Article about the Peace Garden

August 8, 2016

Starts on Page 6 of the August “Eyes on BC”.

By David Morrison.


End of June – Woodwynn Peace Garden

June 30, 2016

Something new from Deryk….  this one didn’t “get away!)

(We’re watching the movie “Big Fish” to celebrate.)

We had a warm spring so perhaps the timing will be different in future years, but this year, June was an amazing time of colour in the Peace Garden. The lavender bloomed all month and many of the sage plants bloomed as well. We actually expected all of the sage plants to flower but it seemed to be pretty random. Perhaps since they are still really relatively new plants (just a year old) it will take time for them to all flower or perhaps there will always be some plants that don’t flower in a given year.



Apple tree lane is thick with apples that are full size and quite red at this point and beautiful pink poppies appeared by magic near the meditation nest.



We’ve kept up with the watering. We’ve almost kept up with the weeding….

We never stop appreciating the beauty of the location and we are always grateful to be a part of the farm!



And there are interesting developments around the farm outside of the Peace Garden as well 🙂


Some much needed rain at the farm today

May 28, 2016


Sage, apples, lavender – everything is growing beautifully at the Woodwynn Peace Garden! With the weight of the fruit, some of the trees needed staking and that was on today’s task list.


And we’ve been watering for several weeks now – with an easier system than last year… bigger barrels, more of them, and a pump with long hoses that spray. This is bliss compared to last year – small barrels, a holding tank, a short hose and the dip-the-pitcher-into-the-buckets-that-are-too-heavy-to-carry method of hand watering. This was slow, but it did give us a chance to assess each plant every time we watered. Now that the plants are well-established, they need less attention and less water as well so it’s still a task, but not as grueling as last summer. Just the same, all the water still comes from a distant pump on the farm and has to be transported with a truck.


Even with our easier system, the forecast of a cooler summer is welcome to us! We were delighted with today’s rain. Glad that the volunteers who came out today were not afraid of the weather and we thank them for all the weeds they pulled! The compost heap is now Very Full. We have the weed situation basically under control, but we know that those thistles and blackberries would dominate quickly if we left things for more than a few weeks. That’s why we keep at it, every week, during the growing season.


Oh and I can’t stop playing with panorama shots and iPhone “special effect” apps. This image is the east barn near the pump house.


A couple of beauty shots – Remembrance Day at Woodwynn

November 12, 2015


It was the perfect place to be on a sunny November day.sage_November_woodwynn

We weed, we water, we are rewarded!

August 1, 2015

Woodwynn Peace Garden, Late July 2015

Looking forward to a wonderful August.

Planning to build a new piece of sculpture!

January 21, 2015


A while back I wrote a blog post about a sculpture I was envisioning for a very special location at Woodwynn Farms in the Woodwynn Peace Garden:

The idea was based on an Albert Camus quote that truly inspired me: “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”  (By the way, I would love to know the exact source of this quote – which book, article or ?)

The sculpture was to be called “Solstice.” As it took shape, it became a collaborative piece – by me, Sam and Deryk and we proposed it for the recent Nanaimo public art call.

We are delighted that our proposal has been accepted! We found out yesterday that we are now funded to build the sculpture. It will have its first home in Nanaimo, probably at Maffeo Sutton Park where Deryk and Sam have had previous sculptures installed. As part of a rotating exhibit, it will be returned to us eventually and then it will go to Woodwynn.

The theme is transitions (seasonal or otherwise) that happen to people and to the natural world. It will be in steel and recycled glass. I originally thought that when it eventually moved to Woodwynn, it would be placed to maximize the light during the summer solstice, but as I stood at that location on the morning of winter solstice this past December, I realized that although less people may want to visit in winter, the effect of low winter light rising in the south would be wonderful. So our plan is to have it in the best possible spot to capture the first morning light on the shortest day of the year.


We are really thrilled to be able to add this part to the ongoing project!

Path now fully woodchipped

December 21, 2014




The woodchipping of the path (did I just make up a word?) began with me and a garbage bag. It was a task that seemed pretty daunting because trekking from the distant pile to the path was a slow process and I really didn’t make much progress.

It got a bit better when some of the folks at the farm used a farm truck to move some of the chips closer to the final destination and I was able to move a few more into the labyrinth.  But it was still slow going.

Now the task has been completed, thanks to a wonderful group of volunteers — crossfit folks who demonstrated functional fitness by doing some hard work in the pouring rain! With the perfect truck (and it took what looked like about 10 truckloads), a ramping system for the wheelbarrow and lots of dedicated sweat equity, these folks cheerfully worked all day till the task was done.

Deryk and I are feeling pretty grateful!

The Labyrinth from Above

December 1, 2014



These are a couple of shots (from my phone) of the marvelous sightseeing flight we took this morning. Long shadows, a lingering dust of snow on the path… a truly perfect adventure for me, Deryk and Richard.

Deryk has more images and I think he’s putting them on the main Peace Park website right now.
The link is here:

Sage beds put to bed for the winter

November 14, 2014

I haven’t posted in a while – just too tired each day upon return home. But I have lots of photos and will make a new video soon.

Labyrinth update for the past month (in a nutshell). More restructuring of area around the labyrinth and truckloads of soil added to the beds. We are now in the process of covering those beds with mulch to be ready to plant 500 sage and 200 lavender plants in the spring. The thistles still require a certain amount of attention, but we have hope that this is manageable. I guess the spring will tell us for sure.

We’re lining the paths with burlap coffee bags — thank you Level Ground! I cannot say enough good things about this local company, which is more than just coffee – although that would be enough in my opinion 🙂  — and then we’re covering the burlap with wood chips. Deryk and I are busy busy busy!

These photos are from yesterday.

photo 1

photo 5

More than 1/3 of the stones in place…

August 30, 2014


We have 186 “paces” completed! This is slightly more than 1/3 of the way there (for the labyrinth stones anyway). Each pace is about 6 or 8 stones. The estimate of 3500 – 4000 stones (total labyrinth) still seems about right, but who’s counting 🙂

Almost every single stone has been handpicked by Deryk. I have loaded many of them in and out of the vehicle (we have sort of a bucket-brigade system when we gather the stones and the same for unloading them) and then he makes the final decision regarding the placement of each one. 

Our goal of all stones in place by the end of September seems like it could be a reality!