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Creating Your Secret Garden

Backyard Woodland PathBy Crystal Godfrey

It’s the feeling you get when you imagine relaxing in a beautiful natural refuge—a calming and positive influence on your emotions, like a good vacation. Most of us have a secret garden image stored in our minds. It may be carried over from childhood or projected as a reward for success in life. Whether expressed as a gated haven of lush green and bright colour, a charming little seaside cottage retreat, a small urban plot or balcony with limited space, or a spectacular patio/pool oasis behind a designer dream home, your own secret garden of delights will be a healing, happy place once you make it real.

Turning your secret garden into reality can be a very satisfying creative experience and it’s not as difficult as you think. Mother Nature has the power to stir our imaginations, awaken our senses, and connect us to the planet on an organic level. Are you ready to create and connect?

Begin with Perspective

Secret garden installations are typically planted in the privacy of a backyard and not intended to be shared with the outside world. They are a very accessible and personal place for family and friends to enjoy and become a natural extension of your indoor home space.

Elements may include:

  • a fenced-in area or one surrounded by hedging trees or shrubs for privacy;
  • an inviting gate or archway;
  • a pathway of stones, gravel, or mulch leading to the garden room;
  • a seating area;
  • a selection of favourite plants that thrive in your grow zone;
  • water features, chimes, or music that produce soothing, tranquil sounds;
  • barbecues, games, meditation mats, and other support for outdoor activities.
Rainbow Garden
Rainbows are a delight to young and old. Why not duplicate a rainbow in your garden room with colourful plantings and walkways?

Good initial design planning includes research to explore the possibilities and help reduce the chance of plant losses, feelings of being overwhelmed, and spending over budget. Garden design is only limited by our imagination; however, setting a budget certainly adds an earthy perspective. Keep in mind a garden is always evolving and you may expand it as finances allow.

You may prefer to hire a professional for initial installation and help with ongoing maintenance, or simply to provide design consultation. Consider the money versus personal time you are prepared to invest in the project to make this decision.

Creating a theme for a garden room is a fun way to personalize your space. You can get ideas from gardening magazines and online articles, or simply apply interior design concepts and substitute features with weatherproof materials and living plants. Be creative and make your design as unique and personal as you wish.

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