Easy Ways To Create A Mindful Garden From Scratch

Easy Ways to Create a Mindful Garden

Gardening is a wonderful way to enhance your well-being while connecting with nature. Not only is it a great way to get some fresh air and exercise, but it can help you to relax since caring for live plants can relieve fatigue and stress. Moreover, it can be an excellent mindful activity since gardening requires focus, and you need to be physically present for it. In an interview with The New York Times, English psychiatrist Sue Stuart-Smith explains how gardening, which enables people to work with nature’s energy, can be a form of meditation. “People often describe losing themselves in the garden,” she said. “When the ego falls away and we are at one with a task, we experience a sense of inner calm.” 

Indeed, gardening can restore your spirit and replenish your mind, and doing this in a calming environment can further enhance this activity’s restorative effects. So if you have a bare patch of land in your backyard, why not create a mindful garden from scratch? Here’s how to create a healing and soothing haven in your outdoor space.

Plan Your Space

Mindful garden planning design illustration

Starting a garden is somewhat similar to moving into a new home since you need to figure out how to use the space and where certain things should go. This can be highly stressful, which is why those who are relocating are advised to practice mindful moving techniques, such as listening to relaxing music or taking time to meditate. In the same way, those who are planning to create a garden from scratch should make sure that this project won’t have an adverse effect on their mental health. Don’t rush into anything, and take a break if you need it. Consult experts if you need help, or try using garden design apps like Hortisketch, Gardenize, or iScape to digitally map out your outdoor space and get some design ideas. 

Focus and really give your garden design some thought, especially if you intend to have an environment that promotes mindfulness. Start by thinking about your purpose for each spot– perhaps you’d like a seating area somewhere in there, a few plots just for herbs and spices, and maybe have some space for flowering plants and trees. Map it out on a piece of paper so you can perfect it and have the kind of outdoor space that you really want. Take it slow and don’t be pressured to finish your home improvement project all at once– remember, it’s better to give yourself a lot of time for this kind of activity since doing so gives you the opportunity to tweak the design and prevent gardening mistakes down the line. 

Plant A Few Trees

Young married couple in work uniform with shovel plant tree sapling in ground

Trees are an essential part of a mindful space since they bring a sense of calmness and peace into our lives, and they’re also proven to decrease depression, anxiety, and negative emotions. In a study of people who were asked to walk either in an urban setting or a forested area, it was found that participants who walked in the forest experienced less hostility, anxiety, confusion, and fatigue compared to those who walked in urban places. Since the presence of trees has a positive impact on our mental wellbeing, it only makes sense to have a few of them in your backyard.

To make a garden that’s conducive to meditation, create a living privacy screen with bamboo trees all around your backyard. Add a tree that has colorful leaves, such as a Japanese Maple. You can trim and shape it like a bonsai plant, and this activity may promote mindfulness since it requires you to focus on the tree. Also, plant a medium-sized tree that gives plenty of shade, such as a dogwood or flowering cherry tree. They’re relatively fast-growing, and they will provide lots of shade and beautiful colors to enhance your garden.  

Choose Plants and Elements That Engage All Your Senses

Close up rosemary tree in the garden

When choosing plants and elements for a mindful garden, it’s important to select ones that engage your sense of sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. For instance, choosing plants that grow in various patterns can be visually soothing and they give your garden a textured look. So, consider planting some fluffy hydrangeas along with plants that grow straight up, such as birds of paradise. Next, add some mounding plants such as Woodland Phlox, Speedwell, and New York Aster. Mounding plants grow in such a way that they create a somewhat rounded shape, giving your garden a lush feel. 

Meanwhile, to stimulate your sense of smell, add scented plants like lilacs, roses, jasmine, and lavender, as well as herbs like rosemary and mint. To give your taste buds a treat, plant berries and citrus plants like oranges and lemons. Add water features such as a fountain, and some wind chimes throughout your garden to fill your outdoor space with soothing and relaxing sounds.

Create A Seating Area Within the Garden

A wooden bench sits in front of a stone wall

Most backyards have a seating area that’s separate from the garden itself, like a patio or a deck. While you can certainly have one in your own garden, consider creating a few places to sit within your planting areas too. It can be anything from a simple bench under a shady tree, or a big rock or sitting stone placed among your perennials. Being this close to nature, where flowers and other plants are within reach, can have a healing effect on the mind. Moreover, it reminds you to be present in the moment.

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Everyone deserves to have a private sanctuary for renewal and relaxation. Consider starting a mindful garden, and experience its healing benefits every day. 

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