Designing a Garden for Relaxation and Meditation

For those of us lucky enough to have enough garden space with the potential to become a place to escape and to relax, it is enormously gratifying to make that effort and create a little sanctuary to escape to. Life moves at a fast and loud pace and many people struggle with mental health and wellbeing. An outdoor space designed for meditation and calm may be the very thing to instil some much needed balance into everyday life. In this blog post, we will explore a few ideas to help create a tranquil and mindful garden space using natural elements, calming features, and a well-thought out design.

Identifying the Relaxation and Meditation Needs

We have a tendency to rush into a plan and try to get it finished before we have begun. Before beginning the planning stage of your garden, try putting yourself in the peaceful mindset that you want to achieve and ask yourself, what do you see? Connecting with nature is a proven contributor to improved mental health so think about your plants and how they will fit with your plan. This is a space for you to feel free of outside stresses so are you going to practise yoga, will you meditate or are you looking for a reading nook?

Plan how you will best use the garden and how to make it work for you.

Using Natural Elements

A garden is an opportunity to embrace nature and incorporate greenery into a design. Use the beauty of nature to enhance your style and add a sense of natural serenity to the space. Native plants will respond better and using perennial flowers will ensure year-round blooms.

Colour palettes also apply to plants as well as balancing textures and fragrances. Soft pastel colours and plants with cooler tones can help to create a relaxing ambience. Fragrant herbs and flowers such as lavender and jasmine will enhance an additional sensory experience as well as looking beautiful.

Try using natural materials in hardscaping and garden constructions like stone walkways, wooden benches, and rattan furniture.

Creating Peaceful Environments

Allocate a space that will be your rest or meditation space. This is a designated area that has been designed specifically for your chosen purpose. It may be a secluded corner hidden by shrubbery or trees or perhaps a patio or seating area. Whatever you can use, design it in such a way that it will maintain its primary function.

Seats, benches or soft mats are a comfortable and inviting solution for relaxation or perhaps yoga practice. Position your space to grab sunlight and shade for both sunbathing and for protection. For rainy climates, use a stylish parasol or awning for shelter. 

Including Water Features

The sound of trickling water has a profoundly calming effect on people and is a beautiful addition to a garden. When a water feature is present, the entire mood of a space can be transported to a tranquil and serene ambiance.  Depending on the size of a garden, a water fountain or a pond are good solutions. A pond will also create a mirror effect that will bounce light and reflections and enhance the lush green surroundings. Choose a water feature that works in harmony with the overall style and feel of the landscape. Natural stones and smooth curves can create a subtle integration of a water feature, as though it naturally occurred.

Pathways and Walkways for the Mind

A pathway is so much more than a route across a garden. With a little imagination, it can be a path of contemplation or a mindful adventure around an outdoor space. A path can encourage a slower pace of walking and offer an opportunity to be present and connect with nature. Stepping stones or winding designs not only satisfy the aesthetic of a garden but will introduce a new pace of walking as you meander through your garden.

Aromatherapy and fragrance

There is nothing as stirring to the senses as fragrance. A scent can transport a person to another time or place in an instant. Why not create a scented garden that you will be transported to every time you catch that aroma on the breeze. Aromatic flowers such as roses, lilies, and lavender are subtle and soothing scents and adding essential oils or even incense can elevate the scent even farther. Think about certain fragrances that make you feel a sense of warmth or relaxation and introduce them to your garden retreat.

Mindful Gardening Techniques

A garden designed for rest and relaxation should not be at odds with its environment.  Use eco-friendly and sustainable gardening techniques to reduce your environmental footprint and to create a connection with nature. Studies have proven that gardening has a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing. The time you spend maintaining your plants and flowers can be a meditative time where you are up close and personal with the natural world.

Creating a Nighttime Retreat

There is nothing quite as magical as sitting under the twinkling of stars and the mysterious shadows of the moon. Soft warm lights festooned in your serene space makes a cosy and tranquil setting. A warm blanket and some gentle candles or a small fire pit will also instil a sense of private escape.

Star gazing is a fascinating night time hobby and will open the mind to the wonders of the universe, right there in your own backyard.

Wildlife and Biodiversity Protection

To help feel connected to your garden and to use the space to contribute to the preservation of the environment, think about the wildlife. Use native plant species and flowers to attract bees, butterflies and other insects. Perhaps include a bird feeder and a small water bath. Sitting in a garden listening to the birds tweet as they sip water and make their nests is a restful and calming way to spend some quiet time. Creating symbiosis with the wildlife will not only promote a more harmonious world between humans and nature but it also includes a sense of enormous well being.

Creating Your Own Meditation Garden

If mediation is your goal, personalise your designated space with items that help you feel relaxed and will aid your time for reflection and introspection. These may be statues or symbolic or religious items, whatever you feel connected with.

Designing a garden specifically for relaxation and meditation allows you to create a space where you can find tranquillity, reconnect with nature, and nourish your well-being. With a few small additions like a water feature, natural materials and creative walkways, you can create a serene and calming haven to escape from the white noise of everyday life.  Your garden has the potential to become a precious part of your home where you can practise focusing on your mental health.

With our garden design courses, you too can create a tranquil haven in your garden that is a peaceful environment for relaxation and meditation.

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Written by: Fiona Byrne

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