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Landscaping Design for Your Life

DSC00360I have a Golden chain tree in my yard that has beautiful hanging yellow flowers every spring. A neighbor told me how much they enjoyed the tree and hoped I would never get rid of it. I assured them I wouldn’t. It was one of my first choices for trees in my landscaping design after building my home.


To build a home we need a set of plans. After the house is finished, the next step is taking the pile of rubble and dirt remaining and create a landscaping plan for trees, shrubs, flower beds and pathways.


Years ago I put together a program entitled, “Turn your gravel Pit into a Beautiful Garden”, the inspiration coming from Butchart Gardens, in British Columbia, Canada, an internationally renowned garden.


Just as you and I can design and build our homes, we can do the same with our lives.  I was inspired by this concept when I researched the beginning of this beautiful place.


It began as a quarry owned by Mr. Butchart to extract limestone. When all the elements had been removed, what remained was a huge, expansive hole in the ground – a huge gravel pit. Since the quarry had been on the outskirts of the owner’s property, it was an eyesore to the owner’s wife. Surveying this ugly extensive hole in her back yard, she decided to do something about it.


With the help of architects and landscapers, she brought in top soil, designed and created what is known today as Butchart Gardens where people from around the world come to see its breathtaking display.

DSC00753What was once a repulsive and desolate pit in the ground had now been turned into a beautiful sunken garden whose paths wind around beautiful ponds of water with ducks and swans floating between lily pads.

Tree branches gently caress the water’s edge and flowers, shrubs and trees artfully placed throughout the gardens draw you into a world of beauty.

When viewed at night the gardens become a fairyland with the trees, paths and flowers lit by thousands of strategically placed lights.


Mrs. Butchart took an uninviting and inhospitable place and turned it into a showcase, a place of beauty that fed her soul and continues to touch the lives of everyone who comes to see this marvelous place of spellbinding serenity and beauty.


We all have gravel pits in our lives

img_3391– huge, ugly holes created by death or divorce, acts of violence, tragic and lonely childhoods, or simply careless living; and we are left with scared landscapes of indifference, bad choices, losses, isolation, and rejection leaving us feeling desolate, forlorn, abandoned, lost and lonely.

And in our attempts to reconstruct the pieces of our lives, we often get overwhelmed, give up or accept that life will forever be an ugly gravel pit.


DSC00758But just as Mrs. Butchart created a world-renown garden from a gravel pit, we can take our lives full of pain and broken dreams and turn them into places of beauty where we are comfortable residing and others want to visit.

We can turn un-attractive and hopeless situations into satisfying, productive and pleasing futures. We don’t scrap it – we use it.

It becomes the backbone for our beautiful garden – positive gardens of hope, light, joy, energy and strength.


Next week I will give you some steps to take in creating your personal landscaping plan for your life.

Marlene Anderson

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