How much time do you spend in your garden? Wait, I mean how much time do you spend actually relaxing and not working? My job here today is to encourage you to spend more time truly enjoying your garden.There's no better way to unwind at the end of a long, hard day than relaxing in your garden--your own beautiful, tranquil, private oasis. Let your outdoor space be a feast for the senses and work its healing magic on eyes and nose, ears and fingertips.I have three tips to share with you to help you focus on chilling in your garden this summer:
1. Create a Relaxation Vignette
A haven among the bushes to relax, read a book, or entertain friends is just what every gardener deserves. Sometimes, a simple chair and table set among freely growing shrubs and bushes is the best no-frills space to achieve some peace of mind and creative inspiration. Or, distribute seating to enjoy the serenity of the garden. Place chairs or benches with pillows in soft outdoor fabrics that match the bloom colors in strategic places to enjoy each section of the garden oasis. Use garden furniture, benches, or hammocks to enjoy the calming view.So, when should you head to your relaxation station in the garden? Consider the following:
- Enjoy your morning coffee
- Tea time
- Happy hour!
- Cook out
- Entertain friends
- Create an at-home spa day
- Next time you catch yourself headed for the couch, go relax in the garden instead!
Additional Design Tips
Consider incorporating calming sounds into the garden and mask unpleasant sounds, such as a nearby busy street, by adding a fountain or other water feature. Create a soothing environment for your auditory sense using wind chimes made of wood or shells for sounds that enhance the peacefulness of the garden.
Add fragrance to the garden without attracting flying insects by planting herbs. Plant creeping thyme to add texture and fragrance in walkways and between garden pavers, beds of lavender to calm the nerves, and mints to soothe through your sense of smell.
Choose flowers that attract butterflies and other helpful insects. Add climbing vines, such as trumpet vine, which attract hummingbirds and butterflies, attached to a trellis for a living wall of beautiful visual stimulation.
2. Create a Space for Yoga
One of yoga’s many beauties is it can literally be done anywhere. And it turns out nature enhances your practice in an entirely different way than a studio does. A recent Swedish study found viewing nature, especially fractals (the organically occurring patterns in tree branches and fern leaves for example), increased wakeful relaxation and internal focus—two pretty important components of a rewarding yoga practice.Not to mention, practicing yoga will make you stronger so there is less risk of next-day soreness or injury from gardening. It's a win-win! Heads up, I will share the best yoga poses for gardeners in the next newsletter!You can set up your mat on the deck or patio (like I have above), or you can create a space right in the garden or on the grass. Total bliss...you can thank me later. :)
3. Take the Garden With You
There's one last tip to reap the relaxation benefits of the garden...and that's to take it indoors or share it with others!In a flower garden, each specific type will provide beauty and wonderful aromas for a limited window of time. This will encourage you to enjoy each beautiful bloom while you can and teach you to take the time to appreciate the small things. You can harvest bouquets and hand them out to loved ones, friends, coworkers, or even strangers. A gift of flowers will bring a smile to anyone’s face, which is a guaranteed way to brighten your own day.
Of course you can also enjoy plants indoors. A few small houseplants or succulents do bring about peace simply with their presence. Want to sleep better? Place daisies or another type of flower or plant that gives off oxygen at night, in your bedroom. I hope these tips will give you some ideas on how to carve out more time to stop and smell the roses!