Need a place to zen out? You can escape the hustle and bustle with a garden sanctuary at home – it’s easy! Take a look at these ideas, choose your favourite projects then, once you’re done, switch off your phone, put the jug on and set aside the time to regularly take five in your own backyard.
1. Provide shade
If you aren’t already blessed with shade provided by large leafy trees, include relief from the sun with store-bought shade options. Large outdoor market umbrellas are a terrific solution and are a quick and easy way of covering outdoor seating, lounging and dining areas. Alternatively, look at roll-out blinds and sail shades to cover the hot spots in your entertaining zones.
2. Build a shady room
A timber slat-covered structure, such as this, in your backyard is an ideal space for a peaceful escape. Just include outdoor lounges with cushions stitched up in outdoor, UV-rated fabric. A matching coffee table is the ideal place to rest drinks and nibbles and you can decorate the space with cheery blooms in pots. PS, make a zone like this even more weatherproof by lining the top of the slated roof with clear polycarbonate roofing.
3. Include a water feature
There’s no doubt that the sound of running water brings an immediate sense of tranquility to an outdoor space. You can opt to make a simple pond in a pot, as here, or go for a more substantial water feature, such as an in-ground pond or a contemporary rill or fountain.
4. Introduce fish
If you already have a pond or are looking at installing one, consider the option of welcoming fish to your watery environment. Ponds also provide the opportunity for you to grow water plants and attract frogs and other wildlife to your outdoor domain. Psst… You can’t beat the soundtrack of singing frogs to create the ultimate atmosphere!
5. Make a spot to sit (or two!)
Creating garden ‘rooms’ is an ever-popular trend in garden design. This is when your yard is divided up to form room-like nooks, corners and places to discover. To enjoy each space in your garden, place garden benches in a number of spots so that you can escape the daily grind with a book and a cup of tea.
6. Form arbours
Plant-covered archways in your garden create a sense of fantasy – they instantly add to the peacefulness and charm of a garden’s design. You can form an archway with exterior-grade timbers or with metal, then grow climbing plants such as wisteria, star jasmine or even a gorgeous climbing rose. Ask your local garden centre for advice on what’s best for your local climate.
7. Lay pathways
Let your mind wander as you stroll along short pathways in your garden – they’re so enchanting! You can form the pathways with pavers, stepping-stones, compacted decomposed granite, loose gravel… There are plenty of options to suit your garden aesthetic.
8. Welcome flowering plants
Nothing says peace and tranquility like a healthy backyard ecosystem. Include flowering plants in your garden beds and in pots to attract good bugs and bees to your space. They’ll love you for it!
9. Bring on a birdbath
A water-filled birdbath in your garden not only looks charming, it is a much-loved spot for local birds to visit, drink and bathe. The presence of water in your garden is instantly relaxing and the chorus of bird-life adds to the zen vibes.
10. Suspend a hammock
Time spent swinging gently in a backyard hammock is surely high up the list as an idyllic way to enjoy a peaceful moment outdoors. You just need sturdy trees or posts and a hammock – the installation is easy!