Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Garden of Spiritual Healing

I sometimes struggle with the concept of fairness. 

I desperately want life to be fair; that being a good person and working hard means that you will prosper and be happy. But the reality is that life isn't fair. Goodness is its own reward and bad things often happen to good people.  

When life deals a person a serious blow what, if any, role can a garden play in the process of healing? 

This "healing" might be a simple matter of getting through tough times without lingering sorrow or bitterness, finding and giving forgiveness, or discovering the inner strength and courage to do battle with a serious disease like cancer.

Today I want to share with you a unique garden in Ancaster, Ontario. In partnership with the Bob Kemp Hospice for Palliative Care, the Wesley Urban Ministries and the Aboriginal Health Centre, the Bethesda United Church has a very special "Healing Garden".

Open to "all people of any faith or no faith"* this garden is a unique outdoor space that is intended to promote wellness in the mind, the body and the spirit.

The garden is comprised of three spaces that are "meant to be a place of reflection, healing and 

Author's note: all the quotes in this post come from the Bethesda United Church website.

The Wooded Nook is a "place to reflect, to dwell prayerfully and to hopefully reset our problems into  perspective".

The tree in the picture above feels almost like a big old hug doesn't it?

The Healing Garden addresses the healing properties of plants in relationship to the body. 

It is intended to be "a place to encounter creation in nature's most beautiful forms".

Finally, a walk into the centre of grass Labyrinth is intended to be a symbolic seeking spiritual direction. 

The Labyrinth is meant to be a "place for meditating, healing and praying".

Throughout this garden, there are subtle reminders that some good can often 
come from tragedy and death.

There are also many gentle reminders that in its finest moments, life can be truly beautiful.

More Information & Links:

Bethesda United Church recently celebrated its 187th birthday. It is located at:

584 Garner Rd West
Ancaster, Ontario
Phone: (905) 902-0337
website: Bethesda United Church  


  1. What a beautiful space. I think that it is so wonderful that this is open to everyone and that through the hard times there is a place for people to go to take in the beauty of this garden. I really enjoyed the natural components like those logs! Thanks for sharing Jennifer! Nicole xo

  2. I think any garden can be a place of meditation, to heal the soul and feed the heart - but it is a nice thought to make a garden for people to share in times of need.

  3. What a truly fabulous space for garden often gives me solace and I think the wildlife I find there gives me even greater peace.

  4. What a wonderful place, love the twisted trees and that photo of the Monarch on the Milkweed is fantastic!


  5. I just discovered your wonderful blog, Jennifer. I, too, started off on Blotanical but didn't come across your blog back then. Your photographs are stunning! Love that 'hugging' tree. P. x

  6. What a beautiful and peaceful place to go and visit..there is so much love in that landscape.


  7. What a lovely garden, thanks for sharing it with us. I fully embrace the concept of a healing garden, and I don’t necessarily believe there need to be any particularly ‘healing’ plants in the garden. A garden in itself is healing in so many ways. I have been dealt more ‘blows’ in life than most people and I can truly say that my garden keeps me sane, and is a reason for me to get out of bed and get dressed every day of the year.

  8. This is such a wonderful idea, Jennifer, and I am sure that it has touched many lives.
    Thank you so much for sharing it here.
    Have a great weekend!

  9. What a beautiful concept. I can attest to the healing powers of the garden. They have sure comforted, uplifted, and restored me numerous times. This is a lovely place that is sure to provide peace to those who seek it.


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