Four Winds

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“ Leila Arboretum's Kaleidoscope Garden ”

Well before European settlers came to what is now Michigan there were many different tribes of Native Americans who had made this land their home. The Potawatomi were native to this particular area of Michigan.
To this day, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi continues to live in harmony with the environment.
The Four Winds garden is designed and planted by local Potawatomi and is a visual education garden that is laid out in the shape of a circle. The circle is divided into four distinct quadrants which correspond to each of the four directions:


Each direction is represented by a particular color and a particular plant, together revealing the fundamentals of the Potawatomi way of life.

The Four Winds

   Direction            Common Name            Color        
  North   Tobacco   White
  South   White Cedar   Red
  East   Sweetgrass   Yellow
  West   Sage   Blue

accept North  Is where the cold harsh winds of Winter come from. It is associated with hardship, cleansings, the Elder and purification. If you can face this direction and stand firm you will learn patience and endurance. The plant associated with this direction is Tobacco which is an offering used to carry our prayers to the Creator. It is usually placed on Mother Earth after you are through praying or placed in a fire.

accept South  Is where the sun is at its highest and warmest. The gifts are Summer, Growth, the Young and our Women. The plant associated with this direction is Cedar which heals, brings God's blessings and calls attention to our prayers.

accept East  Is where the sun rises. It brings new light, new beginnings, and understanding. It is also the direction of Spring, Birth, and Babies.The Herb associated with this direction is Sweetgrass which brings the Creator's blessings.

accept West  Is where the sun sets and day comes to fulfillment. It is associated with Autumn, fulfillment, and the Adult. It is also the direction from which come the Thunders who brin us water which gives us life. The Herb associated with this direction is Sage which purifies and sends evil away.