Martin Stepek is one of Scotland’s foremost teachers in Mindfulness.
He is a published author of three books in the field. Martin began practicing the simple, scientifically proven techniques of Mindfulness nearly 20 years ago and found that they gave him great benefits.
To nurture and cultivate his skills, he began attending a weekend residential programme every month for the next five years, investigating the nature of the mind and how to nurture and cultivate it in great depth.
Scottish Field visited Martin, and his wife Christine, to look at their garden in Hamilton.
‘We had always wanted to do something radical with the front,’ says Martin. He and Christine, a recently retired modern languages teacher, have lived in their house for over years and developed the garden from that left by the previous owners.
However, Martin’s long interest in Japanese culture and Zen gardens in particular, recently sparked a rethink, whereby the grey slabs, conifers and lawns of old were replaced with swaying grasses and stone curves.
‘The idea of making a front garden very Zen was very radical in a town like Hamilton,’ explains Martin of the couple’s decision. ‘We knew we wanted the tranquillity and beauty, but with a bit more colour and flourish than the most minimal, starkly beautiful Zen gardens.
The couple brought garden designer Carolyn Grohmann of Secret Gardens on board, whose work they had seen at the Gardening Scotland Show at Ingliston,
‘To ensure we didn’t make a mess of what we knew was a fabulous vision,’ Martin says. ‘Our vision was to have a thing of beauty,’ he explains. ‘I think of it as a work of art, something shared with those who walk or drive by it. In that sense, I don’t think of it as really ours, but everyone’s.’