Special garden spaces
Recently we have had the pleasure of working in gardens with some 'hidden spaces' - often referred to as the 'meditation space' they all have one thing in common - escape.
A few minutes in these relaxing spaces can bring calm, clarity and peace of mind. But how do you create one in your garden? Can any garden have one? I say yes....
There are a few elements that need to be in place for a tranquil spot to be created:
- Location - pick a spot as far away as you can find from the general chaos at home
- Sun or shade - it is rare to have a spot perfectly usable all year round. You may choose sun if you want to contemplate in the cooler months or shade if you want to escape summer's heat. Or you may have limited space and that choice may not be up to you!
- Colour - what relaxes or recharges you? Perhaps it's various shades of green, a tropical or cottage garden feel, a splash of colour or white accent only. Try choose one idea and run with it. Pinterest ifs great for this!
- A focal point - for this zone to work you need a point of focus - that can be as simple as a small garden table and chair, one large paver or a small statue or water feature if you're feeling bold.
- A sense of enclosure - when you have your quiet spot you want to feel safe and hidden away so try to find a corner or area you can tuck into. Remember plants can create that feel with screening.
- Texture - what do you want to feel under foot - smooth pavers, small stones, grass or earth?
- Seating - do you like to sit low on the ground with a beanbag or cushion or do you prefer a chair and small outdoor table for writing, enjoying a coffee?
Now you've decided on these elements, try doing a rough sketch (doesn't matter what it looks like, it's just for your eyes!). Think about what you have at home that you could repurpose, and perhaps a couple of items you could treat yourself to (a colourful pot, small sculpture, outdoor chair)
Plant placement is key, so start with your defined space - (say your little table and chair) and then work your planting around that to create an enclosed area. Go for some plants that are above head height when seated (especially behind you) and then lower the height levels as you get in closer towards the centre of your space. You want to feel enclosed, not engulfed - fine line people, it's a fine line.
Remember to choose plants that work in the space you've chosen - planting for a shaded spot will require different plant choices than a full sun corner.
If you're unsure of the space at first, leave the plants in their pots until you feel you have the combination right - sit in the space, see how you feel, make sure you have the light / shade / quiet / peace you need.
Tuck away and recharge!