are used to fill the space between the structure.

The gardens are intended to make visitors think of Christ and the mission of the LDS Church. By gardening, we make an attractive creation, said Eldon Cannon, grounds services manager. We try and pull attention to our Father rather than us.

SOURCES: Eldon Cannon and Larry Tavenner, LDS Church ground services