Famed Mexican architect Luis Barragan once said that "a garden must combine the poetic and the mysterious with a feeling of serenity and joy."
And he's right. Gardens have evolved and the opportunities are endless.
From putting in a spa, building your own zen garden or simply enjoying the fruits of your labour with homegrown produce, a garden can create plenty of good vibes.
Whether you have acres of space or merely a courtyard it's entirely possible to transform your outdoor space into your very own pocket of calm.
Here are some ideas to get you started creating a more relaxing garden:
Take inspiration from traditional Japanese gardens
It doesn't get more zen than a zen garden. The traditional raked stone Japanese gardens are perhaps the epitome of serenity. Traditionally built for meditating monks, the raked gravel represents water and the stones represent mountains. To create one you really just need a spare patch in the garden, some gravel, some rocks and a rake. There are some good ideas to try here. Other things to try include planting some bamboo or opting for a peaceful statue to keep guard of your garden.
Having shady spots in a garden, be they a graceful weeping willow, a pergola or an outdoor deck with umbrellas is key to making your garden more relaxing. With the added bonus of being sun smart. Reading a book in the shade has to be one of life's greatest pleasures, no?
Build a water feature
There is little else as calming as hearing the sound of trickling water, and/or being close by a body of water. There's something in the infinity of it. You can build your own water feature, here is a good one to start with. Otherwise a pond, pool or sprinkler (we're allowed those now, right?) will do.
As discussed here, there is something so fun about eating alfresco. Some might find calm in the act of turning steaks on the BBQ, others might find peace with a pizza oven. Cooking and eating outside in the warmer months is one of things that makes summer so great. Creating designated spots for entertaining, be it a deck, patio or outdoor kitchen allows space for both relaxing and dancing, if you so fancy.
Have a go at a vege patch
Yes, a vege patch and/or abundent garden takes work. But that's not to see there isn't deep happiness to be found in plucking a sprig of rosemary from the garden to add to your roast lamb, or methodically weeding a rose bush. Gardening can be a source of catharsis, and you don't even need to be a green thumb to get it.
String up a hammock
Enough said, right?
- Sydney Morning Herald
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