Have you ever noticed that formal botanical gardens and arboretums often have cozy nooks carved out in the space? These quiet areas may induce you to breathe a little more deeply and take a quick break from your busy life.
It’s tempting to want to add tranquility to your own backyard. However, the idea can be intimidating. Instead of trying to transform your entire backyard at once, take a hint from the pros and start with a small space. You can always expand it over time.
Build Outside Your Back Door
You don’t have to go to the far reaches of your property to find tranquility. You’re more likely to access the space if it’s right outside your door.
Do you have a wall that lacks windows right behind your house? That’s a good starting point. If your yard is boxy, it can be hard to find a secluded spot. Consider installing an arbor, arch or screen to create privacy. Once the nook is laid out, you can begin to design it more extensively.
Create Structure with Hardscaping
When you imagine a lush garden, you can start to feel disappointed by the amount of time necessary to cultivate plants to maturity. You can create the most meditative garden without using any plants at all. In fact, that’s the idea behind a traditional Zen garden.
Combine large and small stones for texture and interest. Use a garden globe or a birdbath as a focal point. Add some comfortable seating, and you have everything you need to get some tranquility.
Simplicity Is Key
Do you feel calm in a cluttered space? Don’t overwhelm your tranquility garden with disorder. Stick with natural elements, and enhance the space over time. Achieving peace is a journey. Developing your tranquility garden can be an ever-evolving process too.
Take a cue from Japanese gardens if you don’t know where to start. According to Sunset Magazine, Japanese serenity gardens are not crowded.
Leave the center of your garden open, and begin to fill in the area around the perimeter. Plants that create thick ground cover add softness without competing for focus.
Flowers can also fight for your attention. If colorful blooms make you happy, by all means, include them in your garden. However, you can achieve an interesting textured effect by sticking with low-maintenance foliage too.
Add Some Art
Sculptures are often used in the heart of gardens. However, you can use other forms of art to create an inspirational space.
If your garden is built on a concrete slab, paint the stone in a simple geometric pattern. Repetition can be meditative.
Tiles and mosaics can add pops of color without taking over. Get creative by making your own stepping stones. Hire a local artist to create a statement piece for your garden. If you use artwork outdoors, make sure that it can withstand weather extremes.
A garden won’t feel very relaxing if you’re sweating under the hot sun. Add shade with vines trained to grow over a pergola. Curtains can flow down from a fence, tree or the side of a house to keep you cool. At the very least, an outdoor patio umbrella can help protect you from UV rays as you embrace nature’s energy.
Just Add Water
To complete your tranquility garden, add a water feature. This can be as simple as installing a small fountain. A water feature can be as extensive as an eco-friendly pond.
A waterfall combines the beauty of both types of water feature. The circulating water creates soft white noise that can be soothing after a long day. Just be aware that you might not be able to operate a waterfall or fountain in the winter.
Select something that requires little maintenance. You’ll throw off the energy balance if you spend too much time toiling in your tranquility garden.
If you’re strict about your meditation practice, all you may need for seating is a small bench or the ground. However, adding comfortable seating for a few people can make your garden an inviting space for a conversation.
Hammocks lull you to sleep with their gentle movements. Plush lounge chairs tempt you to snuggle up with a good book. If you choose smaller chairs, consider getting a large ottoman so that you can take a load off.
Once you’ve laid out the basics of your tranquility garden, you can add the finishing touches. String up some lights to mimic the stars, or add a fire pit to the center of the garden. Then, leave your smartphone inside and get out there for a mini-vacation whenever you want.