A Garden of Visible Prayer
Creating a Personal Sacred Space One Step at a Time
by Margaret Rose Realy
Publisher: FAITH Catholic
This is my first book that was released on March 1st, 2011, and was written to help guide you in creating your own prayer garden. The process to create your space follows three basic steps: discern what leads you personally into prayer, design a garden based on what you have discerned, and then armed with your design, develop your outdoor space.
Gardens are places of growth, not only for plants but for our souls as well. Creating an outdoor spiritual sanctuary, no matter how small, is now within every gardener’s reach. A Garden of Visible Prayer shows you how to develop a contemplative outdoor space in a creative and systematic manner. Whether you are a new gardener or an old hand, wanting to create a public or a private retreat area, this book will guide you in a step-by-step approach to discern what leads you, personally, to a deeper sense of spirituality and then how to take that information to create your own outdoor space for prayer. Set up in a systematic approach, this book breaks into three easily understandable units to create an outdoor retreat: discern, design, and development. In the discerning process you will establish what elements in a garden lead you to become quiet and introspective, fostering spiritual growth. The next section guides you in designing your prayer space; where to locate it, where to place the features you have chosen and how to select plants. There is also a section on Catholic traditions in the garden at the end of the book. The final chapters on development tell you how to install your garden based on your design. A Garden of Visible Prayer helps you feed both hungers for natural beauty and spiritual insight.
Long time gardener and author, Margaret Rose Realy believes that solace and the gentle voice of God can be heard in a garden. Take a walk with her within the pages of her beautifully crafted unique book, A Garden of Visible Prayer, as she descriptively guides you every step of the way to create your own personal retreat space, incorporating a variety of elements, which will lead you to prayer. Even with meager means or a small space, by following the steps in this book, your end result will be a distinctive and beautiful setting in which you can bask in God’s creation and where you may very well hear His voice telling you to, “Be still and know that I am God.”
~Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle is a Catholic speaker and author of numerous books, and EWTN TV host of “Everyday Blessings for Catholic Moms.”
Many books can show you how to design a garden that pleases the eye and ensures good plant growth, but few books help you create a garden that promotes your spiritual growth. Margaret begins by giving you tools to determine the spiritual aspects that you want in your garden, as well as the sensual and physical characteristics that influence site, plant and accessory selection. She then provides practical design techniques, pointers on plant selection, soils and media, containers and tips on planting trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. This book is useful for anyone designing a new garden, but invaluable for those of us looking to create a space for meditation, contemplation and prayer.
~Dean M. Krauskopf, Ph.D., Extension Education Emeritus, Michigan State University Cooperative Extension Service