A Garden of Reflection is taking shape behind the Visitor Centre (click on a picture to make it full size, then click down its side for the arrow to scroll through)

The Cathedral gardeners, Les Featherstone and Tanya Simons, have been working very hard over the summer with their team of volunteers to create a new Garden of Reflection behind the Cathedral Visitor Centre.

The garden has been designed with care to show visitors more of the spiritual and domestic life of the Cathedral community, from ancient times right up to the present day.

The labyrinth created over the summer is a reminder that in the Middle Ages labyrinths were used by Christians as a symbol of the path to salvation. The idea was, and still is, that walkers slowly follow its twists and turns as they quieten their minds and listen to God.

Around the labyrinth, four beds will be planted with the groups of herbs that would have been used by the monks of Peterborough Abbey in medieval times. There will be herbs for dyeing, stewing and fumigating, for cooking, for brewing and for use in medicine.

Art and design students at Peterborough Regional College have created wall tiles, inspired by medieval decoration and the herbs that will be in the garden. These will adorn the walls of the garden when it is completed.

Eventually the garden will be used by visiting school groups as part of their learning about the Cathedral, as well as a space for picnics and games. When not in use by schools, it will be open to visitors who can walk the labyrinth and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

The work on the Garden, which Les and Tanya have somehow managed to achieve whilst at the same time mowing the lawns and looking after the rest of the Cathedral grounds, will be completed over the next few months. They paid tribute to their volunteers saying:

“They have worked so hard in all weathers - blazing hot sunshine and pouring rain. They really are the 'A Team' and we couldn’t have done it without them!”

The project has been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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