By Pam DeGuyter
When I was asked to write about healing gardens, I first thought, “What is a healing garden?” As I reflected on my different clients, I realized that many of the gardens I create serve as a sanctuary; a special refuge that calms our minds and brings peace to our hearts. One woman in particular, who works in the city and only comes upstate for the weekends, said that the first thing she does when she gets to the country is walk around her garden. In order to enter their home, they must first walk a pathway through the garden. As an artist, nature and the cycle of creation is very important to her. With every visit she observes how the plants have grown and matured, and what new flowers are blooming. To her the garden is a sanctuary filled with everlasting inspiration.
Last year I decided to spray a Bio-Dynamic preparation on her land. This involves mixing half a cup of BD preparation 500 with 3 gallons of good water, stirring vigorously to form a vortex, and then quickly changing directions. This act is repeated for one hour. Needless to say it takes two people to complete this task! That day my client arrived unexpectedly. I knew in that moment that it was time to step into my Truth. I asked her if she would like to help stir the prep 500, and explained that the spray was very healing for the land by connecting the earth and plants with the cosmos. Of course she would help! As we took turns stirring, I talked about how the motion enlivened the water so the action functioned on a homeopathic, or energy, level. After an hour of hard work, we sprinkled the water onto the land. Earlier that day the birds surrounding the house and garden were calling frantically, almost as if agitated, and there had been a strong wind. As we finished spreading all of the water, we both observed how the birds had quieted and the wind died down! In that moment, we all felt a peace in the garden.
I have another client who is a breast cancer survivor and an amazing cook. Every morning she spends time sitting in her vegetable garden. It fills her with peace and gratitude to be with these plants that gift her with such nutritious and flavorful food! Never having the opportunity to have a garden before, she delights in discovering how vegetables grow. She loves to fill her home with beautiful cut flowers, especially zinnias. Zinnias also hold a special place in the heart of her husband. They remind him of when he was a child and his grandmothergrew beds of this flower. These associations of memories awaken the child within us. Even the scent of a particular flower will do this. For me it is the smell of orange blooms that remind me of my grandmother’s perfume and the many happy times I spent with her.
Sanctuary gardens bring people closer to Nature. They are a place of spiritual healing, a safe place where the outside cares of the world do not intrude. They can be a vegetable or flower garden, a special tree or even a single blossom. They are a healing refuge for our bodies, mind and spirit. People need gardens to re-member and bring balance into their lives.