Mind, Body & Gardening: Breathing In The Zen & Connecting To Nature.

Mind, body and gardening is the order of the day as springtime in New York quickly approaches. Breath in the Zen life and connect to the seasonal transition. You have to be in it to win it!

The number of different garden designs that exist on this planet can be overwhelming so I am going to keep it simple. The Zen in gardening centers around the natural. A drop of water with its sound and splash, a rock or boulder with its strength and permanence and the power of wind/movement within a gardening space. This last idea recognizing wind as a powerful garden element is most important. Wind will effect the movement of water and can generate sound when passing through plants, large rocks, chimes as well as demonstrating movement especially if there are spinning art pieces in the landscape. The life that we breath in through Zen is represented by simplicity, humility and repeating themes.

In the beginning of 2018 I committed to bringing my clients as many of these elements as I could to enhance their natural experience on their properties. Unknowingly those who I approached with simple additions to their properties, like a piece of wind art, welcomed the possibilities. Some existing clients were gifted the enhancement as others paid my cost of material and travel. The goal was to share my love of gardening, nature and the movement of life around us. Connecting the dots between our inside world and the outside world begins with welcoming the elements in and balancing space for those elements to live side by side with us. One of my favorite things to create in a garden or large landscape is the invitation of nature welcoming us to come and explore it’s subtleties.

Creating any garden space requires a sensitivity to the proportions needed to balance structures and existing large living elements ie. old tree and evergreens. Once gardening scale is determined all that is needed to create balance is time and energy. Zen gardening is the practice of repeated themes borrowed from nature. The elements that nature gifts us are represented in a multitude of forms for us to choose from. The easiest representation of nature are the hills and mountains, rocks, that sculpt our environments. After the hard elements we can go straight to the softest which are the plant choices. If we are copying canopy tops of grand forests or the diversity of forest floors, meadows of grasses and wildflowers or the edges of the steam the plethora of choices create opportunity for us to choose from. No matter what choices we make keeping it clear and simple ultimately bring harmony.

Within the natural world harmony is maintained via push and pull of all the elements. Water, wind and fire shape the world around us and we need to honor their existence. We can be obvious with a waterfall or subtle with a bubbling urn. We can put a grand fire pit in or a simple propane lantern. There are 500,000 dollar glass and crystal wind sculptures or a Costco $14 spinner. Everyone has their budget and everyone has their parcel of land to consider. No matter, Breath in the Zen and celebrate the natural world around us all.


(with every waking breath)





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