Today when people walk around the Quinta and the Meditation Garden, they can’t imagine that it was once empty of plants, apart from the trees. Now there are shady paths and sun-filled nooks with lush foliage; there are benches that invite you to pause and breathe.
One of the first things that caused me to fall in love with Quinta Carvalhas when I first saw it in 2016 was the abundance of trees: a variety of mature trees close to the barns and farmhouse which would later be the foundation of the meditation garden, as well as the natural cork oak forest on the other side of the road. This was priceless – finding these precious tall trees – as they are an integral part of the peaceful energy of the farm.
We have added a further 240 trees to the farm since then, as well as around 1150 plants to the new garden beds. This haven is surrounded by rolling hills and flatter farmland, with many trails for walking, cycling and horse riding.
Sometimes I think that I bought the trees, and the farm and buildings came with them.
Why do people feel the peace and connection to nature at Quinta Carvalhas?
From the moment you enter the gates of the farm, you can feel a change in the air, the energy – you can feel the peace and tranquility. There is almost a tangible sense that things are a bit different here from the other side of the gates. You start to feel the possibility of expansion in your lungs and the letting go of tension in your shoulders. As you move further into the property you experience the trees and green growing things of the meditation garden, and the beauty of the flowers and the restored buildings, the feeling of being exactly where you should be strengthens – just like coming home.
The longer you spend at the farm, allowing clock-time to melt away and sinking into the gentle timelessness of nature, the more this homecoming back to nature settles around you.
The calmness and sense that all is as it should be is an intrinsic part of nature – that sense that there is no rush, that all will be accomplished in the right time. All is well in nature, and all is as it should be. This is what we would love to have in our everyday lives: that acceptance of being, and that we are perfect as we are.
This is what you feel at Quinta Carvalhas. It seems to be more than just the abundance of trees or the stillness – it is that sense of belonging, of being home.