The meditation garden at this West Vancouver parish was the anonymous gift of a generous parishioner.

A meditation garden underway at St Francis-in-the-Wood, West Vancouver, is intended to help 'turn down the ambient noise' of the day and enable more peaceful, introspective moments for parishioners and visitors.

"It is a place for remembrance of people and places, and for reflection on events past, present and future within a tranquil garden setting that reconnects us with our own humanity, our sense of community, and our compassionate heart," according to the designer, Vancouver Landscape Architect Kevin Connery.

Parishioner Donna Hutchison, who watches over the church's grounds, said the meditation garden is a generous gift from a parish family who wish to remain anonymous. It replaces an old stump that really had to be removed. She said the memorial garden should be finished this spring.

Connery based the garden's design on two circles and two squares, He drew inspiration from Zen meditation gardens of Japan and cloister gardens of European monasteries.

"Typically, they used walls to enclose a central garden, separate from the mundane, and a primary focus skyward towards heaven and God," he said in a description that outlined the intricate intent of his design.

The meditation garden is next to the parish's memorial garden where the scattering of ashes takes place. There stands a statue of the parish's patron, St. Francis. Nearby is a bird bath to honour his love of nature.

At the centre of the garden stands a 'meditation mound' that eventually should be covered in moss, offset by five basalt columns. The designer hopes the stone and moss will provide a place for the eye to settle, focus and rest.

Four Japanese Snowbell (Styrax japonica) trees have been planted to eventually create a canopy of these small scale trees that should make up a 'ceiling' at the outer edge of the garden to further direct the focus towards the centre. In the summer the trees will produce large clusters of bell shaped, pinkish-white flowers that hang below the branches.

"The Meditation Garden at St Francis-in-the-Wood is intended to be a spiritual place of memory and healing that nurtures gratitude, kindness and grace," said Connery, who grew up in West Vancouver.