Creating harmony, simplicity and peace in the landscape......

"Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help.

Gardening is an instrument of grace. "

May Sarton
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Healing Gardens, Sacred Gardens and Serenity Gardens = Remembering


Yesterday the sky was a leaden gray, with rain swollen clouds folding in on themselves. Like a gray meringue ceiling, shifting in long, slow waves, its undulating motion reminded me of the way our gardens constantly evolve, a quiet dynamism, unceasing. Always growing...

Ted's Stream Garden

Down here, on terra firma, we sometimes forget that we live among a swirling world of energy clothed within the forms of plants, stones, water and soil.

That is a shame because then we forget what a magical place the earth is and how we all share in its bounty. To elevate our awareness of this wondrous blue / green planet we can go to our gardens and ‘remember’ and reconnect with the source of all there is.



Alfred Savinelli eloquently writes about this in his fascinating book, ‘Plants of Power: Native American Ceremony and the Use of Sacred Plants"’:

“To bring our lives back into alignment with the cosmos, to reconnect with the source that deeply feeds us, to remember that life is but a dream and we are, collectively, its dreamers, requires vigilance. We must keep remembering.”

Marc and Rosemary's Sunset Border
‘Remembering’ means that we recognize “the spiritual aspect that lives within and behind all forms and structures that we take for granted” (Savinelli, p 6).

  • Native Americans and aborigines use ritual to remember their connection to the plant spirits and sky gods.
  • Churches and temples conduct ceremonies and prescribed rites to remember transcendent stories and events.
  • Buddhists and monasteries use chants and meditation to illuminate the unseen world around them.
Gardens, too, can be quiet places of spiritual ‘remembering’. That is where I go to hear the 'whoosh' of the universal engine. It is the heart of what I call a 'Serenity Garden'.



So through careful selection and judicious placement of walks, plants, water, rocks and features you can create a garden space that helps you and your visitors to remember...a place where all who enter can quiet their inner energy and see our mother earth a little differently.

A garden designed with intent and knowledge can “remake ordinary time and space into sacred time and space” (Savinelli p.6).



It is here, amongst pathways, pools of water and thriving plants,  that we can take a break from our everyday life and feel the aliveness and energy of this ‘dream’ that we all share.

Marc's amazing Roses


Once we become attuned to this energetic world we understand how a serenity garden is a place of refuge where ordinary time and space is elastic.  It harkens the solace of Nature and offers a chance to experience the 'stop time' moment.

As Lily Tomlin said, 'For fast acting relief, slow down'.















6 comments:

  1. That first quote is beautiful and SO true. I will have to check out this book. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. my backyard garden is just that a place of serenity for me and visitors including wildlife...beautiful post

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  3. I am so happy to share with like minded gardeners...thank you.

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  4. Jan,
    I feel calmer just visiting your blog and looking at the beautiful photos! I'd love to see more before and after photos of your work. It is so inspiring!

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. Typos made me remove above comment

    ...HI Angela! I would be happy to show more 'before and after' photos...coming soon.

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Hi there! I would love to hear from you....