The 23rd Annual Spring Garden Show presents a seminar about creating a restorative garden. Douglas Kent, MS, MLA, talked about restorative landscape design, and how you can create your perfect garden. Restore your yard with a landscape design and fire-scaping that will provide a healthy haven for your mind, body, soul and heart. A garden, filled with lots of greenery and flowers as well as fruits, herbs and vegetables, will promote healthy eating habits and breathing cleaner air. Before working on your landscape design, consider the nine main attributes to creating your restorative garden, which consist of the view, water props (unless you have an ocean view), comfort level, accessibility requirements, stimulation, sun and shade areas, meditative areas, enclosure for security, and choices, as you decide whether to use all these features or only certain features for your personalized retreat. The top four features that most people want to use are security enclosure, water props, choices, and comfort.
Mobility and accessibility involves creating pathways within your yard and garden. Most people tend to choose a neutral color or earth tone props because it is subtle on the eyes, making it more relaxing. Whether tiles, stone, rocks, wood, pebbles, or cement, it all depends on the particular style and look you want for your garden area.
Choices involve deciding from the options available to you, which requires a lot of shopping around and comparing in order to make sure you have the look you want. Such merchandise include the right sitting area furniture, a specific water fountain or waterfall structure, certain style of birdfeed, birdbath and birdhouses, furnace, fire pit, and some benches, swing, sun tent or a gazebo. You might even add an entertainment section with a ping-pong table, pool table, or a arcade. Consider placing wood pieces under your potted plants because wood will keep your plants at a neutral temperature all year long, without getting hot or cold.
Comfort involves creating a meditative space where you can visualize your lovely surroundings. At certain cornered and secluded areas of the yard, it might be beneficial to add a mirror for visualization purposes so that you can still enjoy the scenery from any location of the yard.
Views involve the panoramic scenery of your garden and beyond. Or, your view might include the pool or Jacuzzi. If you have a balcony, then you will have an even larger view of your town, city and/or neighborhood below you. You might even want to add a telescope for nighttime to venture way beyond, or use binoculars to check out your lovely garden from above.
Sun and shaded area involves creating a sitting area with shade in order to relax during hot and sunny weather as well as creating areas that get a lot of sunlight for certain plants and sunbathing. Consider your needs before deciding how much shade and/or sunlight your want into your garden.
Stimulate your senses with the scents of certain vegetables, fruits, flowers, herbs and other greenery. Mint tends to deter insects and ants. It is advisable to plant it by the front of the house. It also smells nice and tastes delicious with different food dishes and sandwiches.
Security enclosure involves creating horizontal visibility as well as creating your own special place for privacy and safety. Ask yourself, how much horizontal visibility do you want to see as well as who is allowed and how much can others see of your private haven? Then, choose certain trees, shrubs, and other plants that will create that look.
Then, you can enjoy your meditative and restorative garden by eating breakfast, lunch and/or dinner, while enjoying your surroundings. And, maybe even barbeque or grill your favorite food dishes outside, enjoying outdoor festivities with your family and friends.