The sounds, sights, smells, and fresh air of therapeutic gardens are the crown jewels of health resorts, hospitals, and rehabilitation homes. Create your own healing garden with a few therapeutic garden design elements.
Smell: The smell of flowers can calm the mind and relax the body. Fragrant flowers contain essential oils that produce feelings of wellbeing and tranquility in most people. The human endocrine system is affected by smells that we inhale - odors can affect your mood and hormones. Smells also provoke memory. Revisiting the smells of your healing garden will trigger the feeling of relaxation that you enjoyed there. Lavender, sage, rose, lemon-verbena, and honeysuckle are fragrant plants that flourish in many regions of the US. Pictured here is lilac, whose fragrant bushes produce an unmistakably sweet smell.
Sound: Feng Shui practitioners and physicists alike agree that the human body is comprised of vibrating molecules. Sounds can actually change your brainwaves. Picture here are wind chimes, whose sound generally produces the effect of relaxation and well-being. The harmonics of wind chimes have the potential to promote better sleep, mental clarity, and reduced stress.
Color: Colors stimulate emotions and thoughts. A garden of colorful flowers will wake up your senses when you're feeling blah. You can plant specific colors of flowers to produce a specific change in your mood. Red will wake you up, blue and white will relax you. Pictured here is a variety of colorful wildflowers. Planting a wide spectrum of flowers in your healing garden will help you to balance your mood, and their sheer beauty will make you happy.
Shade: You need to be able to relax comfortably in your therapeutic garden. It's crucial to build a shady spot where you can relax. Gazebos, trellises, grape vines, trees, tents, and screened in porches are all effective and attractive modes of shading a spot in your garden. Pictured here is a pergola covered in vines. This pergola is a great example of a soothing shady space because it employs natural elements like wood and vines, and offers plenty of room to laze underneath.
Water Feature: Since most of us don't have babbling brooks running through our yards, the next best way to incorporate the healing sound of running water is to install a water feature. The sound of running water will block out no-so-relaxing neighborhood sounds. Solar fountains are a great option for people who want to conserve power or don't have electricity in their back yards. Pictured here is a frog fountain, which incorporates an adorable natural creature into a peaceful landscape.
Attractive Bug Control
Mosquito Nets: It's hard to relax when you're swatting away mosquitos. Some sort of bug screen will enable you to enjoy your therapeutic garden during the buggy summer months. Pictured here is a chaise lounge with a box mosquito net. Mosquito nets cost about $35 and you can hang one easily from a tree, trellis, or pergola.
Decorative Garden Path
Materials Underfoot: Imagine the soothing sound of natural materials underfoot as you take a meditative walk around your garden. Give your feet some firm footing with nature inspired pavers, like the ones shown here. The ground of Zen gardens is usually covered in pebbles, silica, or sand. Traditional Celtic gardens often feature pathways made of wide stone pavers. You could create a mandala, a concentric circle design, on the ground from pebbles, rocks, and creative pavers.
Urban Balcony Garden
Therapeutic Gardens for City Dwellers: If you don't have your own yard to make a healing garden in, you still can create an urban space all your own to relax and restore yourself in. Never underestimate the power of a patio or balcony container garden. Plant a variety of colorful flowers in earthy pots; invest in a comfortable weather-proof chair, and even install a small portable water feature to drown out the city sounds.