Create a Magical Garden Retreat

Making your garden a great place to relax in with strategic additions

Your garden can easily be turned into a personal haven of peace and tranquility whether you have a large, sprawling plot or a small courtyard space. There’s nothing quite like relaxing outdoors on a warm day or evening, and some thought when planning or adapting your garden can pay dividends in enhancing your enjoyment of it.

Privacy and compartmentalising

If you’re overlooked or wish to section off a piece of a larger, more open garden then there are various ways to create a personal space.

Bamboo screening is a relatively easy to install, natural, low maintenance and cost effective way of creating a seating area. Natural canopies created by strategically placed trees and taller growing plants can screen off a more private area of the garden and prevent it being overlooked.

Sight, sound and smell

What you see in your garden can help enhance relaxation as can certain sounds – or the removal of some such as the muffling of unwanted traffic noise from a nearby road.

Sight – the colours you choose will help or hinder a feeling of peacefulness; perhaps loud, primary colours should be avoided when deciding what plants and flowers to grow in this area. Muted purples and blues with plenty of green as a background can aid feelings of relaxation.

Features such as a sculpture you find attractive or a stone monolith can add an interesting point of focus and help personalise your area.

Sound – denser planting can help muffle outside noise such as traffic, but noise of the desired kind can prove very calming in your space. Sounds like the gentle trickling of water, bees humming and birds chirping can be pleasantly hypnotic and relaxing.

Water features – to get that pleasant trickling water noise, choose from various water feature options from classic waterfall-type arrangements such as those used in ponds, fountains, statues and sculptures, stones and more.

Many don’t require special plumbing, some are self contained, and an increasing number are solar powered so no need to worry about excessive electricity use.

Wildlife sounds – to experience bees and bird sounds, obviously they have to be attracted to your garden, so fill your area – or nearby border perhaps – with plants that attract pollinating insects and keep the bird table stocked with nuts and so forth to attract feathered visitors.

Other relaxing sounds can be achieved with items like wind chimes and taller grasses and plants such as bamboos that gently rustle in the breeze.

Smells – fragrant plants like clematis, lavender, rose, honeysuckle and jasmine will create a pleasant aroma in your relaxing area and will also attract bees and butterflies. Don’t overdo it with heavily scented plants though as too many in close proximity can be overpowering.

Are you sitting comfortably?

Naturally you’ll want to be as comfortable as possible so as to relax fully and enjoy your garden haven, so suitable garden seating that is not only comfortable but looks good and can stand up to prolonged periods outdoors is important.

As with garden features, there’s plenty of options depending on what suits the look of your space. Seating and other furniture is available in materials such as the time honoured metal or the increasingly popular rattan. Essex based Garden Furniture Compare offer many seating and furniture options in various styles and colours, so there are plenty of options open to you.

Garden designs to reflect priorities and uses

Adapting or creating a relaxing area of the garden is one thing, but maybe you’re starting from scratch? Perhaps you’d like to either focus on one aspect such as creating a wildlife friendly garden to attract plenty of birds, bees and other ‘desirable’ insects and maybe a few smaller animals?

Perhaps you’re looking to create a larger ‘multi use’ garden that must not only provide a haven for relaxing, but also areas for general entertaining and a play area for children?

If so, these ideas from the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) might prove inspirational if creating a relaxing space is part of a larger project.

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