'Wild Ideas' Our seasonal blog with some thoughts and inspiration from nature
In praise of circles
At this time of the summer, our circular lily pond and surrounding herb beds are at their peak, with towering spires of angelica, cheery yellow elecampane and spiky cardoon. This is the first sight that greets visitors as they open the wrought iron entrance gates and invites them to step into the garden. Moving towards the pond, they find themselves held within repeated concentric circles of planting, including not only the herb beds, but also the double ring of apple trees that forms our orchard.
Garden designers have long known that circular forms create a feeling of safety and this is an important part of the experience that we aim to offer our gardening therapy participants when they come to us for a day of relaxation and gentle gardening activity in a friendly, supportive group.
One of the key features of our day which has evolved over the years, is a different type of circle in the form of an informal sharing circle over a cup of tea or coffee at the start and end of the day. This gives a voice to everyone in the group, including those who may feel less socially confident and enables us to ensure that we can tailor the day to the current needs of our participants. We are often moved, both to tears and laughter, by this spontaneous sharing and it creates an amazing sense of cohesion, acceptance and caring within a diverse group. It is also a circle that expands easily to incorporate new friends and visitors to the project, so if you would like to experience this, a safe and friendly welcome awaits you!
The Circle of Life