If you want to create a space that is perfect for contemplation, there is no place better than your own back garden. It’s the ideal location to recharge your batteries and indulge in some gentle meditation when you need it. Most of us lead stressful lives, in some way or another, and finding a time to quieten the mind and refocus is good for our sense of wellbeing.
Finding a place of peace in your garden
Peace means different things to different people and a good garden design will always reflect and incorporate elements of your personality while also trying to develop a space that you will use and enjoy. By building in quiet spaces, reflective areas or simply planting flowers that you love, a garden can be more than the sum of its parts and deliver in beauty and peace.
Peace Gardens in the UK
Whether you are looking for a place to meditate, to practice mindfulness, to remember loved ones or simply have a space that is all yours to quietly enjoy, you can take inspiration from different gardens across the UK. Many are linked to places of worship, community groups or places of remembrance, there will be one near you – here are some peace gardens in the UK:
Glastonbury Peace Garden – Europe’s largest music festival acknowledges the need for a place of peace and reflection amongst the noise and excitement of festival life. Visited by the Dali Lama and offers a spiritual space for visitors and musicians alike
Weymouth Peace Garden – A multi faith community garden created to promote peace and understanding in the local area. Built and maintained by volunteers who spend time enjoying and working in this contemplative place. Visitors are welcome and events happen from time to time.
The Peace Gardens in Sheffield – An award winning space in Sheffield, that links a walk from the Railway Station. The garden is a pathway to let visitors discover different garden lighting, public art and water features in a peaceful setting in the heart of a bustling city.
Peaceful Garden Design
Remember that you don’t have to turn your entire garden into a sanctuary, you can use clever garden design to zone yourself a special space, create a path or walkway that has personal symbolism or simply add plants and flowers that help you remember or reflect. Art, sculptures, water features or structures can all be used to create a place of peace within a more complex garden design.
The art installation ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ at the Tower of London was incredibly popular as it was beautiful, sculptural and tapped into something in our psyche - a sculptural piece can be easily incorporated into a garden design.
Engage your Senses
We often forget that we have more than one or two senses when designing an area in the garden. Circular shapes can have a powerful effect on mindfulness, so incorporating circular spaces or curved edges works well. Choosing plants that produce a nice fragrance can add value to your space. Lilacs are good for blooming in the spring and a green plant like lemon verbena provides a nice smell even when it isn’t flowering. Other choices could be roses, herbs like rosemary which can produce a calming effect, and geraniums that come in several different varieties.
Not only will you be able to fill your peaceful space with plenty of gorgeous aromas but the colour should also be a feast for the eyes. If you are person who likes to touch things, then choosing plants that have a nice texture can also be a great idea.
There’s nothing more calming than the gentle sound of running water. This is one of the central features of Japanese gardens and often has great spiritual significance. You can consider anything from a small pond, fountain or even trickling water feature to add extra calm to your surroundings. Mirrors and lights also work well to reflect the light in a garden, make it look bigger or even help find a space to be reflective about yourself.
Creating a peaceful space in your garden allows you to have a quiet area to sit and contemplate life. With a little thought and some careful planning, you can make sure the whole family has a place they can enjoy and feel at one with the world.