What’s more relaxing and healing for the soul, than a beautifully designed garden in your own home? For the modern men and women, a relaxing garden design provides an escape back into the arms of mother nature. You don’t have to own acres of land to live alongside nature, a well thought out garden can be the missing link with mother nature that you have been yearning for.
Humans are subconsciously rooted with the need to reconnect with the Earth as we evolve. Incorporating a garden into your home seamlessly binds your property back as one with nature while still providing the comforts of the modern world.
Types of Gardens for Relaxing
• The Japanese Garden
The classic zen garden – A Japanese garden exudes an exotic aura that is not only beautiful but intensely calming and relaxing for the soul. The Japanese have a deep appreciation for nature and that shows in the design of their gardens and buildings.
They have a deep belief in working with mother nature instead of against it. As expected from the Japanese, the gardens are carefully crafted to ensure that the owners benefit from it — being able to relax in it is one of the major aspects, a true focus on the relaxing garden design concept.
Features of a Japanese Garden:
- A water feature. This could be a natural or artificial stream, regular pond, or even a Koi pond. There is something very relaxing about the flow of water incorporated into natural elements, as each trickle of water is very soothing for the soul. The Japanese seek balance in nature, therefore, a garden with plants is incomplete without a water feature. It is also a symbolic feature of wealth and clarity in Asian culture.
- Sculpted Rocks. Often found alongside the water features, these rocks can either be sculpted by artisans or entirely natural (Natural ones are more expensive nevertheless). This rocks significantly enhance the beauty of the garden as it is cohesive with the design and represents the foundations of the Earth. Again, the Japanese do not create just a garden, but have a vision of capturing the grandeur of nature into their own personal yard.
- Bonsai Trees. The prized possession of many Japanese and affluent around the world. It is simply beautiful, its intricate barks are carefully crafted and the outline is absolutely stunning and relaxing to admire. It is not just a tree but a timeless representation of a family’s legacy infused into mother nature itself. These trees will often outlive the owner and be passed from one generation to the next as a legacy with deep meanings.
- A mix of foliage. Japan itself has a variety of plant species and the country is renowned for its beautiful foliages. Some examples are the Japanese Red Maple and Cherry Blossom trees. A mix of green, yellow, red and even pink truly elevates the garden to new heights for the owner to relax and admire at. With each seasonal change, the garden breathes new concepts that are everchanging which you can relax comfortably to. You could even add bamboos if the conditions are right.
- Kasuga Lanterns. The traditional Japanese stone lighting for gardens and pathways. It is beautifully and naturally design to fit the garden’s overall concept. Modern Kasuga lanterns are either connected to a power supply or solar-powered. However, you still have the option of placing your own candles in them to enjoy the natural relaxation of a dancing flame.
- A mini bridge over the water feature helps to finish off that overall touch of Japanese aesthetics. You could incorporate a wooden or stone bridge. It is often used to gaze at the Koi fish, a nice feature to have in a relaxing garden design.
- Building a Japanese Gazebo. In nearly every culture of East Asia, Royalty always had a gazebo to relax in. Aristocrats in the past use to relax in such gazebos. You could drink a cup of tea, ponder deep thoughts, or simply gaze at your beautiful Japanese garden.
- Bamboo Accents. An iconic plant of the Japanese that is not only beautiful but has served multiple purposes for centuries when sliced and sculpted right.
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• The English Garden
One of the more renowned garden concepts that is well preserved and scattered across the world after the British colonial era. The English garden is often seen in movies and portrayed as rather fancy. As a matter of fact, they are actually very doable and scalable according to each individual property.
Therefore, you can have a slice of that relaxing English design even if you’re not royalty. The mention of an English garden often refers to the cottage garden or the classic English garden. Here’s how to get a relaxing garden design that the British adore.
Features of an English Garden:
- Hedges ─ Yes, the maze-like giant shrubs in front of a Mansion would probably pop into your mind. Fret not, for the regular folks, these are often just well maintained and well-designed hedges with perfect geometry; often in a rectangular shape.
- A Lawn ─ A really simple, classic, and stunning concept to relax in. Once again to perfect that relaxing English design, the grass should be kept properly. Not to mention the English do love football (soccer), therefore, an English garden without it seems a tad different.
- Pathways ─ Doesn’t matter if it’s concrete or stone, there needs to be a well-defined pathway for people to walk and have deep thoughts in. “But I’m not an aristocrat” yes we understand, we’re not asking you to build a giant intricate pathway like a King but, any simple pathway will do if budget is a factor. A stroll on the pathway is perfect to relax and think about the meaning of life.
