When deciding on the shape of the central herb garden I had first thought of a spiral, but then I came across labyrinth designs and became intrigued.
Labyrinths are found all around the world in many cultures and civilizations. The earliest known designs are thought to be between 3000-4000 years old. The significance of them for the various cultures they were part of and the story of how they developed from one place to another (or simultaneously appeared in several) is quite mysterious. Since I am trying to develop my learnt and intuitive knowledge of herbs the form seemed fitting.
The design looks complicated, but can be drawn quite easily if you know the method. Mike and I spent an evening practicing them. Then we went to the Innisowen Summer Gathering, and the first listed event was "creating a Labyrinth," which of course I joined in with. The week after, I incorporated a Labrinth (made of natural materials) into a Natural Art Therapy workshop I was facilitating in Cork. So after all that, we were ready to create the herb labyrinth.
I laid it out with Meg one of our Wwoofers and then the rest of the Wwoofers: Petra, Alberto and Grayson joined Meg and the set to work creating the raised beds. We planted up a portion of it on our Garden Course's herb day and are continuing to fill it out basing the layout on a design from the Scottish school of Herbal Medicine that places medicine herbs in compass directions that fit their use.
It has been a delight to see it come together thanks once again to the communal effort. One Wwoofer commented that it didn't seem like work at all because they were doing it together. They were as pleased with the result as I was.