Healing gardens are not new, although they have garnered a lot of recent attention. While most notably found in hospital settings, home gardens are also gaining in popularity. They come in a multitude of shapes and sizes, generally catering to their owner's specific needs.
Unlike a typical garden, healing gardens are places of refuge which are specifically designed to promote better mental and physical health. They typically include space for walking, sitting, and features are added with a calming effect in mind. These gardens have been proven to have multiple benefits, including the following:
Benefit #1: Reducing Stress and Anxiety
The word stress has become commonplace in the modern, fast-paced world. Workplaces and modern home life tend to create high levels of anxiety, and doctors have found that such factors lead to numerous health problems. By having a healing garden installed, you are creating a space in which you may avoid a number of common stressors.
Research has found that these gardens may be beneficial to individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The calming seclusion helps these individuals to temporarily escape potential triggers. They also have a therapeutic effect upon numerous other anxiety disorders.
Benefit #2: Escape and Inspiration
A major benefit of healing gardens comes in the simple escape it provides after a hard day of work. Even in an urban setting, the garden provides detachment from the world around you. Rhythmic sounds such as flowing water create a focus for the mind. In addition, the fresher air of a garden helps to improve general health. Healing gardens thus provide a place for meditation by allowing the individual to limit the number of unwanted mental stimuli.
If you have an interest in the fine arts, this escape from your everyday life may also provide increased inspiration. The peaceful atmosphere, rhythmic sounds, and natural smells stimulate creativity, allowing you to brainstorm without interruption. Artists and writers both benefit greatly from these gardens.
Benefit #3: Medicinal Plants
While not a staple of healing gardens, you may wish to have plants and herbs which carry medicinal properties in your garden. Common plants such as aloe vera, peppermint, and rosemary are beneficial in the kitchen and may be grown in planters. Ask your lawn care professional which herbs grow best in your area when planning the garden.
Medicinal gardens tend to be seasonal, so it is best to make them a small addition to your overall garden. During your consultation and planning, discuss which plants would be most beneficial. Be sure to mention any allergies to pollen or specific plants, as well as whether you wish to include aromatherapy-friendly plants such as lavender or specific edible plants. They will then plan the flora accordingly, with other features such as running water or chimes to create the most soothing environment for your personal needs.
Benefit #4: Environmental Impact
As with all gardens, a healing garden helps to reduce your carbon footprint. Water features and certain plants attract native wildlife, such as birds or butterflies. The greenery also helps to scrub the air of pollutants while taller plants also provide shade. You are also able to use the space when entertaining guests, reducing the amount of electricity needed.
It is best to consult with an expert when creating a healing garden. They have experience planning gardens which use native plants to the best effect. Also, they are able to balance the various elements of your garden and select flora which will keep a welcoming atmosphere year-round. Finally, they will maintain these plants so that your new garden doesn't become another source of stress or work.
Want to learn how to create a landscape for your yard that will help you relax, connect with nature, and replenish your energy? Please download our free ebook, How to Maintain Your Landscape and Transform It Into a Beauty You'll Love.