Sunday, May 29, 2011

Our Jupiter Garden truly is a sanctuary for us. It is a place of peace and calm in an otherwise hectic world. The garden connects us to the magic of nature and seems to transport the soul to another world.

It only seems fitting then to add a true sense of spirituality to the garden. A way we have found to do this is with Tibetan prayer flags.

Prayer Flags have been used for over one thousand years by the people of Tibet to bring positive energy to the world. There are many different theories regarding the origin of prayer flags. However, it is commonly believed that prayer flags predate Buddhism and evolved from the joining of Buddhist practices in India with the pre-Buddhist Bon shamanism in Tibet.

The hanging of prayer flags is not a selfish endeavor since prayer flags are not used to carry individual prayers. Instead Tibetans believe the prayers and mantras held by prayer flags are blown by the wind, sharing good fortune and compassion with the world. When hung with positive intention, Tibetans believe prayer flags release energized wishes of love, kindness, peace, compassion and wisdom.

Prayer flags have evolved over the years and now come in many different colors and styles. There are two basic varieties of prayer flags; horizontal prayer flags which hang on a cotton or nylon cord and vertical prayer flags which attach to a pole.

The most common prayer flags consist of a five different colored pieces of cloth with mantras and symbols printed on them. The colors represent the five elements – blue (sky), white (air), red (fire), green (water), yellow (earth). Traditionally, the blue flag is placed at the highest position in accordance with its sky representation. In very remote areas of Tibet, simple white flags are also common where the local people cannot afford colored cloth.

Prayer flags are generally placed at high elevations to ensure their blessings can easily be spread to the world. In a garden setting, prayer flags can be hung between trees or structures. They can also be hung indoors to promote a sense of peace and tranquility.

To create the pole for our vertical prayer flag, it seemed only fitting to use piece of bamboo from the garden. Since a single piece of bamboo would be rather long and difficult to maneuver, we created our bamboo pole from two pieces of bamboo that are easily joined with a garden stake.

To ensure a steady foundation for the bamboo pole, we placed an 18" piece of PVC pipe into the ground, flush with the soil.  The first piece of bamboo easily slips into the PVC pipe. 

Next we slide in the garden stake.

Join the upper bamboo pole and there you have it, a wonderful bamboo pole for our vertical prayer flag.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Connoisseurs Garden Tour

On Mother's Day, we toured several private gardens in an event sponsored by Mount's Botanical Garden located in West Palm Beach

Touring other gardens is a great way to get new gardening ideas while enjoying others' love of gardening.  The gardens were all very different and equally wonderful.