Lifeways can be a busy ol’ place at times! Occasionally, however, there are quiet moments and If I’m fortunate, the sun is smiling and I have time for a break, my favourite place to be is our beautiful garden.
I will often pop out - even a two-minute break is deeply refreshing. Every season, every day, every change in the weather, the garden shifts and evolves in tiny and extraordinary ways. New birdsong, buds and leaves appearing, flowers changing by the season. A snail making its way across a path, tadpoles darting under the lilies, flowers raising their heads in the morning and lowering them at night - each tiny movement or change is an exercise in mindfulness and appreciation of what an extraordinary and beautiful place the world is.
The term oasis is apt. Lifeways garden is so close to the heart of Stratford with all of its busyness and movement and noise and colour and people that it hardly seems possible it exists at all.
Lifeways garden is often called ‘Stratford’s best kept secret’. I relish the opportunity to reveal it to newcomers.
It is not a perfect kept and orderly garden. Its borders are a joyful jumble of marestails, foxgloves, grasses lupins and scented herbs. The foliage grows long in many places and the pathways are cracked with moss and are sometimes hard to find. But it is a vibrant and magical space, full of life and nature and beauty.
And the garden is yours.
It belongs to everyone who comes to Lifeways whether to work or to seek respite or relaxation.
Lifeways garden is maintained entirely by volunteers who relish working here. We do have one ‘paid’ gardener - a local man who mows the lawns and never charges enough for the work he does. The garden is a haven for those who work in it too.
So – whenever you need a break, refreshment or a little peace, just pop down and visit the garden and sit a while and breathe.
Who knows, perhaps you’ll see me out there too?