Cathedral of Trees Muir Woods

Garden Designers Roundtable | My Cathedral

Spiritual journeys often reveal themselves over time.  I am not one for those that are organized.  For many years I have found mine  in the company of trees. They are a cathedral that moves me to tears each and every time with their beauty and bounty.  They give back to the earth like no other; a perfect life cycle.

Cathedral of Trees Muir WoodsYellow flag irisesDancing trees covered in moss

Basking Ridge Oak

This spring as I drive all over my Garden State chasing after work, clients, and plants the devastation of our hardwood forests and my most sacred places again brings me to tears.  My eyes fill up as I write this. Upended roots and downed trees are everywhere.  Broken limbs torn from the hearts of their trunks are wounds that won’t easily mend.  Our forests may take hundreds of years (if ever) to recover from two autumns of extreme weather.  Yet Mother Nature has a way of fixing herself and providing solutions where there are seemingly none.  The dead and dying become part of the perfect circle as hosts and nesting places.  So I stop whenever I can and offer whatever constitutes as prayer that the cathedrals will rise again and offer some other soul solace and joy.

Old Growth ForestHerons nesting in trees

Some other landscape and garden designers are celebrating trees in their own way today as part of the Garden Designers Roundtable monthly thematic posts:

Jocelyn Chilvers : The Art Garden : Denver, CO
Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK
Debbie Roberts : A Garden of Possibilities : Stamford, CT
David Cristiani : The Desert Edge : Albuquerque, NM
Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA
Susan Cohan : Miss Rumphius’ Rules : Chatham, NJ
Scott Hokunson : Blue Heron Landscapes : Granby, CT
Douglas Owens-Pike : Energyscapes : Minneapolis, MN




11 thoughts on “Garden Designers Roundtable | My Cathedral

  1. Cathedral is a perfect word, no matter the size, but especially the redwoods you started with. Seeing storm or other disaster-induced fallen trees is just as solemn as being around those trees standing in a perfect forest floor, on a 70 degree morning. I only wish people valued trees enough to plant them for themselves, and as a gift to others int he future, by carefully selecting and planning where they go, not just because!

  2. I fully relate.
    I love that particular path into Muir woods. Now that summer is here I probably won’t visit this trail until fall or winter. Actually I love it best in the winter, especially in the heavy rain.

  3. I agree wholeheartedly about planting trees. All to often they are too close to each other or a structure. They deserve to be honored as old souls just as the redwoods or the 600+ year old white oak shading a graveyard. They give us so much more than we give them in most instances.

  4. Michelle–It was exactly that when I visited Muir Woods – a rainy morning in February. It was magic.

  5. There’s nothing as awe inducing as a forest of trees — unless it’s a prairie covered with grass ;-). We’ve suffered through some tremendous forest fires the past few years, and watching their quick rebirth has been extremely satisfying and encouraging. Sp please don’t despair, it will all come right.

  6. Thanks, Jocelyn. I’ve seen burned forests and even burned wetlands (that’s no oxymoron) and they rejuvenate beautifully. I hope this does too.

  7. I couldn’t agree with you more Susan!! I had the most stunning Cathedral Tree shot from Pinterest that I NEARLY used in my post and changed my mind at the last minute. Trees are so spiritual and sacred to me too.

  8. Susan, The devastation from the recent storms is everywhere in CT, too. I also wonder when, if ever, the area will get back to ‘normal’. The number of mature trees that have died is simply overwhelming. Luckily, the devastation in many of the residential gardens is already being addressed. And with all the recent storms, there is much more interest in replacing the damaged trees with native trees that hopefully can better tolerate the annual ‘storm of the century’. Elsewhere it will be interesting to see how Nature takes care of things.

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