3 Sister's Garden

The 3 Sister's Garden, comprised of 136 mounds, is the largest of the Council gardens. Each mound is annually home to 4-7 corn, bean and squash plants (dependent on soil conditions, 12 21 plants per mound). A ring of corn plants stand upon the outside perimeter atop each mound, with climbing beans growing inside this ring and up the cornstalks as the growing season progresses. Squash is also planted at the base of each mound with vines winding throughout the garden so as to provide cooling shade for the soil in the heat of the summer days as well as to deter weed growth. Contrary to misguided beliefs, these mounds are permanent and never need to be rebuilt if properly constructed and so long as proper care is provided them.

Visitors to the Council Gardens may notice the 3 Sister and herb gardens have been designed to represent a Medicine Wheel. This design was chosen so as to give recognition and tribute to the circle of life found within the garden as well as within all life. Each of the four quarters of the 3 Sister's Medicine Wheel garden are planted with corn colors representing the Four Directions as recognized by the Miami Valley Council: yellow corn occupies the eastern quarter; red corn in the south; black corn in the west; and, white corn in the northern quarter.

The spokes of the Medicine Wheel gardens that act as our walkways run diagonally in relation to the Four Directions-- so as the yellow corn of the eastern quarter truly grows in the east, the red corn in the south. As two-legs, we are but visitors and/or stewards in this and every garden of life, as well as benefactors in terms of bounty and beauty. It is therefore our tribute to not only the life of our gardens, but also the Great Circle of Life, that the Sunwatch Medicine Wheel garden spokes/walkways run in a diagonal fashion.


The Traditional Gardens of The Miami Valley Council for Native Americans