A floral tribute to beauty behind the monastery walls

Carmelite Garden_2

REFLECTIONS IN A MONASTERY GARDEN, published for the Carmelite Sisters in Christchurch, with illustrations by Sr Teresa Kelleher OCD. Reviewed by LYNDSAY FREER

Every page of this delightful book is beautifully illustrated with flowers and blossoms of many different kinds, from rhododendrons to waterlilies, and on each page is a brief reflection chosen by Sr Teresa from many sources — from scripture, the saints and from popes and poets. A favourite of mine was: “Flowers are God’s smile upon the earth.”

As Sr Teresa writes in her introduction: “We have an extensive garden, with a few formal beds but most of it consists against a backdrop of tall trees with descriptive names: red oak, liquidamber, golden elm. These paintings, done over several years are meant to be a record of this beauty at this particular time in the history of our monastery and were destined for a place in our archives.

“Kind friends who have seen this book have persuaded me to share it with others beyond our walls, that they too may experience something of the peace that comes with contemplating the works of the Creator.”

This is not just a coffee table book, but one that can be leisurely browsed through, or opened at random to look at just one page. Each page is a little treasure, and with Christmas nearly upon us the book would be a lovely gift given especially to the gardeners and nature lovers among our families and friends.

The price is $45 plus packaging and postage, and will be promptly despatched when ordered either by phone: 03 366 5175 or email to barry.gadsby@xtra.co.nz

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NZ Catholic contributor

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