For many generations gardens were considered a place of rest, medicine, reflection and a way to be closer to nature and the Deities. In this modern world the need is no less than it was in older times. People still seek solace in wild nature or the managed natural world of parks and gardens.
Clients wanting a spiritual angle to their gardens are often guided to Zen style of gardens, without the inherent philosophical understanding that accompany such places. As a supplier once told me “Buddha statues are replacing garden gnomes”.
It’s important to give the client wanting a spiritual place in their gardens the professional needs to have a profound understanding of the meanings and reasons for such features. A maze, a spiral or a Labyrinth do not have the same raison d’être, each have their purpose and a different emphasis. They cannot be built like we build a normal hard landscape.
Introducing this element in a garden or a public or corporate space for that matter must be done in the respect of the long traditions these forms come from. One does not need to be a monk to create a spiritual garden, just someone with the clear understanding of the purpose of such a place.
About Patrick Regnault
I have worked in the horticultural and landscaping industry for over 35 years in three different countries.I am a member and Registered Horticulturist with the Australian Institute of Horticulture and member of the Housing Industry Association. I am the owner of Interactive Landscapes, a successful structural landscaping and landscape design business. I believe that what gardens and gardening do is to reconnect people with the fundamental elements of nature. A good gardener will try and acquire a profound understanding of the balance of nature and endeavour to do the best to improve the environment in which the garden is situated. At Interactive Landscapes it is a philosophy that we put into practice when designing and creating a garden, no matter the size. Our name reflects this as we understand that gardens are a place of interaction. View all posts by this author »