So many homeowners never enter into gardening because for them, gardening represents a never-ending series of chores: weeding, watering, fertilizing, pruning, mulching, and more. With the right set-up, however, DIY landscapers can produce a landscape that is not only easy to maintain, but is a fantastic place to rest and recuperate. Meditation gardens are one such landscaping design, one that focuses on creating a space for solitude and silence in a natural setting.
Those DIY landscapers interested in creating a meditation garden should first evaluate the space that they have chosen. Sketching a dimensional representation of the space will help in planning what kinds of garden ornaments and plants are viable options. Also, homeowners need to decide whether the space will be primarily plant-based or utilize a combination of hardscapes (such as the layers of small stones used in Japanese Zen gardens). Layers of stone create high contrast for independent planting islands, but a similar effect can be achieved with mulch or dense groundcovers if homeowners wish to keep the space focused on softscaping. The relationship between external sounds and the atmosphere in your garden prompts another decision—how quiet should the garden be? How quiet can the garden be, based on its proximity to other homes, businesses, or busy streets? If a perception of closeness and seclusion is a priority, homeowners can surround the meditation with dense hedge bushes or living walls (dense plants that grow around and within a framework). The vibrant green coverage is at the same time a beautiful addition to the garden and very effective at reducing external noise.
Maintenance is perhaps the most important factor in a true meditation garden, because if homeowners are forced to spend an inordinate amount of time on menial tasks to keep up the garden’s appearance, the chances of the garden providing meditative benefits are slim. Choose plants that are not susceptible to invasive species, native pests, or disease. Consider succulents and other plants that do well with little water. This will help reduce watering time as well as producing a landscape that does not drain the local water table. If topiary (the practice of shaping hedge around a framework) is an interest, invest in varieties that provide a blend of coverage and growth. Fast-growing hedge will often result in excessive maintenance. Research meditative gardens in cultures around the world to garner inspiration—the Chinese and Japanese meditative garden traditions date back many centuries and have gone through many stylistic transformations to adapt to a populace which was in turn adapting to modernization.
Tags: meditation, garden, landscape, homeowner, maintenance, plant