- Outdoor Garden Arrangements ─ English gardens often have statues, benches, and even a gazebo in some cases. The easiest way is to have some seating arrangements, a coffee table, and a stone statue of something you like.
- Water features ─ If you’re rich, get an actual stone fountain. If you don’t want to fork out a large sum of money, this is also achievable as fountains come in various shapes and sizes nowadays. A simple, good quality electronic replica stone fountain costs less than 100 dollars nowadays which you can easily find online with shipping direct to your home. The English generally use simple round fountains instead of the European aquatic figurines that spurts out water, so keep that in mind, there is a difference.
- Mixed Plants ─ For instance, hedges, shrubs, trees, different foliages. The English used to rule the world, so having a variety of different plants or exotic ones is actually ok and actually helps complete the look. One species I would avoid though, are cactuses as the UK doesn’t generally favor it climate-wise and culture-wise for an English garden.
- Flowers ─ English gardens are incomplete without flowers, you might prefer certain types of plants but to end off that relaxing English garden, you have to have some flowers to admire.
Features of an English Cottage Garden:
To be fair, both the English cottage garden and classic English garden share the same attributes, but have a contrast in style. Some admirable differences would be that the cottage garden would be much more carefree, less formal, and more flexible in terms of building your relaxing garden design.
- Some notable differences:
- There would be a lack of water features, these are often replaced with beautifully crafted plant pots that line the garden and certain pathways. Or usually, there is a natural pond or mini creek, which if a homeowner wants, can create themselves artificially.
- The garden would be less prim and proper as the plants are allowed to flourish instead of having to maintain them into angular shapes.
- Adding nice rustic, vintage-looking furniture would also help add to enhance the overall vibes of an English cottage.
- The prominence of fruit trees would also elevate the feelings of a true English cottage garden meant for relaxation.
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• The Italian Garden
You could call it the Italian garden or another renowned name is the Renaissance garden. Italian gardens revolve around Roman principles but do share some similarities with English gardens as they all have some form of common European trait. The Italians also favor statues much more which can be seen depicted in their gardens.
Features of an Italian garden:
- The Italians love geometric shapes as well, their hedges and plants are trimmed to be symmetrically pleasing. The garden’s concept revolves around being formal.
- Water features ─ Once again aquatic statues and fountains are loved by such gardens. Indeed there is something soothing and relaxing about hearing the flow of water, absolutely adds to the concept of a relaxing garden design.
- Lesser flowers ─ Traditional Italian gardens are actually very green. If you have been to Italy or saw photos of their gardens, you’d notice the plants are mostly lush green. There is very little flower or almost zero present. The emphasis is on the pristine green plants kept in tip-top condition.
- Statues ─ They really love stone depictions of stuff, but remember, it’s your personal garden to relax in, therefore, it is still advisable to choose a statue that you like but still fits the overall Italian garden theme. Don’t go too wild and buy something like a squirting fish which doesn’t make sense.
- Stone walls ─ It was prominent in the medieval times for security but now it is just a common Italian aspect of their Gardens. Not everyone has acres of land so you don’t necessarily have to go and built an actual fancy stone wall. Some suggestions would be to incorporate it into your garden such that it flows well yet exudes the Italian charms. Perhaps a small stone wall to focus some plants or water features — or replica stone pillars to give the illusion of a long stone fortress.
- A nice courtyard ─ If your property has the space, an Italian styled courtyard does help enhance the overall vibes of an Italian Renaissance garden. Generally flowers can be allowed here as they are sort of in their own space. A tip would be to incorporate arches and stone wall linings.
- Dream of a fantasy ─ Lastly, the Italians love a nice fantasy theme garden, where one can explore, relax, and enjoy – like a fairytale. For example: hidden sections with draping vines or large hedges hiding private corners. So keep that in mind when you’re trying to design a relaxing Italian garden.
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• The Chinese Garden
Unlike other gardens, Chinese gardens have a heavy emphasis on water as water has a deep symbolic meaning of wealth and prosperity in their culture. Of course, the garden isn’t complete without beautiful plants, however, a big water feature would be the key highlight of the garden.
Features of a Chinese garden:
- A big water feature ─ Usually in the form of a large pond filled with fishes. Similar to the Japanese, it is usually filled with Koi fish but the Chinese are more flexible with their aquatic life. You can also include a bank for raising tortoises. Lotus flowers are also a very distinct feature to have in your Chinese garden. If you can’t find it, water lilies are the next closest thing.
- Beautiful rocks ─ Another common trait in Asian gardens is carefully selected rocks that are brilliantly placed alongside the water features. The shade of the rocks is often light in color. The Chinese like to capture the natural majestic landscape of China into their design. After-all, the aristocrats of ancient China all relaxed and spend a great deal of time in such regions and its spectacularly crafted gardens.
