Fran and I moved to this house in May 2000. When we’d first viewed the property the previous November, I’d been blown away by the one third of an acre garden, coupled with the stunning views. We have farm land to the left hand side of the house and also at the bottom of the garden. So our animal neighbours are sheep and cows plus their youngsters for several months of the year. We tend to keep an observant eye on them and notify the farmer if there are any problems. Beyond the back field is a wood where pheasants for the local shoot are bred and beyond the wood we have glimpses of Morecambe Bay and then hills in the far distance. So it’s an amazing place to live and I feel very privileged to be the current custodian of the garden.
The changes and the additions to the garden over 16 years, reveal my interests in the garden as a sacred healing space. I’ve actively increased the energy within it by adding a spiral, a wizard and recently a dragon! Also restoring the balance of masculine and feminine energy has been something of a major project. Mother Nature rules OK here. I acknowledge the presence of Her diverse energy helpers, with figures of elves, fairies, pixies and gnomes dotted around the garden in strategic positions.
I feed the plants but I definitely don’t spray them! Like Prince Charles I talk with them too but in a northern accent! If a tree needs pruning for example, I first explain to the tree what is about to happen and why. Well, would you want a limb removing without prior notice? I don’t think so! While I’m gardening I tend to sing and hum around the garden and especially in the greenhouse.
I guess you don’t need to be Einstein to realise this isn’t your average garden and I’m certainly not your average gardener either! But my methods seem to work here. I’ve certainly had visitors who clearly didn’t understand the principles behind the design, but nobody has ever said they didn’t like it. In fact many people appear to be blown away by the garden and especially the energy. In fact a few visitors have been so overwhelmed they’ve actually shed tears.
In my opinion, a sacred healing garden needs a sense of calmness about it. I’m very aware of the effects of particular colours and the moods they create. Bright red, flaming orange and strident yellows are both visually in your face and high in energy. No way do they calm the soul! Therefore apart from a few amazing red poppies which flower for a short time only, I tend to avoid these colours. I prefer pinks, lilacs, purples, blues and whites.
I’m also very interested in the colours of foliage, particularly variegated foliage, as it gives added interest in the winter months. One of the challenges I set myself when choosing the plants, was to have something in flower all the year round. Heathers, clematis, hellebores and various bulbs come into their own here.
I believe the design of a garden gives quite a lot away about the personality of the designer. Straight lines and enclosed spaces suggest an interest in order and a desire for a certain degree of control. Whereas curved beds, loose planting and weeds in the path, indicate a more relaxed approach to the garden. If you watch Gardeners World, consider Monty Don’s garden compared to Carol Klein’s.
My garden certainly reflects my own personal journey over the last 16 years. The front garden, which was where I started, has more straight lines in it for example, whereas the orchard at the bottom is positively wild.
I’ve been somewhat obsessed with spirals for many years. I often use a clockwise spiral pattern to add energy or protection to something or to somebody. In a similar manner, an anti-clockwise spiral can be used to remove unwanted energy. For example, if the greenhouse is overfull with plants, I may have to put the hanging baskets outside rather too early in the year, when a late frost might affect them. So I first wrap a clockwise energy spiral round each one of the baskets before finally hanging them up. This energy protection has never failed yet. A few years ago I discovered a wasps’ nest in one of the hedges which really needed cutting. Oh dear. First I asked the wasps to please go and live somewhere else. However, as wasps have an rather awkward waspish disposition in my opinion, I gave them a little pro-active encouragement. Each day I stood in front of the hedge where the nest was situated and made anti-clockwise spiral movements with my hand and then energetically simulated pulling the nest out from the hedge. As I’d expected, the wasps didn’t give in that easily but three weeks later the wasps had gone elsewhere. Mission accomplished. Nobody had been stung and the wasps presumably found an alternative site to live. A job well done in my opinion.
Temporary energetic spirals are all very well but I’d a sixth sense the garden really needed a special physical spiral of its own. The spiral in my garden actually serves a dual purpose. Similar to a labyrinth, a spiral can be used as a meditative tool. Before entering, you need to focus on a problem you want solving. Then you walk very slowly around it in an anti-clockwise direction. As you walk round, you have to engage with various dangling branches of the weeping beech tree. When you reach the centre you finally come face to face with the wizard. (More about the wizard later.) The return journey is in a clockwise direction. Once the journey is completed, you may well have a good solution to your problem, or it could come to you later.
When we arrived here, I had a feeling there was an energy source where the spiral is now but for some unknown reason, the energy had nodded off! Well clearly it needed wakening up again. Creating the spiral did exactly this. Once re-awoken, the energy was very apparent. The trees in the bed nearest to the spiral had a huge growth spurt in the first year. Sixteen years later, the spiral is now the energy power centre for the whole garden. And not only that, but the energy is moving out from the garden in all directions and, as each year passes, it moves out even further.
I expect you’re wondering why anyone would actually want a wizard in their garden. Well, I have my reasons! To be fair I don’t think the wizard idea was mine in the first instance. The energies “Upstairs” had a plan to add wizard energy to the garden, though I freely admit, I was totally captivated by the idea from day one. This is because I’m very interested in magick, sacred symbols, alchemy and utilising the power of energy for positive purposes. Also I realised a wizard would add masculine energy to the garden. Secondly, manifesting a life-size wizard was something of a grand challenge. And I so love a challenge and especially a big one like that. I had no doubts at all, that if the Universe wanted a wizard in the garden, then the appropriate help would be there somewhere.
And of course it was. The tree trunk we needed was bought from the local estate. The tree was beech, which is the mother tree of the forest and holds feminine energy to balance the masculine energy of the wizard. Andy, an amazing wood carver, who lived just eight miles away, was as captivated by the idea as I was. A friend of Andy’s, a professional photographer, who wanted to get into short film making, agreed to make a film of the process from start to finish for free. This lovely film captures the magick of the whole wizard story. If possible please take time to watch it.