Healing Circle Garden


The American Indian medicine wheel was an ancient way of creating sacred space and calling forth the healing energies of nature. Medicine wheels were constructed by laying stones in a particular pattern; usually including a center stone with lines radiating towards the outer circle. Staff at the Alice C. Tyler Village in Virginia recently called upon the healing energies of the medicine wheel to help the children who reside at the Village.

A circle garden was constructed near one of the residential cottages on the Village grounds in 2006. One young resident helped to draw the circle of the garden using stakes and string while several others helped to collect rocks used to outline the garden. The children created planting areas by collecting and piling pine needle mulch and spoiled hay within the circle. Children also helped to build two beautiful Leopold benches that grace the garden.

A garden club was formed of several children who help with garden maintenance each week. This not only keeps the garden looking great, but helps boost the children's self-worth as well. The garden is currently filled with perennials, self seeding plants, and the beautiful Sunflowers which have been a prominent part of the garden every year. Often during the spring and summer, children and staff will stop to peek at the swallow or bluebird babies in the nesting boxes located near the garden.

Several growing seasons have come and gone since the garden was built back in 2006, but the children of the Village continue to enjoy the healing powers that it brings. Whether it’s building self esteem or simply offering a chance to reflect on the beauty of nature, the circle garden continues to be a sacred space for the abused and neglected children who make the Village their home.



 To protect the identities of the children in our care, we cannot show their faces publicly.


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