When a blanket of hot, damp air descends upon our valley, and all the animals are breathing a little deeper, and the fireflies bounce off the steamy vegetation, with their neon tail lights burning brightly---when the Amish and Mennonites have taken to their porches and lawns for a better night of rest, all the life in the valley usually spends a night under the stars, because the blanket of hot-damp air has made sleeping inside impossible... So what does a (Catholic) shepherd (of sheep) DO when he beds down his sheep on such a hot and muggy night, knowing that his flock will not be alone under the stars --- He checks on THE "other life" in the wildlife habitat...by:
THE ROSARY GARDEN
....Our backyard wildlife habitat in Amishland also contains a habitat for us humans. A hidden Rosary Garden. Using the simple atmosphere created by all the animals in Our Animal Kingdom of God we have also created five individual rosary gardens that are used for praying the rosary...the peacefulness and simplicity of the animals in the Plain Folk environment blend into a mystical setting.
This is an English style garden dedicated to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. It is surrounded by English Privet hedge and full of Colonial Williamsburg type plants. A hand-made colorful glass top image of Mother Seton set in a garden stone lies beneath a simple green bush.
This is the Garden dedicated to St. Therese of the Little Flower. It is embraced by a white picket fence and filled with J.F.K. and Jacquelyn Kennedy rose bushes, a Pink Dogwood, a Pink Weeping Cherry and Lily of the Valley flowers. Another colorful glass garden stone of a giant rose sets beneath the Pink Dogwood.
This is dedicated to the Blessed Mother. It overlooks a tiny meadow where our sheep and horses graze. It is walled by a split rail fence and filled with a giant holly, rhododendrons, spruce and fir trees and usually an assortment of resident birds that often add some joyful sounds.
This garden adjoins our tiny white sheep shed where our sheep huddle for protection from the elements. In this has a Sugar Maple in an alcove set off by split rail fencing and Burning bush. This garden is dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi and another hand made glass garden stone with his brown-frocked image sets next to a long strip of colorful wild flowers.
This huge rosary garden is shrouded by a woodsy environment. A small pool of water cascades down a tiny hill spilling into our lily pond. The sounds of the water add a melody for meditation. Atop the waterfall sets a huge, limestone rock dug from the adjoining tilled Amish farmer's field. It is shaped like a giant heart with a deepened gash at the center. This was a gift from an Amish farmer friend for this garden. The stone is a reminder to all of us of the Sacred and Living Heart of our Lord Jesus to whom this garden is dedicated.
The secret Catholic Rosary Garden is surrounded on all sides by the simple Amish farms and fields and at night the dark landscape winks only with gas lights from the surrounding farmhouses. And at night the only sounds one usually hears is the musical footsteps of horses pulling their master's buggies through a secluded and serene valley.
Thank you St. Francis for guiding us here