Completed Projects


Acquiring the Land

October 2005—Being led by spirit to a parcel of 38 acres, nestled in the beautiful San Luis Valley of Colorado —the property was then purchased by a friend and given as a gift to the Casa de Santa Maria.

Lee Wallace

Totem Lee

Mother Mary Totem Carving Commissioned

January 2006– Mother Mary requested we find a Native-American to carve a statue to be placed in the center of her garden as a sign of welcome to people of all beliefs. Lee Wallace, a master totem carver of the Haidi Tribe of Alaska, was commissioned to carve the totem statue of Mother Mary.

The Sanderfords Move to San Luis, Colorado

August 2006 Susan and Milt sell all their belongings, including their newly purchased home in Sedona, Arizona and move to the San Luis Valley to begin their commission to create the Casa de Santa Maria. (Ah, sweet mysteries of life!)


Clearing the Land

March 2007 — After the winter thaw we broke ground by clearing a portion of the land of sage brush and tumbleweed to make room for our first major project -- creating the 300 foot diameter Mother Mary's Garden.

Digging the Well

June 2007 — Dousing the property, the search began for life-giving water as we tapped into the massive aquifer that flows just 163' below the Casa land.


A Shed for Tools and Equipment

November 2007 — Our garden tools were happy to receive a home of their own after traveling around in the trunk of our car for six months. Beautifully built by a local Amish company, the shed has withstood five severe Colorado winters without a sign of wear and tear. (Unlike Susan and Milt.)


Mother Mary Statue Installed

September 18, 2008 -- As Mother Mary requested -- the 10.5' western red cedar Native-American totem carving of Mother Mary was installed as the welcoming centerpiece for her non-denominational garden.


Star Flower Box Installed

November 2008 – The beautifully landscaped five-pointed star flower box surrounding the Mother Mary Statue is built by our Amish neighbors. Each point of the star represents the 5 Joys of Mary.


Solar Energy and
Well Pump

September 2008 — The Casa goes green with the installation of our solar powered well pump and irrigation system. Let the desert bloom!

GArden center

Landscaping Around Mother Mary Statue

July 2009 -- Landscaping was completed around the hand carved Mother Mary statue by Master Totem Caver Lee Wallace of the Haida Tribe of Ketchikan Alaska.


Star Child Circle Completed

July 2010 -- The sacred Star Child Circle was completed. 13 boulders were placed, each dedicated to an Archangel and a Star of David rests inside the circle. Landscaped with native flowers and bushes, this breathtaking section of the garden offers a quiet place of contemplation.


Grass Belt Installed

July 2010 — A 14 foot wide circle of Kentucky Blue grass encases the Garden Center—complete with 5 new Flowering Crabapple trees and seven wind sculptures.

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Mother Mary's Garden Receives National Geographic Designation

The prestigious National Geographic Magazine created a world wide website to recommend places worth visiting for folks traveling to the Four-Corners area of America. (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.) They were asked to take a look at the Casa de Santa Maria's Mother Mary's non-denominational prayer and meditation healing garden in San Luis. They did—and here's the result:

With another 80% to go before completion, you can begin to imagine the impact this tiny spot on planet earth will eventually create within and for visitors from around the country as well as beyond.


Healing Grotto Fountain

September 2010—The centerpiece to the Garden's Healing Grotto is installed—a specially hand crafted three tier fountain. Depending upon donations, plans are to begin construction of the healing grotto in late 2012.


Two Labyrinths Completed

July 2011 saw the construction of two 60' diameter Sacred labyrinths. One dedicated to the Divine Feminine— made up of Rio Grande river rocks, and one to the Divine Masculine, made up of recently mined mica rocks.



Connecting Walkways

Our local Mormon fiends at North River Greenhouse complete a major project at the Casa de Santa Maria's Mother Mary's Garden installing the massive walkways to connect our various garden circles—StarChild Circle, Native-American Ceremonial Circle and Medicine Wheel Circle, Sacred Stone Healing Circle—and our Divine Feminine and Divine Labyrinth Circles to our main welcoming circle that features our Native-American totem carving of Mother Mary.

Along with the walkways, and between the center circle and each of the surrounding circles they have also constructed decorative sections that include beautiful Colorado White and Rose Quartz Stones with a Quaking Aspen Tree surrounded with three Russian Sage Plants. A stunning addition to our Casa Garden.

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