Skidding into home plate just before the opening of the 2014 Arts and Ag Tour is Glinda Watts, herbalist, and a recent transplant from Memphis, TN. Glinda moved to Hickman County in January of this year and has literally put down roots already with the installation of a Medicine Wheel Garden for James and Anita Lewis, at Piney River Escapes, Stop #27 on the Arts and Ag Tour.
“There are many ancient Medicine Wheel sites around the world,” explains Watts. ‘Most of us are familiar with the prehistoric circle of stones at Stonehenge, which was believed to track the movements of the sun, and the famous Big Horn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming. Modern day Medicine Wheel designs are a wonderful way to create a personal space for reﬂection and prayer, but most of all, a powerful space for growing medicinal herbs that can be used for the family’s needs, or simply to add beauty and value to one’s landscape’.
The name ‘Medicine Wheel’ is taken from the Native American tradition of honoring the four cardinal directions; North, South, East, and West. Pathways through the garden are aligned precisely with these directions, and the plants grouped around these points are according to the colors associated with each direction. “Since we are on Cherokee land,” explained Watts, “I wanted this garden to incorporate the Cherokee tradition of the 7 directions, which are North, South, East, West, Above, Below, and Within”. Above, Below, and Within are marked by a circular area in the center of the garden, which contains a decorative stone, meaningful plants, or some item with special signiﬁcance to the garden’s owners.
Watts personalizes each Medicine Wheel Garden for the family’s needs. If there is a colicky baby in the house, it’s a sure bet that Catnip and Fennel will make it into the garden. If the lady of the house has trouble sleeping at night, then Valerian or Chamomile will be a sure thing. Best of all, Glinda will instruct the owners of the garden in the appropriate usage of the herbs and how they can best be preserved.
Pictures weren’t available at the time of this writing, because the garden is still being created. Make #27 one of your stops by the Piney River Escape to see and experience the garden for yourself. Piney River Enterprises will be hosting an outdoor art exhibit, ceramics, hand-made knives, guns and later in the evening on Saturday, a live concert with the Lugnuts.