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April 25, 2019

Blooming with Life: The Story of Sherley’s Garden

“The hands that laid these bricks had often caught new lives just hours before.”

Sherley’s Garden is familiar to many of the families who have labored at Lifecycle WomanCare (LWC). What they may not know, however, is the beautiful history of this serene space. Every part of this garden was thoughtfully planned to accommodate the laboring individual, the midwives supporting them, and to honor the rich history and mission of Lifecycle WomanCare.

Named for our founder, Sherley Young, the garden is an outdoor extension of the family-centered philosophy that we have nurtured for the last 40 years. It is a place for labor to take place outside in a safe, secluded, and restful space, nourished by the sights and sounds of nature.

The “garden” was a blank slate when our current building was constructed in 2005. It was designed by former LWC midwife Mary Anne Diamond, who helped bring Sherley’s vision for the garden to life.

Mary Anne merged her knowledge of garden design with her experience supporting women in labor to create a space blooming with life. The circular design, metaphoric of the circle of life, allows space for our clients to move freely as they labor. Other closely-spaced supports provide areas where they can squat, lunge, and lean. There are nooks and crannies which provide privacy, while midwives are able to remain close enough to observe labor as it progresses.

Perhaps foreshadowing The Birth Center’s name change, the garden pays homage to a woman’s lifecycle and to the organization’s mission to offer support from adolescence through the post-menopausal years.

The circular path moves through four quadrants which signify the phases of a woman’s life, each represented by a different color: child (yellow flowers), maiden (white flowers), mother (red flowers), and wise woman (purple flowers). Every plant and flower was selected with intention. They are all historically, culturally, or medicinally associated with women.

The connection to new life is permanently cemented in the hardscaping as well. The garden was built by midwives, and as Mary Anne eloquently noted when Sherley’s Garden was dedicated in May 2006, “the hands that laid these bricks had often caught new lives just hours before”.

Over the years, many Lifecycle WomanCare families have also become a permanent part of the garden and our special history. As you walk the circular path, you’ll find bricks honoring LWC babies, midwives, mothers, and more. You can be part of the story as well.

As the garden begins to spring back to life, we are offering our inscribed bricks for the special price of $150, just in time for Mother’s Day.

Not only will you enjoy a permanent connection to Lifecycle WomanCare, your contribution will help us continue to provide quality care to women and their families.

Purchase a brick today to become a part of our garden and #HelpLWCBloom.