Archives for posts with tag: garden design


The classical 7-path labyrinth design is a perfect sacred space for community gatherings, sacred ceremonies, as well as creating a means for connecting with nature, and as a tool for developing peace. Used as a form of sacred space in cultures around the globe for over 3200 years, this type labyrinth design can actually, de-stress the nerves, help to integrate and balance the right and left brain, center the focus, and organize your day.

I have been walking my personal since 1981. Mostly in the morning before the sun rises so I can enjoy the energetic and shamanic sacred space designed by the Great Mystery. My walk sets the day for me in a very powerful and enlightening way. I walk my labyrinth when starting a new project, I need a solution or new insight, I want to connect to my deepest inner wisdom, or just get connected and express gratitude. It has become a sacred space that is an important ingredient of my life.

Because the Shambhalla Institute blends the design and installation with sacred teachings of ancient indigenous cultures, feng shui, and sustainable garden design, personal sacred space reflects individual lifestyle, innate strengths, goals, and spiritual nature. The experience gives the mind a chance to slow down and get focused. The senses are heightened to feel, see, and hear the natural environment surrounding the labyrinth while the intuition opens into what the mind is thinking, the heart is feeling, and my gratitude.

The Shambhalla Institute is looking for people who want to learn about the labyrinth and help install labyrinths for themselves, friends, schools, nature centers, community gardens, and public parks. If you are interested in working together to add sacred space in your community, please contact the institute, 352.638.2617.


IMG_0264 The Classical Seven-Circuit Labyrinth is known to be a form of harmony and an easy walk through it gives a calming, relaxing feel. Not known as well are the results of a 2008 research program that analyzed the effects of a daily labyrinth experience on children that exhibited ADHD symptoms. Each day the children moved their finger through a hand-sized labyrinth.

For the research, children were chosen because they were hyperactive, easily distracted, had poor concentration skills, and had difficulty engaging in quiet activities both alone and with other children. There was a persistent problem interfering in the child’s life at home and at school.

After 4 weeks of ‘finger walking’ a labyrinth every day there was significant reduction in ADHD-type behavior. The results suggested that, over time, the labyrinth experience could cause a positive improvement in the children’s ADHD behavior.

The Shambhalla Institute offers an interesting Labyrinth Class to learn how to install a personal Classical Seven-Circuit Labyrinth. Here are some comments from participants. Please share your labyrinth experience with others with a comment below or on the Shambhalla Institute and Shamanic Gardening Facebook pages.

Annie Retamel, a Shamanic Gardener in Pasadena, California:   “Thank  you again for doing the Labyrinth class at my house, it was such a spiritual gift and it keeps on giving and giving.  For a woman who recently lost her husband, our labyrinth has become a huge healing space for her.”

Millie Fink, Medical Trainer, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:    “Walking a labyrinth revealed to me a long-forgotten spiritual aspect of my true being.”

Lynn Thiel, Travel Agent, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:    “The labyrinth centers me, taking me into a oneness with nature. My personal labyrinth brought sacredness to my land.”



A part of sustainability is being mindful of how shape affects the atmosphere of a garden, especially how easily the wind moves through the garden and the comfort that’s felt when walking by different shapes that might be present in a garden.  Shape can be seen in the outline of a garden bed, the shape of a water fountain design, tables and chairs, the type of stones that define edges, round pebbles spread along a path, and in the shape of the stepping-stones that are used to mark a path

Although vegetables are commonly planted in long straight rows, round is the most commonly seen shape in a garden. Most containers are round, as are bird baths, bird nests, flowers, tree trunks, bamboo stakes, the rain barrel, buckets, the handles of garden tools, and even the broom. Those small frog ponds and wonderful garden beds that surround large old trees are usually round. Seeds come in a variety of shapes, but mostly are round or at least have rounded edges – the tiniest seeds of amaranth, mustard, and quinoa are perfectly round.

Ancient indigenous gardeners knew the circle to be a shape of harmony. Rounded edges allow easy movement of the wind, feel soft to the eyes, are easy to hold, and comfortable to touch. Tiny bugs, worms, and other critters enjoy the tiny protected alcoves that rounded edges create.

Read more about shapes in the book Shamanic Gardening: Timeless Techniques for the Modern Sustainable Garden; see ‘Garden Design for Right- and Left-brain Individuals.


Butterflies like to sip nectar from a large patch of single colored flowers and are most attracted to red. Here’s how to build your own Butterfly Café by seeding a red flower ‘sod’.

1.    Purchase seeds of your favorite red, butterfly flower.

2.    Cover a flat with one thickness of cheesecloth with extra overlapping the ends. Wet down the cheesecloth and cover it with a 1 inch layer of potting soil. Gently spray with water to moisten. Repeat to build a 2nd layer of moistened cheesecloth and 1 inch layer of potting soil.

3.    Broadcast the flower seeds evenly across the top of the moistened soil. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil and moisten gently. Firm gently to make the most seed contact with the soil .  Moisten again lightly and evenly.

4.    Set the prepared flat outside in a shady spot. When the seedlings have 5 leaves it’s time to lift the sod out of the flat holding the cheesecloth ends. Keeping the sod intact, gently place it on the prepared ground for your new butterfly garden.  Note the photo above is Globe Amaranth, Amaranthacae.

%d bloggers like this: