by Victoria Lim
Your home garden is a great way to add relaxation into your daily routine. Busy schedules and hectic daily activities are good enough reason for anyone to feel on edge. This is especially true for life in the city, where people feel caged in concrete and glass. The usual solution is exercising, reading or spending time with your loved ones, but when you want to spend some time alone – you face the problem of a lack of personal space to get some peace and quiet. Those among us blessed with a backyard have hit the jackpot, sometimes without even realizing how lucky they are. If you’re among them, take a look at these few recommendations for how to Zen up your backyard and reach nirvana.
Consider Doing Some Landscaping
Having extra space behind your house to many seems like extra work and responsibility on top of their already demanding lives. That’s true in a way, since the grass won’t mow itself nor will the autumn leaves just magically disappear. But once you regain ownership of the nature in your backyard, you’ll just need to check its progress now and then, as well as make sure that it doesn’t get out of control. One way to start taking care of that space is to do some landscaping.
Choose a Special Place
Besides decorating and arranging the walkways, plants and sitting area, consider designating a small portion just for you. This can be your sanctuary when you need some time off from the world to recharge your batteries. Some people go as far as to build a real sand garden with wooden rakes to create shapes and calm the nerves. This is the closest you can be to the Japanese philosophy of ‘karesansui’ or Zen garden, because this sand area is its integral part. Another option is to create a small pond with fish and a waterfall to supply it with water, or to stretch a hammock between trees and have an afternoon nap in the open.
Plant your greenery
Before even starting to plant anything, think about what you would like to grow in your backyard. Some people go as far as to create vegetable and fruit gardens and make a calming hobby out of it. On the other hand, some like keeping it simple with grass, a few shrubs here and there, and a Hoselink product to water it from time to time. But having a colourful and scented garden in your backyard can be Zen in its own right, and there are lots of plants which don’t require much care or work to grow. Also, if you use some evergreen species, you can keep the colors all year round.
Invest in the Entertainment Area
Another way to relax is to invite some friends over and beat your stress with some fun. Usually, when they have a backyard, people build a barbecue area, and some even add roofing to it and a bar for full enjoyment. A less pricey idea would be to build a fire pit for people to sit around, or create a comfortable sitting area to have a glass of wine and some cheese now and then. Lighting is also an important aspect of your backyard. It will create an atmosphere and warm up the space. You can use small led lights to create a fairy tale look or install solar lamps along the walkway, or even opt for some antique lamp posts to boost the serenity and peacefulness.
Build Some Sheltered Space
It would be a real shame to use your backyard only during the warm days, since winter also has its charms and its beauty can provide quite an escape from everyday stress. There are many solutions to keep you warm in the outdoor space. One of them is to build a gazebo or pergola, which can serve you all year round. During the winter months or rainy days you can cover them with tarp and install a couple of gas patio heaters to keep you warm. This area will not only be an excellent spot to enjoy the falling snow and shut out from the world, but will also serve as great entertainment for family time or small parties.
Maximize Your Space
Having a house in the city puts you at an advantage compared to people who live in apartments, so it would be a shame not to use all the benefits you have at your disposal. Studies have shown that gardening relieves stress and puts people in a better mood, but also having some relaxation zones in your backyard can do the same. Whatever you decide to build is up to you and your preferences, but the most important thing is not to let that extra space accompanying your house go to waste.