Create a Meditation Garden!

Create a Meditation Garden!

meditation garden

Many homeowners focus on beautiful outdoor spaces specifically for entertaining, which may include a pool area, eating, and bar areas set in incredible outdoor kitchens complete with plumbing, cooking, and lighting.

But what about creating a garden space just for yourself? One just for your own peace of mind that’s calming to the spirit? What kind of outdoor space would you use?

Here are some ways you can create a deeply personal retreat that will support you and ‘fill your bucket’.

Planning Your Meditation Garden

Have you heard of Meditation Gardens? They are a deeply personal sanctuary – large or tiny – that gives you much-needed respite from the daily grind.

yoga

Remember, the design of these areas in your yard does not need to be elaborate or expensive. It just needs to work for you, so that you can enter the space every day, take a few deep breaths, and be renewed.

Pick a spot in your yard that is close enough to the house, so you can easily access it each day. 

You’ll create a garden room with walls, flooring, and outdoor décor. This can be as simple or as ornate as you like. Budget is always a consideration, but you’d be surprised at how effective a few thoughtful additions will be.

How will you use the space? Spend time planning it out to ensure that you will use it often.

Will you need room for yoga? Start thinking of ground surfaces that are soft, slip-resistant, and supportive.

patio

Do you prefer to laze with a good book? Are you limber enough for a low-slung hammock, or do you need a straight-backed garden chair? Maybe an oversized outdoor pillow or pouf to sit in while spending time in your new reading nook?

Do you love your daily cup of tea or coffee? Include room for an outdoor table. A wrought iron bistro set to sip your morning cuppa.

Need a space to feel grounded or whisked away from the world? You need a soft grassy area to walk barefoot and become one with nature, referred to as ‘earthing’. Surrounded by the murmur of a water feature, the swishing of ornamental grasses, and the whisper of wind through trees that block your view of everything outside of this little private area.

Perhaps you need a comfy garden bench surrounded by flowering plants so you can sit and watch the bees and butterflies. Or a berry-laden nook to watch the songbirds flit and hummingbirds zip around.

landscape

Perhaps you have an appreciation for Japanese garden design. Include an interesting weeping form of a colorful tree or a breathtaking Japanese Maple with their evocative, luscious leaves! Trim the shrubs into shapes for some meditative pruning time, and add a few trees or shrubs to try your hand at Bonsai!

You don’t even need a yard to create a private respite! Apartment dwellers can use a small Citrus tree in a beautiful container as a wonderful focal point.

The planning process is its own form of meditation. When we take the time to really prioritize and identify our needs, celebrate our interests, and create a space that allows us to continue to give to others without facing the dreaded pain of burnout.

Caregivers are especially vulnerable to this. It’s not selfish, it’s self-care and it is important!

High powered executive? Consider this a strategic life decision, part of a comprehensive plan to support more effective decision-making.

Build the Walls of Your Outdoor Room with Trees and Shrubs

Draw a map of your space. Is there a close neighbor or an unsightly view? Maybe an unsightly utilitarian area or chain link fence?

Start by introducing a simple living screen at the back edge of your private space to create the walls of your room.

arborvitae

Plant an evergreen living wall like Green Giant Arborvitae, which are fast growing and can be planted close together to make a screen in a short period of time. In warmer climates, consider using Italian Cypress or even holly plants that have shiny evergreen foliage all year long. 

In the short term, use a temporary screen such as a large houseplant living wall, rows of fast-growing Ornamental Grass or Bamboo plants, or simply a folding screen. Set up a lattice fence where you can grow fast-climbing and quick-covering vines such as Clematis, or Honeysuckle along a trellis. Plant Climbing Roses for more long-term, scented privacy and screening later on.

Go big and create Espalier living walls by selectively pruning and training trees, fruit trees, and large shrubs into visually stunning works of living art!

Visual privacy is important to help you feel safe and let go!

A Mindful Garden Design Includes All Five Senses

A proper Sensory Garden has it all!

infographic

Sight

Choose visually relaxing plants, colors that are easy on the eyes, and themes that repeat for a visual sense of connection and continuity. Using plants that are of similar colors creates harmony in your new space but contrasting bold colors will energize the space. All of the parts contribute to the whole.

Look for Accent Trees that flower at different times throughout the growing season and offer shade and beauty.

Concentric growing Succulents and plants that grow in measured patterns also offer a layer of visual soothing! Spiky Yucca, mounding perennials like Spurge, or curly contorted plants like Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick and Corkscrew Rush draw the eye and calm the mind.

