As the first signs of spring start to appear, many of us will begin to think about how we’re going to prepare our gardens for the summer months. Your outdoor space should be a peaceful place where you can escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life so, if your garden is looking a little bare, there are plenty of ways to give it a new lease of life.
Even if you only have a small city garden, a few plants and other sensory garden features can still make a big difference. Read on to learn how to make your outside space a tranquil place for rest and relaxation, including advice on plants, lighting, seating, and sensory elements like sound and scent.
Create a peaceful outdoor seating area
After a long day, there’s nothing quite like spending a peaceful evening sitting in the garden, so you’ll want to create a cosy dining or seating area where you can fully relax. Choose the location of your seating area carefully, thinking about which areas of your garden get the most sun. If you’ve got the space and you’d like to eat outdoors, a dining table and chairs or bistro set is a great option. In smaller gardens, a bench or love seat may be a better fit. If you’re lucky enough to have the space for it, you could even add a hammock for naps.
Once you’ve got your outdoor escape ready, you’ll want to add some soft furnishings to help make your seating area feel more luxurious and inviting. A few plush cushions in a weather-resistant fabric, like these outdoor garden cushions from Wyevale, will make your seating area more comfortable, and they’ll add a pop of colour to your garden, too.
Mask unpleasant outside noises
When you’re trying to relax and de-stress, outside noises like traffic can be distracting, especially if you live in a busy urban area. But there are ways you can muffle annoying noise and bring more tranquil sounds into your garden. A running water feature will help to block out the sound of traffic, so it’s a great way to drown out the hubbub if your pad is the middle of town. Hanging some wind chimes from a branch can also add some calming sounds to your outdoor area.
There are few things more soothing and uplifting than birdsong, so make your outside space a haven for feathered friends by installing a bird house, bath, and feeder. If you live in a built up area and struggle to attract birds into your garden, City Planter has a complete guide to attracting birds to an urban garden.
Add colour and fragrance
Blues and purples are reputed to be the most relaxing, tranquil colours, so fill your garden with varieties of flowers in these serene shades. Violets, pansies, and blue hydrangeas will all produce masses of coloured flowers, while climbers like blue clematis and passionflower are an easy way to add colour and interest to a bare wall.
Don’t forget to choose flowers for scent, too. Look for hardy plants that will add a beautiful calming fragrance to pots and flower beds – lavender is famed for its soothing scent. If you’ll mostly be out in your garden during the evening, plant varieties that will smell their best at dusk, like honeysuckle, evening primrose, star jasmine, and night-scented stock.
To add to the atmosphere you could light up a few incense sticks and achieve that spiritual temple feeling. One of the lesser-known incenses with great history is Nag Champa. The exact origins of Nag Champa are not well known, but it’s theorized that it comes from Nepal or India.
Add ambient lighting
Your garden wouldn’t be complete without some soft, ambient lighting, especially if you like to sit outside in the evening. If you can’t add any permanent lighting to your garden, fairy lights offer a simple way to create a cosy, magical atmosphere after dark. You could also try positioning a few solar lights in your flower beds and pots to illuminate your garden’s best features.
Candlelit lanterns will bring a warm, inviting glow to an outdoor table, or you could try arranging them along a pathway. These outdoor battery-powered candles from Lights4fun will provide the same soft, flickering light as a real candle, but are much safer, and won’t burn down.
Spring is nearly here, which means it’s time to start updating your outside space for the summer months. Just take these handy pointers on board when planning your garden, and you’ll soon have a serene escape from the stresses of everyday life.