A meditation garden can be a place to find both solace and inspiration, a retreat from the ever-pressing demands of our busy lifestyles. As a homeowner, you can create this space in your backyard. Style and size are limited only by location, square footage, and your imagination. Find out how to create a calming meditation garden.
Envision the Space
Image via Flickr by nanetteturner
Since meditation and unwinding are personal pursuits, your choices for design are too. Traditional components — such as seating, textures, focal points, and natural elements — are your call. Do you have enough space for a walking path? What do you want to hear and smell? Will you get tired of feeding koi? Be sure to choose plantings and hardscapes with shapes and colors you won’t regret; consider how the garden will change through the seasons.
Preproduction is everything, so get your layout correct from the beginning. You can use pencil and paper, or you can choose from popular computer programs designed to help with visualization. Take time to calculate quantities of materials such as stone, timber, plants, and water delivery for a pond. This planning can help you save money. Carry your plans outside and start plotting the garden to scale. Use stakes and string for straight line boundaries; spray paint works well to indicate curved features.
Break New Ground
Image via Flickr by fir3bird
You can do much of the work by hand. When moving large amounts of earth, however, consider using a skid steer loader for its speed and strength in moving heavy loads. Digging out earth for a pond or shifting gravel for a Zen garden can be unnecessarily slow and painful without the proper tools.
At this point, you’re getting a sense of what the finished space will feel like. Lay out any focal points now to get an idea of proportions that may need adjusting. This step will be your final check for features which may seem too large or small for the garden. For areas that will be covered by gravel, landscape fabric should go down first to reduce the need for weeding later.
Reflect on Time Well Spent Planning Your Garden
Image via Flickr by DominusVobiscum
Take time installing your garden; the process can be as therapeutic as sitting in the completed retreat. Follow planting directions for plant specimens to ensure they thrive and don’t need replacing next year. If you’re including a water feature, be sure to install an appropriate pump for the volume of water, an addition which will keep your fish healthy and your water aerated and clear. If large birds are common in your area, cover the pond with netting to protect your aquatic pets.
Spend time in your garden early on and note anything worth adding or subtracting. Good design doesn’t aggravate the eyes; it makes people happy.
Congratulations: You now have a beautiful place to clear your mind and allow calm back into your soul. In doing so, you can likely increase the resale value of your home as well. As the seasons change, you’ll get a certain pleasure from watching the garden mature. You’ve created a place for yourself in the present and for the contemplative souls to come. Well done.