How to create a garden that promotes health and healing

Your garden should be a peaceful place to spend time in. Make sure it’s a sanctuary to benefit body and mind, with the help of these 5 tips from Nicky Roeber, Online Horticultural Expert at Wyevale Garden Centres.

Not only can being close to nature help clear your mind, it’s good for your body too. In fact, working on your outdoor space is one of the most therapeutic hobbies you can have.

Now here are 5 top tips for creating a healing garden that will positively impact your health and wellbeing.

Add focus points
Adding points of interest to your garden will not only give your whole family something beautiful to look at when spending time outdoors, but it can actually help with mindfulness, too.

Incorporating elements which will distract you from your daily stressors can help you to focus on relaxation and is especially useful for meditation purposes. Having these can also be effective in aiding pain relief: this is because your mind will be preoccupied on something other than any aches or pains you’re feeling, so will be a great distractor.

This could be anything from a roaring fire pit that can keep you warm when the chilly evenings set in, or a winding pathway lined with beautiful flowering bushes and shrubbery.

It might even help to transform your old storage shed into a beautiful summer house. Not only will it look great from the outside, but it’ll also be a private and relaxing space to go into when you want to practice mindfulness.

Attract wildlife

Wildlife is more than just interesting to look at. A report from The Wildlife Trust suggests that simply seeing birds near our homes can help to reduce stress, fatigue, anxiety and depression. Sightings of animals you don’t tend to see often can also lift your spirits.

There are plenty of ways you can welcome wildlife into your garden. For example, adding bird baths and feeders will welcome an array of different birds, so you can enjoy spending time watching them come and go.

Installing a pond can make your garden an appealing place for frogs and be a great opportunity to get some tadpoles and watch them transform into froglets.

You could even buy ladybird towers or hedgehog houses to welcome more wildlife to your garden and make sure you’ve always got company.

Choose plants, herbs and flowers that are good for you
The blooms in your garden are sure to be the showstoppers, but above adding pops of colour and character to your space, plenty of these have health and wellbeing benefits including air purification and mood bosting properties.

For example, areca palm plants will add a tropical vibe to your garden with their widespread leaves but are also great for removing formaldehyde and xylene and toluene from the air around you.

Similarly, peace lily has air-purifying qualities and will remove all of the above, as well as ammonia and benzene, so you can keep both your mind and body healthy.

Some flowers have also been considered to have a profound effect on mental wellbeing, with stunning and cheerful geraniums thought to promote peace of mind, while the aroma of lavender has traditionally been used to ease anxiety and help you to relax.

For extra wellbeing benefits, it’ll also be a good idea to take colour psychology into account and choose plants in cheerful colours that will make you feel happy, such as daffodils, pink tulips and orange ranunculus.

Incorporate relaxing water features

It’s not uncommon for many sleeping apps to incorporate sounds of water to aid sleep. The rhythmic slow whooshing noise of water is non-threatening and so is effective at calming you and soothing you to sleep, especially if you close your eyes and take deep breaths in line with the rhythm. 

As your time out in the garden should be peaceful, it’ll be a good idea to introduce some water features which will lower your stress levels and focus your mind.

Rather than installing gushing waterfalls which will certainly make a focal point, you’ll need to go for features that will trickle and be relatively quiet. So, try adding a small stream with multiple levels in it to create a much subtler waterfall action, or incorporate a water statue.

When you take the time to sit in silence and take the sounds of these in, you’re sure to feel refreshed and revived.

Grow your own fruit and vegetables
As well as benefitting your mind, it’s important that your self-care involves looking after your body, too. One simple way of doing this is to ensure you’re getting the right nutrition and focussing on eating organic, nutritious foods — in particular, that you’re eating enough fruit and vegetables to boost your immune system and make you feel healthier inside and out.

Growing your own fruit and vegetable can save you time and money that you would otherwise spend at supermarkets, but you’ll also know exactly what has gone into the food you’re eating.

If you’re a beginner, it’ll be important that you don’t attempt to overdo it at once, and instead I’d recommend planting companion plants: plants that will thrive in the same conditions.

For example, both strawberries and carrots can be planted together and will thrive when placed alongside beans, lettuce, onions and tomatoes.

You could even consider growing some of your own herbs, too: basil grows well next to tomatoes, while chives and carrots, and cabbage and dill will make great companions.

Creating a garden that promotes health and healing needn’t be complicated. Try some of these top tips for a garden that will make you feel relaxed, healthy and peaceful.  

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