Maria Sperring

Maria Sperring has been designing and creating gardens for the last 33 years.

Maria moved to La Creuse in 1990 and started 'Le Blé en Herbe' guesthouse and gardens, realising her dream of living close to Nature whilst contributing to planetary care and repair. At age 26, she couldn't speak French, knew no-one in the country, had no capital or income (the property was purchased with a generous loan from her father). Maria was charged with enthusiasm for creating, a practical sense of survival, and a faith that 'this was meant to be!'

Maria Sperring, le Blé en Herbe

Maria had studied literature and philosophy; the gardens have become her poems, and Nature is her greatest teacher, providing endless metaphor for understanding life mysteries. Planting, building and harvesting are among her ways of finding a sense of connection with the cosmos.

Maria first encountered Permaculture in early 1990, whilst wwoofing at Hambledon Herbs. For the following decade she combined reading Permaculture Magazine and many other publications, with practical and intuitive application of the method, ethics and philosophy in the gardens and guesthouse. In September 2001 she completed the Permaculture Design course at Ragman's Lane Farm, with teachers Cathy and Patrick Whitefield.
She has given a number of illustrated talks on Permaculture in France, Germany and Switzerland, and has taught 'Introduction to Permaculture' weekends at Le Blé.
Maria has 28 valuable years of practical experience in managing a rural project with minimal finances, using local resources and avoiding waste/maximising re-use and recycling. For nearly 3 decades, she has been sharing and exchanging the rich learning opportunities of the gardens with hundreds of visitors of many different ages and nationalities.
Other teachers have led themed retreat weeks also, varying from dance to herbalism, yoga to willow sculpture, massage and vegetarian cuisine; each activity has the common thread of celebrating the abundance of Nature whilst respecting her limits. The cultivation of 'spirit' is as valuable and vital as tending to material wellbeing. Soil and soul care!

Maria is an 'eco-feminist'. Respect for life and the earth that feeds us has for her parallels with respect for women (and all other abused peoples) on this planet. Neglect and exploitation of the earth, plunder of resources and irresponsible polluting are comparable with the undervaluing and exploitation of great numbers of the human race. Restoring the balance between the sexes, between races, and between human needs and the enriching cycles of the planet will regain us  (an achievable) 'paradise'!!
Maria especially enjoys encouraging and supporting other women to strengthen their connection to earth, to reaffirm their precious place in the great creative scheme of things.

Vive the force of gentleness, the nurturing of beauty, the power of tenderness!!!

Feminine Earth ''ELLES ELEMENT TERRE' Femme You Can!
Most of the year Le Blé is open to all visitors: certain weeks are reserved for sharing among women only, exchanging skills and experiences in a safe and trusting environment.

Vive la force de la douceur, le pouvoir de la tendresse.