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Join us for our Amara Gardener’s Spring Retreat at The Abbey, Sutton Courtney, Abingdon OX14 4AF, April 27th – 29th 2018


The Amara Gardener’s was formed in 2015 and developed a vision: to discover and increase the connections between Aware Leaders in the world. Since then we meet twice a year to explore and share stories, practices, skills, triumphs and tragedies and we would really like to invite other ‘Gardeners’ we haven’t yet met, to join us in our spring retreat.

For a flavour of our work and inspirations see: http://amara.fi/an-arc-of-beautiful-harmony/

We will gather during the afternoon on the Friday, and over the course of the weekend we will explore the gardening metaphor for transforming leadership whilst developing ourselves as individuals, together, and in the work we are doing and our leadership in the world. The Retreat will finish with lunch on Sunday.

During the weekend we will also share food, walking, and being in the beautiful surroundings and peace of the Abbey. It is a unique medieval building, set in extensive grounds, tucked away in the small village of Sutton Courtenay, just ten miles south of Oxford. This extraordinary facility is a peaceful yet creative setting that never ceases to inspire all who visit.


Costs for the weekend are: residential £ 300 per person inclusive sharing a double room with a single supplement of £30. It is also possible to be non-resident and the cost of £200 per person.

For further enquiries please contact rosie@amara.fi to reserve a place or to ask for more details.


Meet the Gardeners:

“I am an Amara Gardener because I’m committed to supporting the blossoming of us all – my family, my friends, my family’s friends and all with whom I am lucky to connect with. I also believe that by cultivating my own growth and good learning habits, with an attitude of kindness and respect I will contribute my part to a better world.”    Jane Allen

“The question for me is always, “Why am I a Gardener”, which I often mix up with “Why am I a guardian”? It depends on the moment. There is an organic growth that I don’t understand but I love to see it, and I trust in it. If you leave it alone it will always find its way – being looked after, and shaping is also possible, as long as you respect. The garden welcomes me, and that it very very important for me.”   Ute Bock

“I am a gardener because I believe in the potential for growth in all individuals, and in the responsibility on those with influence, to support and nurture that potential. This requires acceptance, integrity, humility, generosity, openness to inquiry, and willingness to act on that inquiry, not as part of a plan, but as part of a way of being. Through such work individual lives, communities, organisations, and the world can be changed! Being any part, however small, of changing our world for the better is who I want to be.”   Catherine Holland

“I’m a gardener because it connects me to people, and to the creativity inside them and me. I’m a gardener because in supporting others to grow it connects me to our joint humanity, and our joint struggles and successes. I’m a gardener because I love the way that people continuously surprise and delight themselves and how much I learn from them. But the real reason is that it gives me hope for the future.”   Annette Hennessy

“I am a gardener because I believe we have the power to cultivate and care for the growth, beauty and blossoming of the different gardens we see and function in. I love to both put my hands into, learn and care for the soil and the plants, as well as step back to see the richness and think about what to plant of shift in the bigger picture.”   Heidi Gutekunst

“Gardening reminds me that the life of each thing is finite and that is exactly what gives it’s life meaning. The greater context in which gardening sits – the elements, the seasons, the changing climate – reminds me that any idea of control is an illusion although perhaps if I work gently alongside other living things, I might have an influence on them; as they may have an influence on me. Gardening reminds me to be humble, grateful, and full of wonder although I may not always be awake to the magnitude of the lesson.”   Nick Owen

“A wise friend once told me – “When women stop raising families they start raising gardens” and I know that’s true for me. I am trying really hard right now to develop those green fingers so when I was offered the chance to engage with come conceptual and developmental gardening to sit alongside my visceral new hobby I was captivates. Mine is a rich garden to explore in all its dimensions!”  Tricia King