Healing gardens are therapeutic outdoor spaces that help provide many positive effects on mental and physical health. Recent studies have shown that being surrounded by green landscapes allows people to connect with nature which can help improve mood, reduce stress and increase happiness and sense of well-being. Many urban communities as well as industries, especially companies in health care, are turning to commercial landscaping services to incorporate healing spaces in their facilities. Landscape designers suggest that the following elements may be added when designing healing gardens.
Create an Inviting Entrance
First impression is always key in design. Whether it is designing for a restaurant or an office building, what people see on the outside influences their decision to come inside the establishment or not. In the same way, creating a visually attractive garden entrance is important to invite visitors inside the healing garden. A garden entrance may be enhanced by filling it with scents and blooms, hedges or a stylish gate to make it look more welcoming. Creating a curving pathway, using traditional material such as grass, brick, stone or gravel, attracts more visual interest. Lining the sides of the pathway with bushes or flower beds makes the entrance more charming.
Use Natural Materials
Healing gardens should be organic in nature. Apart from providing a peaceful environment where people can touch and smell plants and flowers, a healing garden is also designed to provide sanctuary for birds and butterflies.
Add Soothing Water Features and Garden Art
The sound of flowing water creates a calming effect. For a pocket garden, a small bell fountain, birdbath or bubbling sphere surrounded by rocks, shrubs or potted plants will provide both visual and auditory appeal. For larger spaces, installing a rock pond, water garden or waterfall creates a more tranquil location for people who want to avoid the loud, busy sounds of the city.
A healing garden may also be accentuated with ornaments such as ceramic pots, sculptures and statues to bring artistic elements in the landscape.
Play with Lights
Lighting fixtures are also important in designing a healing garden to make it as attractive and relaxing at nighttime as it is during the day. Proper placement and lighting colors will create lovely patterns and shadows and highlight the beautiful shades of flowers and plants at night. Illuminating pathways with warm, yellow ground lights will guide night visitors on where to go without straining their eyesight. Decking benches or ponds with light borders will draw more attention to them. For a more eco-friendly option, using LED bulbs or solar-powered lights is recommended.
Provide Rest and Recreation Areas
Placing benches at the end of or along pathways or overlooking a bed of flowers or a waterfall will provide a nice resting spot with a relaxing view. Healing gardens can be also made more functional by creating a space for physical activities like yoga or reading area with an outdoor bookshelf.
People visit gardens to relax, unwind and recharge. With the above tips in mind, gardens can be easily transformed into healing outdoor spaces that will make it easier for people to find more refreshing and restful areas to spend their time in.