Creating a Garden for the Soul

By Linda Wiggen Kraft,
Healthy Planet Green & Growing Editor

Gardens are not only about the landscape outside of our homes, they were also about the inner landscape of hearts, minds, bodies and souls. Gardens for the soul are created when there is a perfect match between a person’s soul and the soul of the garden. Here is a place where we find connection with the deepest part of our being. Here we find balance and wholeness. Here we are nurtured, supported and empowered. The needs of the soul, whether they be healing, love, beauty, joy, peace, play, connection, reverence, gratitude, or transcendence are taken care of. Here we feel truly at home.

All gardens have the potential to be a garden for the soul. Each of us is unique in who we are and what we need for our lives. A garden for your soul may be very different from a garden that is perfect for someone else. You may need a quiet contemplative garden that balances your hectic life. Another person may need an outdoor dance floor where they can dance under the moon and stars with friends and family.

The important part of the process of creating a garden for your soul is knowing how to find what your inner landscape is and needs. The challenge is to find the perfect match of inner and outer landscape. Once that match is made, sacred space is created.

In my decades as a garden and landscape designer, I created a process to find the match of inner and outer landscape. I call it the Complete Creative Process. There are five parts.

The first is Looking Within. Sit quietly with closed eyes and imagine nature outside. Imagine real or unknown places where you feel at home, content, peace, joy, safe. Let those feeling settle into your mind, heart and whole body. After a few minutes, open your eyes and write down your experiences.

The second part is Awakening Awareness.Again, imagine these nature places of your initial Looking Within. Go back to these spaces and become aware of all your senses. All gardens and nature spots are places where we can experience a wholeness of our being through our senses. In  your imagination become aware of what you see, smell, touch, hear and even taste.

The third part is Intention and Purpose By Looking Within and Awakening Awareness there is a discovery of what we want to be, feel and experience in the garden. These discoveries are what we want to bring into our life. These are the intentions and purpose of the garden. Using the images of outdoor spaces that feel best for you, imagine how the essence of those places can be brought to your garden. A fountain may carry the essence of a waterfall you found in your imaginings. A quiet secluded bench area may fill your need for sanctuary. These intentions are the energy blueprint of the garden, the foundation of the garden. Through intentions a seed will grow into a garden for your soul.

The fourth part is Harmonious Creation This is where inner landscape comes into being with outer landscape. Choices are made, the structure built and the garden planted. What is important in this step is to find those parts that match inner experiences with outer creation.

The fifth part Continuous Cycle Recognize that creating a garden is a cycle, not a completion. Gardens are living changing creations needing care and nurturing. As they grow and change, we also grow and change. We nurture and in turn are nurtured by our gardens.

Linda Wiggen Kraft is a landscape designer of holistic and organic gardens. She is also an artist and creativity workshop leader. Her next art workshop is July 22nd. Find out more, subscribe to her blog and Instagram at www.CreativityForTheSoul.com, Call her at 314 504-4266.