When she was new to the prac­tice,

Country Gardens - - GARDEN KNOW-HOW -

An­na­marie Fernyak strug­gled with sit­ting med­i­ta­tions. So she started walk­ing. “When you’re in a walk­ing med­i­ta­tion, the process is es­sen­tially the same, but there’s a lot more to keep your mind oc­cu­pied,” the mind­ful­ness teacher from Lucas, Ohio, says.

An­na­marie is not a somber scholar. She laughs of­ten, talks spirit­edly, and dreams big. She’s logged many miles in med­i­ta­tive walks on her and hus­band Carl’s farm, at nearby parks, along Spain’s fa­mous Camino de San­ti­ago, and through sev­eral for­mally de­signed labyrinths.

One day, she had the idea to cre­ate a labyrinth on her own prop­erty. She ini­tially thought of sim­ply em­bed­ding stones in a grassy area in a spi­ral shape. But once she got talk­ing with her gar­den de­signer, Dwight Oswalt, the con­cept grew to 88 feet in di­am­e­ter. She went on to hire Pe­abody Land­scape Group, based in Colum­bus, to build a stacked-stone perime­ter wall and a crushed gravel path pat­terned af­ter the fa­mous labyrinth on the floor of Chartres Cathe­dral in France. Oswalt bor­dered in the wind­ing path with lay­ers of grasses, herbs, an­nu­als, and peren­ni­als, in­clud­ing many na­tives and pol­li­na­tor fa­vorites.

“It’s meant to be very tac­tile with plants to touch, feel, and eat,” An­na­marie says.

Scar­let bee balm (Monarda didyma) TOP The scent of mint adds to the sen­sory ex­pe­ri­ence of the sum­mer sol­stice labyrinth walk for par­tic­i­pant Re­becca Owens. ABOVE An­na­marie found her ex­pe­ri­ence of med­i­ta­tive walk­ing im­por­tant enough that she of­fers it to oth­ers. “If we can pause for a mo­ment and in­vite our­selves to see the world freshly with­out fil­ters, then we have the op­por­tu­nity to make new and dif­fer­ent choices,” she says.

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