Welcome to the Peace Garden at Woodwynn Farms, Central Saanich, BC, Canada.
The official opening of the Woodwynn Peace Garden was May 2, 2015
which coincided with the seventh annual World Labyrinth Day.
April 30, 2015 Times Colonist Article “A Message of Peace at Woodwynn Farms“
Here is a photo from January, 2015 of the “Woodwynn Peace Garden” with Labyrinth (Created over the years 2013/2014/2015)
We have been working on this art project since 2013. Time has just flown by!
You can follow ongoing progress and photos at http://www.twoglassyladies.ca/peacesanctuary/?page_id=43
We were inspired by the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in England and the sculpture park at Kentuck Knob in Pennsylvania, USA. Both these organizations showcased world class artists in the setting of rural farmland.
We had followed Woodwynn’s story for several years and loved what they were doing. Woodwynn Farms is a therapeutic comunity for the homeless and we wondered if an art project related to peace could be created on the farm. The director, Richard LeBlanc, liked the idea and he offered us the use of a small, overgrown, abandoned scrub area for our project. It was close to the main barns where the public come onto the farm to get their hay. He asked if we could consider the idea of including a Labyrinth. We read up on the history of Labyrinths and were impressed by how many thousands of years they have been around. We decided to make the Labyrinth the main feature of the layout. We liked the idea of how you can’t get lost in a Labyrinth as long as you just follow the path and stick to it.
As a husband and wife team (Deryk and Elizabeth – with Deryk as the designer and project manager) we started work clearing the blackberries that had overgrown the site. We concentrated on the concrete pit which used to serve as a place for the cow manure. We dug out the blackberries and added soil to bring the levels up to a point that made better sense of the valley views etc. We then planted twenty two apple trees. The idea is to create a beautiful pathway with branches that arches overhead once the trees matured in size.
The following year we then set about working on the main Labyrinth area. The first task was to shape the ground because the entire area was simply heaps of uneven soil and full of thistles. Deryk brought in a huge digger (South Island Excavating) and the fellow Chris did a marvelous job of shaping things to fit Deryk’s vision. Chris was a terrific help and we will be forever grateful for what he did to help Woodwynn Farms and our project.
We brought in over 5,000 river rocks from a local gravel pit. These were all hand picked and sorted. Then we laid hundreds of coffee sacks over the paths of the labyrinth in order to help keep down weeds. Wood chips were place on top of the coffee bags. The people at Level Ground Coffee distributors went out of their way to lay aside the burlap sacks. We are very grateful to them as well. We also were fortunate enough to get a huge pile of burlap sacks from a farm in Abbotsford. Thank you Willma! She was terrific and understood the beauty of what Woodwynn is trying to do.
It has been a huge project for us. We also installed the large sculpture pieces my son Samuel and I created after the landscaping was shaped. We also had a piece donated by The Cello Cries on Society in Indiana – The Children’s International Peace and Harmony Statue – a sculpture by David Kock and we have found a spot for one of Elizabeth’s glass on glass mosaics.
The larger works all needed special concrete foundations. We also brought in 140 yards of top soil for the labyrinth area as well as more top soil for surounding areas. Everything requires tons of material as it is almost a one acre site.
Deer fencing was completed this winter and the trellis has been built. Entrance gates are installed and the pathways have been further defined by rocks.
For more information about World Labyrinth Day, please see the Labyrinth Society Website http://labyrinthsociety.org/world-labyrinth-day
Also, see Elizabeth’s blog at https://elizabethtweets.wordpress.com