|Japanese Serenity Garden|
Pam Love, Durham
When you think of a serenity garden, many things come to mind. You might imagine the soft sounds of a wind chime or of a bubbling fountain. You might picture yourself seated comfortably, surrounded by lush plants, sipping a cup of tea. A serenity garden might be a place you go to pray or meditate quietly.
Your own serenity garden should be a combination of elements that you find peaceful and soothing, and you should design your serenity garden so that you feel calmed and renewed each time you visit it. There is no right or wrong way. I offer some suggestions.
Get inspired! Search the web, garden shows and centres, review books and magazines.
It's best to have a budget. Can you afford to design your garden all at once or is it something you can break up into several small projects over a number of years? How can you achieve a similar result at less expense? Do not let “spenders guilt” ruin your serenity.
Find a quiet secluded spot. You may need screening, which can be achieved with hedges, and fencing that can also act as a sound buffer
Sitting down in the garden makes you feel a part of it. Find a comfortable chair, bench or my favourite a garden swing for napping. Items made of wood will blend in naturally. Place it so you can admire the entire garden or a specific feature.
If you like certain sounds, include water, wind chimes, or bird feeders. Incorporate pleasing scents as well. Create a shelter from sun and rain using a gazebo, trees, pergola or umbrella. Pick one sculpture, statue, ornament, altar, or rock that inspires calmness in you. Include some specific empty spaces if you have room. Little empty areas can be surprisingly restful.
Remember less is more.
Cool colors such as green, blue , violet are more soothing as are tints or pastels of these shades. Instead of white, use greys and silver.
Avoid large contrasts in other design principles such as heights and textures and use fewer plant types. Plants of a more uniform height are more soothing than big ones next to little ones. Using rounded curves in bed design or pathways gives a calming effect as well as horizontal lines.
Finally choose plants that require the least maintenance. You do not want constant reminders of what has to be done. Instead take the time to be still and enjoy.