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The Zen Garden

The garden represents the natural balance and simplicity of nature.

The rocks that have been placed represent different elements – fire rocks, earth rock, etc depending on shape and position.

The ‘pebble river’ flows along the length of the garden. In the beginning we made a sculpture of pebbles, with a splash or pebbles leading into a river of pebbles.

This represents the ‘flow of life’ journey.

This sculpture is called the ‘Dragons Well’. The maple tree is in a pebble pond in the shape of a koi fish.

As legend has it, if the koi can swim up the river to the dragons, they turn into an immortal dragon.

The moral of this – if we truly want something in life it might be a struggle but with perseverance we can achieve great things.

The 30 foot dragon hedge (a work in progress) faces east towards the rising sun. Oriental dragons are depicted holding a pearl of wisdom in their mouths. This is why the dragon face this est to capture this morning pearl of wisdom.

(the purpose of the dragon hedge is to entice the residents to come out into the garden.)

About the author and creator – Dave Thew – Shi Gong – Gardener – Margaret Wilson Home, Timaru New Zealand

A little about me. I have the title of Shi Gong – Old Master in Tai Chi. I designed a staff wellness program to enhance physical and emotional health for staff at Margaret Wilson Home and The Croft. Residents supported me when I represented NZ in the world Tai Chi Championships. I won 2 Silver medals. And when I broke the world record for the continuous Tai Chi Marathon (30 hours, 15 minutes), I saw this as a way to involve them in something I do as well as something that they can also be involved in.

Editors note – Connectedness and meaningful relationships are key to wellbeing. Our lives are enriched when we have the ability to connect with people, places and nature. August 2022