Smell

Include scented plants like Lilac bushes to take you back to fond memories. Lavender plants help relax, while Rose Bushes invoke the senses. Rosemary is invigorating. Flowering plants like Jasmine and Gardenia have sweet scents that waft on the breeze.

Touch

Soft Lamb’s Ears, fuzzy moss, touchable Artemesia, Dusty Miller, and rough leaves of Coneflower or Sunflowers. Or include other tactile plants like Bergenia with glossy squeaky leaves, and flowy Muhly Grass plumes, or weeping, pendulous trees.

Sound

Choose plants that move and sway to set the mood and help with noise cancellation.

Water fountains and waterfalls add the element of flowing water and wind chimes or prayer bowls help add sound vibration to your Meditation garden.

Taste

Add a container-friendly Patio Tree of fruit on the back deck. Grow strawberries as groundcover or other small berry bushes around your meditation garden, plant superfruit vines or bushes to improve your health while improving your mental well-being! Citrus trees have fragrant flowers, evergreen privacy foliage, and delicious fruit! Herbs are aromatic and flavor your meals!

Take time to study the growing new fruit as a real lesson in change and gratitude. You’ll love enjoying the ripe fruit as a very special treat.

Connection

Next, select plants that have some meaning for you. Plants that make you connect to loved ones or fond memories.

There is no right answer!

Layer Plants Together Using Your Personal Style

Nature Hills offers plenty of options for trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, and groundcovers that work for your area! From small Perennials to large Perennials, flowering ornamental bushes, and shade trees - we offer it all! 

Read the Plant Highlight to see how large the plants will get. Use large, medium, small, and tiny plants to fill the space as full as you’d like!

hosta

Pick some of your favorites, but do keep in mind that plant selection may be dictated by the amount of sun or shade that your new backyard retreat receives. Shady meditation rooms can rely on Hosta and other foliage plants rather than sun-loving flowering plants.

Hot sunny meditation nooks need shade trees and shrubs to cool you, but also can handle that sun. 

Consider adding plants with different textures and forms. It can be very effective to juxtapose different types against each other. Contemplate the differences between velvety Lamb’s Ear, architectural Yucca, elegant Butterfly Bushes, flouncy Hydrangea, or graceful flowing Japanese Forest Grasses.

Rounded versus elongated. Rough versus soft. Large versus small. Dynamic garden design can whisper to you mysteries of the deep story of life.

Don’t forget to include some native plants that will attract wildlife to your space. Have you ever just sat and watched butterflies dance around your yard? Include Pollinator-friendly plants that will attract them and beautiful birds, too!

Plan a Focal Point For Your Meditation Garden

Now develop a focal point for your area now you’ve screened it away from the world.

focal

Use small rocks to outline the shape of a spiraling labyrinth for daily walking contemplation. Haul in and place a stack of stones or boulders or create a special sculpture. Winding paths can add a delightful sense of anticipation and destination.

Water features from tabletop fountains to a murmuring pond or stream are fantastic additions and white noise. A birdbath or bubbling rock will suffice!

Add a stone sculpture or moving piece of art. Soft wind chimes in breezy areas, or candles for evening use are all fantastic additions as well!

Special Roses make a great living focal point! Why not try the world-famous Peace Rose as a starting point?

Use what speaks to you and brings you joy. This is truly a “no judgment” zone!

Set The Scene With Thoughtful Touches

Soft, cushiony surfaces encourage you to slip your shoes off and wiggle your toes. Thick grass, or easy care groundcovers such as English Ivy, Creeping Thyme, Carpet Thyme, or Golden Creeping Jenny can be used.

path

You’ll want to include a path from your house to the space in your planning. 

If you’ll do yoga in the space, consider building a sturdy platform deck out of splinter-free composite decking. Rugged exterior storage boxes can hold your mat, blocks and other props.

Imagine yourself performing the Golden Lotus meditation surrounded by the natural sounds, sights and scents of your own Meditation Garden! Learn more about the basics of mindful meditation at the Paramahansa Yogananda's Self-Realization Fellowship website.

Hammock swings, zero-gravity chairs, or a comfy lawn chair work wonders! A footrest to kick up your feet.

Some Garden “Me Time”

As they say, take time to stop and smell the Roses!

Plants 

We hope you’ll enjoy your fabulous new Meditation Garden!

Happy Planting!

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