My son and I recently spent a Sunday afternoon meandering around the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond, Virginia and it reminded me once again of the importance of taking time to immerse yourself in the calming and healing beauty of nature.
I was not particularly stressed out when we entered the spectacular gardens but after walking around among the themed gardens and gentle water fountains for about ten minutes, I found myself slowing down and suddenly stopping on the path to take a deep breath and truly look and listen to where I was at that moment. We sat on a bench for awhile and took it all in. The slightest breeze was blowing that day and it just felt heavenly. Peaceful.
Some of the themed gardens include a Children’s Garden, a Japanese Garden and my favorite: a Healing Garden. It is a small garden inspired by the cloistered gardens of the medieval era but I loved the idea that it was designed and setup specifically for the purposes of being a healing space for people to renew and refresh their inner spirit.
According to a sign in the garden, it is meant as “a refuge from the daily stresses of the outside world” where visitors can sit and find some measure of healing through contemplation, meditation or reflection. I could see a lot of rosemary and lavender plants in the garden which would make sense since smelling both of those plants is relaxing and soothing.
My eyes rested on the acres and acres of natural settings in the gardens and I could feel myself drawing strength from the immediate environment. While gazing at the clear marine blue sky that day, my everyday worrisome thoughts temporarily disappeared and were replaced with a sense of serenity. Thank you Mother Nature!
If you ever find yourself in Richmond, I would definitely recommend the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (www.lewisginter.org) as a destination to visit and spend time. I know I will be definitely be going back to explore the grounds further to discover new healing spaces. Here are a few of the pictures I took while falling in love with this amazing garden: