According to studies, the top-yielding garden landscaping projects are those that add lifestyle value beyond aesthetics. In this new age of work-from-home, many of us are finding it difficult to separate our professional and home lives””a recipe for slow-onset burnout. While it’s certainly important to establish some kind of boundary to keep work stress at bay, it’s just as important to build in some healthy habits to process and manage daily stress, hence the importance of meditation. Encourage yourself to “˜zen out’ more often with these meditation garden ideas that even work for small spaces.
Meditation Garden Landscape Design
Meditation gardens, at least as I think of them, borrow heavily from elements of Japanese zen garden style. Understanding some of the trademark elements of Japanese zen landscape design can be helpful in designing your own variation of a meditation garden.
- The elements play a significant role in this landscape design style. Japanese gardens prominently feature natural stone, plant life, water, and ornamental elements. The area should contain a balanced blend of all of these components.
- Soft lines and curves are other key features of this style. Gently curving footbridges, curved garden beds and gently winding paths all contribute to that classic “˜zen’ look.
- Plant selection is also important to consider. The best plants for meditation gardens are those with graceful shapes and soft textures, such as Japanese maples, ferns, and ornamental grasses.
- Simple living areas are another key consideration for achieving this look. Since we’ll primarily be using the space for meditation, relaxation or yoga, the living area should reflect that! Ideally, that means simple, comfortable seating, room to stretch out or lay down, and very few visual distractions or noises that might break your concentration.
Small Meditation Garden Ideas
If you only have a small space to devote to your meditation area, here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Start with seating. The seating should emphasize comfort, simplicity and allow you to relax for relatively long periods of time. It could include large outdoor cushions on your patio floor or even something a little unconventional like a gently-swaying hammock.
- Add a water feature. Even a small water feature will do so much for your meditation garden; the white noise is soothing to your ears while blocking out street noise, allowing you to focus on clearing your mind or generating creative new ideas. Look for a prefabricated water fountain that suits your landscape’s footprint.
- Fire it up. Alternatively, if you find the gentle flicker of flames to be calming and contemplative, a fire feature is another great addition to your meditation garden. Look for a contained feature that borrows from the visual elements of Japanese design (such as a dish-shaped pit or one that heavily features natural stone) to tie it into your motif.
- Show off some compact statuary. Another great idea for enhancing a small meditation garden is to include some small but on-theme decorative statues, like a tiny temple, seated Buddha, or a lovely urn.
- Two words: river rock. Smooth, naturally beautiful stones of all sizes look right at home in a meditation garden. Use them to line beds, frame ornamental elements, or create beautifully low-maintenance rockscapes.
Indoor Meditation Garden Ideas
No space outside? No worries. An indoor meditation garden is a perfect retreat for apartment and condo dwellers to unwind, and they’re simple to put together.
- First, clear some space: If you can devote a whole room to your indoor meditation garden, great””but if not, a spacious corner of your bedroom or spare room will do the trick. Clear out enough space to sit or lay comfortably.
- Next, add plants. As people, we’re drawn to greenery, so a few beautiful houseplants are ideal for establishing your meditation space. Blend some larger plants, like kentia palms and dracaena, with small and medium-sized plants such as Boston ferns, lucky bamboo, and bonsai trees. Better yet, add the soothing scent of jasmine to the air with an indoor jasmine plant.
- Set the vibe. Think about what you need to slip into sensory bliss; maybe it’s a soothing tabletop water fountain or a small Bluetooth speaker to play your favourite meditation tracks. Add a yoga mat and a few comfy cushions to finish the look.
- Add in a mini zen garden. They’re famous for a reason! There truly is something soul-soothing about raking curved lines into a box of sand. The “gardens” themselves are easy to DIY with a mini rake, a shallow wooden tray, some sand, and a few polished stones.
These are just a few of the gazillion ways to create a meditation garden, but “˜zen’ is in the eye of the beholder! Find more ideas for your meditation garden at our Salisbury Greenhouse plant store in St. Albert or Sherwood Park.