We love observing nature and creating land art at Boundary Way. It is all about exploring natural patterns, focusing in on nature and using found materials to replicate these patterns! Over the years we have made many a mandala in the community garden, with the help of artists, schools and the public, and in this time we thought it would be a great activity to share with you to try at home.
A mandala is a circular pattern that represents the beautiful and endlessly diverse patterns in nature. The shape is also symbolic of unity and a holistic approach, and important in many religions as a source of meditation and reflection.The activity of creating a mandala with found materials is a calming one, encouraging careful contemplation, immersion in nature and enjoyment in shape and colour. Fun and relaxation for all the family, here’s how to get involved:
- Forage for materials
It’s time to get exploring. Search in your garden, community garden, local park or on your allotment plot for fallen natural materials such as twigs, leaves, petals, rocks, pinecones. The beauty of this activity is that you really can use anything you find to help create your mandala. Maybe focus on colours you are drawn to or shapes and it is great to find a variety of textures too! You could also carefully pick a few materials from living plants, although make sure you take sparingly and have the landowner’s permission!
2. Find the perfect spot to make your mandala.
We are lucky in the community garden at Boundary Way that we have such a variety of natural canvases to form our mandalas on. If you are making it in the garden why not start on the grass or in a clear part of flowerbed. We also love to use the bark chippings near the sensory garden, or the lovely base of a woodland log. It really is up to you, the only thing to consider is you might want somewhere flat – this will make it a lot easier to get started.
3. Sort your foraged items
Now you’ve found the perfect spot, you can sort your found natural items into categories to make it easier to form the sort of pattern that you want. This can be by colour, texture, size, shape – you choose! At this point you might want to do a bit more foraging for something particular, such as yellow autumn leaves or extra lichen covered twigs.
4. Get creating
The best part is about to begin, it is time to use your materials to create your nature mandalas. Start with a central point, maybe use a big rock or make a circle of leaves, and then work your way outwards in whatever way you’d like. One of the beautiful things about nature mandalas is that no two are the same and it is really exciting to see how the forms of nature guide you to create a masterpiece.
There you have it, your very own nature mandala. This activity is great all year round to show the difference in colours and textures between the seasons. It also provides a wonderful sense of nature connectivity for all involved and in turn an increased feeling of wellbeing, with reduced levels of stress. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon! If you make your own nature mandala we’d love to see it, email us at email@example.com or visit us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.