The garden is starting to wake up to another year of immense activity. At this time of year, when most plants are in a stage of rest it is easy to see the underlying design. We would like to talk about a special aspect of the land that has given us and many visitors a sense of joy and belonging throughout all the seasons over the last few years.
In many cultures around the world and throughout history, nature and the elements have been revered with the utmost esteem. Without the wind to disperse seeds and strengthen the plants, the heat of the sun to warm the soil and melt the snow, the water falling as rain and filling the lakes and rivers or the fertile rich brown earth itself nothing would survive on the planet.
We decided to honour the elements by erecting four small standing stones around a circle and connect them to the four elements of air, fire, water and earth. In natural and pagan traditions this is sometimes called an elemental circle. There are variations on this theme and we are in no way experts but we have found that what we created has become a place of peace and tranquillity where many animals and people like to linger. You can read about the construction process here and here.
Our stone in the East represents the element of air and we have incorporated many grasses and other plants like bamboo that move nicely in the wind and make a rustling sound.
In the South our stone is connected to the element of fire. Here we have many plants with red leaves or flowers to represent the warmth of the sun.
In the West we have a stone that represents the element of water and many plants here are blue and share the space with seashells and pieces of blue pottery.
Finally in the North we have erected a stone to represent the element of earth and the plants here are mainly green and lush.
Our land is closely planted with many trees, shrubs, groundcovers and climbing plants and the circle has become a much needed open space for music, meetings and relaxing throughout the year.
In todays world we are using the natural resources much too quickly and we believe that a more thoughtful approach is needed. It is time to slow down, remember and honour the beauty that is ever present in the elements of nature.