Image © The Quiet Garden Movement
The Quiet Garden movement has been in existence for over thirty years, making it more or less contemporaneous with GreenSpirit. The movement arose from the vision of an Anglican priest, Philip Roderick, who saw a need for making the retreat experience available as part of everyday life. Retreat houses are great, but are beyond the means of many and require a time commitment which is not always possible.
In the early days Quiet Gardens were situated mainly in private homes but over time they have spread to churches, schools, hospitals and prisons in the UK and overseas. While the movement is Christian-based, the gardens are open to people of all faiths and none. A typical Quiet Garden will be open for a day, maybe 2 days a month mostly throughout the summer though many have indoor gatherings throughout winter. While no garden is the same and garden hosts are very different, visitors will always have the opportunity to be silent and still, and will be able to do this in the context of the natural world (many of the gardens are very beautiful) with a community of people on a spiritual journey and warm, simple hospitality.
There are now 250 gardens worldwide, mostly in the UK, and locations can be found on the website at https://quietgarden.org. We all need some respite and quiet in this busy world, so whether you follow a faith tradition or just want some ‘time out’, do give it a go.