Spring is almost here and it’s time to start thinking of creating your own outdoor garden oasis.
Studies show connecting with nature improves your mood. Meditation is good for your mind and body, reducing your stress levels caused by a variety of factors. Meditation allows you to focus on stable breathing, which helps regulate sleep and heart health.
If you combine meditation with nature, and the effects are even more powerful. Creating an outdoor meditation space is an exercise in mindfulness itself. I don’t know about you but when I do any sort of physical work in my garden I have a unique inner peace.
A peaceful and relaxing garden design includes soothing sounds, natural surroundings, fragrant plants, green spaces with a seating area that offers positive mental health benefits. Creating a special place in your own backyard can be life changing. A peaceful garden doesn’t have to be a traditional Zen garden it can be a simple outdoor space where you can appreciate the sounds of nature in an ideal location.
Why Invest In Designing and Creating An Outdoor Oasis
Many homeowners in the past ignored the importance of creating a mindful home both inside and outside. The pandemic changed this thought process because families have spent more time at home than ever before. People have discovered that investing in their properties has not only increased property but has also played a role in their own wellbeing.
Families have discovered that creating serene places inside and outside the home has positive effects on our mental state of mind. Studies suggest that houseplants and outdoor garden plants have a huge impact on our health.
We can all appreciate fresh air and the beauty that mother nature offers. Recent studies suggest that spending time outdoors will continue to be an effective way to lower stress, blood pressure, and cortisol levels. As mental health has become a priority, many homeowners are craving a perfect place outdoors to chill and relax, surrounded by beautiful flowers and a green landscape.
So how do you create a special place where you can feel comfortable and cozy?
1. Create A Sacred Space-
Create an area dedicated to meditation and or prayer. Design a focal point. A religious statue or water feature. Then add a bench or chairs or a large rock to sit on. If you can build a labyrinth, then do it. If not, that’s okay. Simply add sand where you can draw a labyrinth with a rake or stick.
2. Add A Winding Path-
Walking and strolling through a garden provides a meditative space. We have several paths incorporated in our landscape. Stone work to sustainable crushed oyster shell. A winding path adds interest and enchantment to a garden as opposed to a predictable straight path.
Learn how to install a flagstone garden path here. Learn more about my crushed oyster shell pathway as seen above as well. Flagstone and sustainable materials like crushed shell make for ideal path materials for your garden.
3. Plant Plants That Encourage Relaxation & Respite
Peppermint- Peppermint has been found to lower frustration and also boost alertness. Menthol, found in the plant, is commonly included in many bath products as it helps to relax the muscles. These plants are not only pretty but you can cut and use them for medicinal purposes.
Often used before bed, Chamomile has long been known for its anti-anxiety effects and sleep aid. Commonly taken as a tea, it can also help reduce inflammation. Brilliantly, too, you can also grow it in your own garden.
Lavender oil can relieve headaches, insomnia, and depression. Butterflies are attracted to lavender which will inspire you with a sense of peace. The aroma of Lavender will enhance your sleep.
Easy to care for and pretty to look at and are native plants in most areas. Ferns are know to destress you with it’s gentle fronds and air-oxygenating properties. They are not showy, aggressive, or fast-growing and love the shady part of your garden.
Smells like heaven! Jasmine is known for helping to ease the body from anxiety and is an excellent plant to have close by when you sleep. This too can be taken in tea or purchased as an organic oil.
These beautiful bright flowers can help to lessen symptoms of worry and stress — and when taken in tea they can also help to relax the body and increase your metabolism.
4. Water Feature-
The sound of a water feature is so calming. Just like sitting next to the ocean hearing the soft waves hit the sand. The sound of the water is one of the most natural sounds for human beings. We all floated in water in utero. You will notice that most day spas have some sort of water feature in the relaxation rooms because it’s a natural way to relax in a mindful space. You can create the same feeling in your own backyard by adding a water feature. From a a basic bubbler to a waterfall, you can’t go wrong.
5. Burst Of Color-
Consider adding some colorful foliage to your mindful garden space. Planting blooming and evergreen plants will add interest and texture to your landscape design.
6. Incorporate 5 Essential Elements Of Nature
When planning your landscape design, consider adding all five essential elements of nature. Why?Everything in nature is made up of five basic elements: earth, water, fire, air, and space. Knowledge of the five elements is known to allow us greater health, power, knowledge, wisdom and happiness. The five natural elements are the main components of Feng Shui – wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.
One goal of meditation outdoors is to connect with nature, so it helps to include these key elements. Plants provide the wood while soil and rock represent earth, but it may be necessary to bring in water through a water feature, fire in a fire pit, and metal through some elements like a gate, fire bowl, or bench. In this elegant space, a gravel patio (earth) surrounds the elegant koi pond (water). Filled with koi and water lilies in bloom, the water reflects the sky above and the surrounding trees and plants (wood). Six most popular forms of meditation- see more here.
7. Rock garden
Adds Texture and Diversity
One of the best aspects of a rock garden is the unique texture and diversity it can bring to your landscape. Various rock colors and sizes can create strength, depth, and structure to your property while maintaining their tranquil appeal.
A Peaceful Space
There’s a reason why zen gardens focus so heavily on rock and stone structures. Rock gardens are renown for their peaceful properties, offering visitors a sense of serenity that is only accompanied by rock features.
8. Design in Harmony With Nature
When creating a garden for meditation, it’s important to make sure the space lives in harmony with nature. That means providing habitat for pollinators and other wildlife, and not using synthetic chemicals. Native plants, such as coreopsis, are considered keystone plants that some wildlife species need to survive, and are the best plants to use in a wildlife habitat.
9. Design An Area To Take Advantage Of The View
If you have a pleasant view from your garden, make sure you design a way to take advantage of the view. By adding a sitting bench facing the view creates an opportunity to sit and take a deep breath and be in the present moment.
10. Design A Place For Rest and Relaxation
Speaking of sitting. Adding comfortable outdoor furniture in your outdoor space invites guests and family members to practice any form of mindfulness they wish.
11. Give It Light:
Install some pretty string lights in your backyard to really make it shine. Sitting outside and relaxing than sitting on a dark terrace or lawn, watching the stars and talking quietly to someone you like.