The quiet garden movement

Spring has truly sprung here in southern Europe, a time when many people’s thoughts turn to gardening. Gardens can be great places to rejuvenate the spirit, relieve stress, contemplate love and forgiveness, or just “smell the roses.” I was fortunate that in my childhood I had access to a huge Victorian walled garden, with walkways covered with bushes and borders seeded with a huge range of plants and flowers.

Even if you do not have a garden of your own, you can still enjoy the labours of love in the gardens of others. The Quiet Garden Movement (UK) is the brainchild of Philip Roderick, an Anglican priest working in the Diocese of Oxford, England. According to the Quiet Garden Web site, at the age of 14, while on holiday with his family in South Wales, the seeds of this idea began to root when Roderick took “an evening walk up a cliff path and was suddenly aware of a different reality, a depth to things of which he had previously been unaware.” The idea germinated for years, until September 1992, when the first garden opened.

The Quiet Garden Movement promotes the creation of garden spaces that encourage rest, prayer, and contemplation in private homes and gardens, retreat centres and local churches, inner city areas, and prisons. There are now 300 gardens around the world. Go to www.quietgarden.co.uk.