Your garden can be a source of joy; it can be where you unwind and move at the pace that nature intended, slowly making your way through beds that need to be weeded, checking up on the plants you’re growing, trying to see if they need a little compost or water. It can be a place of sublime scents and sights that leave you feeling romantic and ready to take on the outside world and all the obligations waiting for you within it.
The following will explore a few nifty ways you can improve the look of your garden. Emphasis will be placed on changes that don’t require a ton of maintenance and effort, as the goal is to have a garden that leaves you feeling rejuvenated, not overwhelmed by all the things you need to do.
When it comes to gardening, it’s all too easy to get into the habit of straight paths and rectangular garden beds. While this can look snazzy, it’s the sort of design that requires constant upkeep, as a little bit of moss encroaching on an otherwise rigid line is really obvious. Take your inspiration from English country gardens and allow the natural shapes found in nature to guide your gardening work. Keep your paths winding. Let your garden beds be bulbous and organically free-flowing. Not only will this create easier maintenance work as edges aren’t so severe, but it will also help cultivate a space that’s relaxed and open. This can do wonders for your mental health.
Water is a magical substance. There’s a reason that every spiritual culture throughout history has put a value on water either by worshipping it, associating it with magnificent deities or by using it to literally cleanse people’s souls like in the act of baptism in the Abrahamic faiths or bathing in the Ganga in Hinduism. Celt paganism even held that dark spirits couldn’t cross bodies of water, choosing to make agreements or hold significant events like a wedding by the water’s side to keep people safe from spiritual harm. Modern studies have found that being near water is healing for humans; it radically reduces stress levels and boosts happiness levels. Look for ways to include water in your garden. A river or pond is ideal, but birdbaths and fountains are also lovely.
Having a comfortable seat that blends into the design of your garden can be a wonderful way to ensure that you spend more time in it. Take your time when shopping for teak garden furniture or the perfect hammock. You want something that is going to withstand the natural elements and keep its luster. You also want something that feels comfortable and provides enough seating for the people you want to hang around with on a regular basis. If you include cushions with your seating, be sure to bring them inside before it rains to avoid any molding or mildew-esque smells.
When it comes to gardening, one of the best tips for reducing your workload and still enjoying a lush, vibrant space is to stick to plants that are natural to your region. These plants have evolved to thrive in the particular climate and soil makeup that exists where you live, meaning they don’t require as much attendance to thrive (indeed, sometimes they need no watering at all). You can easily find lists of local plants with a quick online search.
This approach also has the added benefit of supporting local wildlife. The critters in your area like birds, bees, and butterflies have evolved alongside certain plants and tend to flourish when those plants are around. Given the serious degradation to local wildlife many areas are experiencing, this can help ensure that your garden is doing its part to protect future generations of pollinators and beautiful creatures.
Before you start digging to plant something or move something, it’s a good idea to do a quick check with your local municipality to see if you’re about to encounter some very expensive-to-fix infrastructure elements like utility lines. In most cases, there’s a number you can call to check whether digging is okay in a given spot or not. This is also vital because sometimes you can get charged a hefty fine for damaging city property. Plus, having a team of professionals come in to dig everything up and repair or replace might totally destroy your garden. You might have to start over from ground zero.
Anyone who works in photography, cinematography, or art will tell you that composition involves things of various heights. One way to elevate the appearance of your garden is to litter it with plants of different heights, including fruit trees that blossom in the spring and climbing plants that wind around whatever you place them next to, [or when planting in flower boxes]. This can create depth and dimension in your space and fill the whole area with vibrant color. Vines also have the added benefit of looking very pretty in the winter, even if they’re not blooming.
Standard lawn grass is terrible for the environment. Monocropping is always bad news, plus this kind of grass doesn’t flower to support local pollinators. Couple that with how its growth is minimized, resulting in far fewer root systems pulling carbon out of the air than ideal, and you have a recipe for a negative impact. Look for flowering, ground-covering plants if you want lots of space with shorter life on it, and also consider more flower beds scattered throughout. As a bonus, this will radically reduce the time it takes to tend to your lawn.
The above information should have given you a few ideas of how you can improve your garden aesthetically. It’s important to understand that a garden isn’t a finished product; it’s an always growing and developing organic flow that will look different every week. Embracing the incomplete nature of your garden will help you enjoy the process of gardening and help keep you from turning the situation into a battle with nature that wants to grow and change and evolve and your rigid definition of what a garden should look like.