Skip to content
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    The Spiritual Garden


    WebMD Feature from "Country Living" Magazine

    By Maggie Howe

    Country Living Magazine Tending to flowers and greenery can enrich the soul as well as the soil.

    There is peace within a garden, a peace so deep and calm
    That when the heart is troubled it’s like a soothing balm
    There’s life within a garden, a life that still goes on
    Filling empty places when older plants have gone
    There’s glory in the garden at every time of year
    Spring, summer, autumn, winter, to fill the heart with cheer
    So ever tend your garden, its beauty to increase
    For in it you’ll find solace, and in it you’ll find peace.

    —Rosamond, Lady Langham

    Several years ago, the son of my dear friend Brenda was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. Brenda, an avid gardener with a passion for orchids (friends refer to her as the “Orchid Lady”—there is even an orchid named after her), turned to her garden for spiritual healing and emotional support. And during the past four years, both Brenda and her son have tended to the garden. “It became a sacred place,” she says. “A place of growth not only for plants and trees, but for our inner selves.”

    For centuries, Christian and Buddhist monks have retreated to the quiet of monastery gardens to seek inner peace and contemplate the miracles of nature. Brenda, too—like generations of gardeners before her—has come to see gardening as a metaphor for life’s regenerative cycles. “From the appearance of a shoot to the fading of a flower, from gathering seeds to planting them, my garden represents the process of life,” she explains. As she looks out to the garden she and her son have tended together, Brenda is reminded how a little bit of nurturing can manifest itself beautifully in the future.

    For Candis Cantin Packard, founder of EverGreen Herb Garden School of Integrative Herbology, near Placerville, Calif., taking time to watch the daily and seasonal changes of the garden and the phases of the moon is even more important than sowing seeds and pulling weeds. “Too many people are isolated from nature,” she says. But students who come to her depressed and full of anxiety and worry, she says, invariably, by the time they leave the garden, feel less alone or separate. “When we take the time to reconnect with nature in some fashion, we’re better able to feel ourselves as an integral part of the whole universe,” Packard assents.

    1 | 2 | 3

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    Balding man in mirror
    Treatments & solutions.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    sticky notes on face
    10 tips to clear your brain fog.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    Trainer demonstrating exercise for RA
    Exercises for your joints.
    apple slices with peanut butter
    What goes best with workouts?
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    Myths and facts.

    Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

    It's nothing to sneeze at.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.