Including art in your healing garden is a great way to add an another layer of mystery and intrigue. Placing a sculpture or other focal point in carefully chosen spots adds interest for the visitor who wanders around the garden. Locate an artwork just around a bend in the pathway so it is revealed as the visitor approaches. Place a special pot in a recess or niche in a border bed so that it is partially hidden until the viewer is near it. This element of surprise in your healing garden is priceless and always raises a smile.
Your chosen artworks could be as simple as a balanced stack of stones. To some people these precarious little towers of flat river stones are full of symbolism and mystery, and often inspire exclamations of delight from children and adults alike.
Chose your artwork to evoke a certain theme in an area of your garden. For instance you could put a terracotta birdbath or sundial in your herb plot, or a stone basin in your Japanese inspired front garden, or place a Balinese style carving in your bromeliad bed. A well chosen artwork doesn’t need to be expensive or huge, but if it reflects the mood of your healing garden “room” then it can only add to the delight of the senses.
When designing a healing garden consider including art works such as sculptures to act as a focal point. Place the sculpture in a position so it is easily seen from a comfortable chair. The viewer can gaze upon the art work and meditate. An attractive sculpture will encourage your eyes to rest rather than search for a restful point. This sculpture (below) is made from faux rock (easy to move) and is placed in a green oasis of a semi-tropical bromeliad garden.
Imagine the most peaceful, relaxing scene in your mind. Is it a forest glade with a crystal clear spring edged by ferny greenery; or is it a sunny meadow setting with waving grass and birdsong; or perhaps a secluded walled garden filled with scented plants. These are the types of scenes we often dream of when we are suffering from work burnout, information overload or commuter exhaustion.
You can create your own serene sanctuary or tranquil oasis in your garden. Whether you have an existing garden that you want to redesign or an awkward sized unused area on one side of your house, you can transform any part of your garden into a restful retreat. By concentrating on including healing garden design elements that make healing garden unique, you can create your own therapeutic sanctuary.
Your healing garden can serve many purposes. You might use it as a rest and relaxation space, as a spiritual meditation garden or as a contemplation garden. Whatever theme you choose for your urban retreat, you will find that there are certain design elements you will need to include to give it that tranquil ambience. These design elements include privacy, water features, planting palette and artworks. Over my next posts I will deal with these design elements in more detail.