Seeking Enchantment in the Garden

Photo by Jan Meissner 

The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.
~ George Bernard Shaw

We now no longer see the natural world as something to be tamed or conquered but, rather, as something to be revered.

HGTV photo

And we understand Chief Seattle's 1854 admonition:

“Man did not weave the web of life: he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web he does to himself.”

Broomley Meadow, Seven Ponds Farm

This ecological awareness has compelled us to seek a more meaningful connection to the earth which, in turn, has led some of us inevitably to gardens and landscapes. This is the impetus behind this blog.  I have a strong desire to share my lifelong landscape design experiences in order to inspire others to ‘touch the earth’.

by Jan Johnsen

I aim to promote a reverent way of looking at the green world which sees the piece of ground outside our door as an ‘everyday conduit’ to the energy of life that flows within plants, water, trees, sunlight, rocks, birds and assorted creatures.

J. Johnsen

 Indeed, it is in a garden, as George Bernard Shaw declared, where we can touch the divine.

Photo by Hans Hansen - Millennium Allium 

Looking at the natural world in this way is nothing new. The idea of sanctified outdoor space was the genesis for the sacred groves of the Egyptians, Indians and Greeks. It birthed the medieval labyrinths and Native Americans’ 'medicine wheels'. And of course, ancient Chinese geomancy, ‘Feng Shui’, and Indian ‘Vaastu’, which see the earth and her directions as living, vibrant forces.

from the book, Heaven is a Garden - Jan Johnsen

So we look back to great thinkers such as Lao-Tzu, Pythagoras and Emerson and ancient peoples such as the Native Americans, Chinese and Hawaiians for their sage guidance. They remind us of the power of the natural world upon the human spirit.

I believe knowing the ancient ways help us touch the 'numinous dimension' of a garden. And truly, this is where we will find the enchantment that we are all seeking...

Heaven is a Garden 


  1. A beautiful post that touches me deeply and its timeling was perfect! The chaos is whirling around me and I need to be centered to do the art of design. Running a landscaping company in spring is challenging with all the little details of doing business. Thank you for calming me down and giving me a moment to reflect on why I love gardens! I am grateful to be able to work at home surrounded by my personal garden as it reflects my soul. Hugs

    1. I am with you, Laurin! too busy to think...a reminder why we are running around..

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