Sanctuary garden design

Originally introduced by Juli, I've met Terry Hershey before but in early November I had the opportunity to get to know him better as I participated in a workshop he gave in San Diego. You can visit Terry's web site (www.terryhershey.com) to find out more about him, but in case you are not so inclined, here's a snip from his biography. 

TERRY HERSHEY—author, humorist, inspirational speaker, dad, ordained minister, golf addict, and smitten by French wine. He divides his time between designing sanctuary gardens and sharing his practice of “pausing” and “sanctuary,” to help us do less and live more. Terry’s book, The Power of Pause, offers the permission to slow down and to be gentle with ourselves, in a world that demands More-Bigger-Faster. Most days, you can find Terry out in his garden–on Vashon Island in the Puget Sound—because he believes that there is something fundamentally spiritual about dirt under your fingernails.
The workshop focused on the idea of sanctuary -

- the direct emphasis was on garden as a place of sanctuary and calm, but Terry was quick to point out that the same framework works in prayer or meditation.  The physical instantiation of a garden puts a nice tangible element to ideas that are perhaps more metaphorical in other instances.
It was nice to stretch my garden vocabulary with the exercises that Terry brought to us - my worksheet for the morning is shown above. It helps that Terry is an engaging and humorous speaker - I think that he makes his living primarily from speaking engagements, so he's good.

We started with the "Gifts" that we wanted to honor, moved to ingredients, bunkum, and finally paradigms.

  • Gifts / Gifts of Sanctuary – Your personal list of elements that give you sanctuary. 
  • Ingredients seems to be a fixed list and are the practical elements of an effective sanctuary garden. I assume that writing them in was part of the class exercise. Here's the list: 
  •   Portal – Signals an entrance.  As discussed in class this could be anything - the scent of a plant, the sight of a landmark, a sound, the end of a storm, as well as the usual garden gate type of arrangement that one might first think of.
  •   Caim – “kay em” literally a circle of protection. Practically it’s elements that surround your space and anchor it. Could be the horizon, could be a wall.  I think the important part is that these elements give you a feeling of comfort and security.
  •   Sloooows – Elements that provide calm. 
  •   Senses – Grounding elements 
  •   Repeat – 
  • Bunkum – Good and bad (or both) that distracts or diverts us from enjoying Gifts. 
  • Paradigms are both good and bad: I. Paradigms (bad) and II. Paradigm (good). I think that paradigms don't have to come as a matched pair, but in the class examples that I noted they do. 
Interesting questions come up if you don't particularly focus on a sanctuary garden.  For example, maybe the point of your garden is to provide services to pollinators and insects.  There's more to explore here with some guided self-reflection.

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