- Chinese Gazebo ─ It seems like a lot of cultures love the idea of a gazebo. It is a suitable place to lounge around in – from drinking tea, light conversations to having deep thoughts while admiring the beauty of the garden. This is usually the centerpiece to complete a Chinese garden.
- Wooden Table and Tea Setup ─ Often this is found in the gazebo, but if you’re not building one, you could place it in your garden itself. The Chinese absolutely love Tea, so it’s not surprising to have a tea setup. The wooden table is also very unique. It is crafted to mimic the natural bark of a tree yet has a full hidden plumbing system to drain water/tea. Now, this may be quite expensive depending on where you live, therefore a nice regular table would suffice too if it’s out of reach. Truly a relaxing garden design for ultimate relaxation.
- Asian plants ─ Unlike other gardens, you can tell a Chinese garden right away as it is rather unique, not just from the surrounding structures. There is a clear absence of international species. Considering China’s geographic might, they honestly have no need for foreign plants, they have a ton of different regional ones that are good enough to fit every style a Chinese garden requires.
- Sheltered Walkways ─ Now, this is probably for those with extra land space and money. The Chinese style walkways were often found in the gardens of palaces where the Emperor would stroll and relax in, thus, it is a unique feature that can complete your overall Chinese garden design.
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• The French Garden
Now you might see the picture and go “That’s a castle ! How on earth am I going to build a French garden in my yard”. Of course I’m not asking you to buy a Mansion or get hold of acres of land. The fun part of designing a relaxing garden is to capture the grandeur of things you fancy, and try to mimic it into your own, no matter the size. When carefully planned and thoughtfully designed, it is highly achievable.
Features of a French Garden:
- The French Courtyard ─ A simple courtyard generally signifies the French garden with well-trimmed hedges similar to other European gardens with geometric shapes in mind. The French garden can be designed both formally and informally.
- Lavender ─ The French absolutely adore Lavender. So a touch of it definitely helps in achieving the desired French vibes.
- Flowers ─ Loads and loads of colorful flowers for an exquisite relaxing garden design. Usually arranged neatly as well.
- Gravel Pathways ─ You could go stone or concrete, but a gravel pathway would suit the theme of a French garden more. Hearing the crunch of the stones as you walk is therapeutic for some while taking a stroll, a neat way of relaxation if you ask me.
- Water Features ─ Once again, European gardens vary in the details, but otherwise, they share highly similar traits. But if it works it works, at the end of the day, they are all beautiful in their own right. However, the fountains seem to be less elevated as compared to the English and Italians. It is usually positioned around ground-level or waist-level with the main focus being on the fountain’s beautiful water spray itself.
- Stylish French Furniture ─ Yes there is such a thing, traditional french gardens have a rather specific lineup of outdoor furniture. For instance the intricate spirals in black metal chairs and tables. Often the furniture exudes elegance, so do keep that in mind when designing your relaxing French Garden.
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• The Modern Garden
The concept around modern gardens is actually really simple to achieve. It doesn’t require much and is mainly focused on minimalism. The concept often has a big grass patch incorporated with it and only a few plants.
The saying “less is more” applies here as well, gardens such as this are not lacking at all — but rather another perceived form of beauty and rightful space for the owners to relax in. They are also highly versatile for various other events besides relaxing.
Have your kids or pets run around, while being able to relax – perhaps reading a book, sunbathing, or even having a BBQ with nature around you is still an absolutely wonderful garden in my opinion.
Low maintenance and key focus points are the main takeaways here. It is a simple, brilliant relaxing garden design to spruce up the property and for homeowners to truly relax in.
• The Jungle Garden
If none of the above suits you, why not just create your own miniature forest or jungle as a garden, after all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Of course we’re not telling you to go entirely wild but simply let your garden flourish naturally or fill it yourself.
Maintained only when required, otherwise let nature take over while you sit back and relax; admiring its beauty. If you have ever visited Bali, a greenhouse, or a bio-dome and found it spectacular yet calming, chances are, this is the garden for you to relax in.
Humans generally find it incredibly peaceful and soothing to be surrounded by lush vegetation as deep down in our ancestry, we were born to connect with nature. This can be seen in Amazon’s new office, the Amazon spheres, or Singapore’s artificial greenhouse domes.
Humans simply love nature one way or another. Amazon’s employees overall benefited immensely from being surrounded by natural vegetation. If a billion dollar business is benefiting from it, I’m pretty sure your own jungle garden is a pretty good choice for your journey to attaining ultimate relaxation.