The garden can become an integral part of your life and home. But have you thought of making even more of it by creating a stress-free haven?
If so, you’ll need these top tips…
Just like in the home, the garden can be a hive of raucous activity, from the kids playing, laughing and shouting, to the sound of lawnmowers in neighboring gardens striking up in unison.
Whilst you wouldn’t want to stop any of these activities – they are, after all, part of family and community life – creating a ‘quiet’ or peaceful part of the garden is perfect for creating a space where you can zone out from the lawnmowers and the strimmers, from the kids playing and squabbling, and from everyday life in general.
Simply sitting enjoying a cup of tea or coffee or sipping a glass of wine or a fruity cocktail with the other half on a Sloane & Sons couples bench is enough to feel the stress melt away.
Or, if you want to create a true haven of calmness, make a small corner into a yoga or meditation corner, complete with pergola and scented climbing plants for shade.
You may know of Feng Shui principles being applied to the interior of a building or home but may not have realized that this ancient art of maximizing the flow of chi – energy – can be applied to the garden too.
As well as incorporating plenty of movement and using color, the principle of flowing water in a garden is ideal for when you want to create a stress-free retreat.
A waterfall cascading into a pond or a feature fountain in which the gently trickling of water can be heard is ideal for your mind to focus on a pleasant sound, zoning out from the lawnmower symphony, the kids squabbling, the noisy seagulls and so on that stop the garden being the restful retreat that we need it to be.
Water in the garden, both as a fountain or pond, is also perfect for inviting in yet more wildlife.
In some suburban gardens, privacy can be hard to come by but there is no denying that creating a little more privacy around your borders or in a small section of the garden can leave you feeling a little more rested when relaxing in your outdoor space.
There are many ways you can do this;
Hedging with fast-growing plants such as laurel or even a row of evergreen trees and shrubs can be perfect for creating a natural and bird-loving boundary.
Fencing is also a great idea, although slightly more expensive. And don’t forget there are some regulations governing how tall the fence or wall can be, so check your local authority planning rules before you start on fencing.
A pergola is a built structure around which you can plant climbing plants effectively creating a natural room in the outdoors.
A gazebo is a temporary addition for the summer, adding a welcome room in the garden as well as privacy from neighbors.
Keen gardeners will spend a lot of time in the garden, tending their plants and shrubs but here’s the thing, we can become so embroiled in keeping the garden looking pristine that we forget to use it as it was intended, in part at least: we don’t laze in it.
Promise yourself an afternoon each week or an evening where you sit and admire your handiwork, planning your next garden project.
Just like you can’t balance your chakras in a cluttered living room, you cannot possibly hope to reach the depths of relaxation in a garden that is cluttered and untidy. If you do nothing else, have a good tidy up in the garden, getting rid of bits and bobs that you have kept with all good intentions to use again.
For a stress-free retreat in the backyard, sometimes, it is the smallest, most insignificant ideas that yield the most results.
Sit and watch, what is it you see? You will be amazed at the bugs and flying insects that visit your garden, from the super-fluffy bumblebee to the skittering water skaters on the pond surface.
But it is about all the sense? The smell of the plant – just sit quietly and the scent will come to you on the breeze – and the sound that your garden makes. Leaves and blooms gently rustling in the summer breeze.
There is so much to the garden that we don’t always give ourselves chance nor the time to thoroughly appreciate it. And by the time you have admired all of nature in your garden, you will wonder where all your stress has gone…
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