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13 Tips to Create Your Own Healing Garden

The key when designing is to remember that simplicity is essential in designing a soothing healing garden, because the point of having one is to deal with stress, and its important that the space not have too much going on to add any additional stress.

You also want to design for interaction between people and plants. Here are some easy tips to help you do this:

  • Choose plants that engage all of the senses. Use a variety of textures, scents, colors, and plants that make pleasant sounds as wind rustles their leaves. Don’t forget, providing seasonal varieties will let you connect with the cycle of nature.
  • Plants with interesting visual texture add to the sensory garden experience. Excellent additions for sensory gardens include smooth, rough, ruffled, fuzzy, or lacey-textured plants.
  • Color provides a visual stimulus while adding focal points, accents, and definition to a garden. Warm colors such as red, orange, and yellow enliven the emotions and promote activity. Cool colors, such as blue, purple, and white tend to be soothing, and promote tranquility.
  • Scent is one of our most powerful senses so think about adding fragrant plants alongside garden seating, along the edges of paths and outside windows. Creeping herbs like thyme, planted right in pathways will release their aroma when they are walked on. Incense and scented oils in garden torches can add additional scents.
  • Don’t forget the sense of touch. Choose plants that are durable enough to withstand frequent brushing or handling. Think of things like soft flowers, fuzzy leaves, springy moss, rough bark, succulent leaves, and prickly seed pods. For both fragrance and texture include scented geraniums, basils, and peppermints.
  • One of the most overlooked senses in the garden is sound, but it broadens the garden experience. Many plants make sounds with a small amount of wind or jostling: bamboo stems knock together, grasses rustle, palm fronds sway. Seed pods of some plants make natural sound shakers. Have grasses and bamboos outside of windows so when it rains you hear the sound of the movement.
  • Sounds of animals enliven the senses so incorporate elements that will attract bird, hummingbirds and other forms of wildlife including berry-producing shrubs, birdbaths and bird feeders. But avoid plants that attract large numbers of bees or undesirable insects. Accessories for bringing soothing sounds to the garden include waterfalls, wind chimes and fountains.
  • In a sensory garden, the taste buds can tingle from edible fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. Include plants that can produce a large number of edible parts over time such as mint leaves, strawberries, or edible flowers.
  • Make sure there is shade available or you won’t use your garden. You can do this using sunscreens, trellises, fences, walls, and even certain plants. These also provide shelter from the wind.
  • Provide quiet places to sit and contemplate by adding comfortable seating with back support and arm rests.
  • Think about adding solar lights for nighttime garden visits. They eliminate the hassle of having to get electricity out there, and now come in a wide variety from accent lighting to path lighting and umbrella lights.
  • Provide a water feature because water is a soothing agent. Still water can provide a setting for meditation while the sound and view of moving water is restorative. You can use a small fountain or create a pond with koi or goldfish.
  • Do bugs bug you? Get a screened gazebo or a screened patio cover to provide a shaded, bug-free alternative.

 

 

Related:
5 Tips for an Enchanting Summer Garden
The “New Wave” Garden
5 Flowering Garden Plants That Scoff at Drought

Read more: Alternative Therapies, Health, Lawns & Gardens, Mental Wellness, Nature, Nature & Wildlife, Outdoor Activities, Stress, , , , ,

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Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.

646 comments

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11:12PM PST on Nov 11, 2013

sounds awesome

4:13PM PDT on Apr 26, 2013

Beautiful pictures, I'm working on a peaceful garden myself=)

8:04PM PDT on Apr 3, 2013

I'm on it!

2:04AM PDT on Mar 15, 2013

I agree

8:17AM PST on Mar 8, 2013

Thanks for ..

2:46AM PST on Mar 5, 2013

It is good for people to realize that even if most can't live in a forest or jungle or by the beach, we can still have a bit of nature around us.

The next place I live needs to have a decent sized backyard so that I can have my own healing garden.

7:00AM PST on Feb 27, 2013

TY

4:10AM PST on Feb 26, 2013

Thanks.

4:08PM PST on Feb 25, 2013

Cool :)

3:58PM PST on Feb 25, 2013

And if the list overwhelms you, just try something. Nature soothes, in big doses, broad ones, or just a handful of daffodils in a vase on your table inside.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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