Why not relax and enjoy the rewards of your labour?

Transforming a garden into a place where you can relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour can be very rewarding.

Perhaps you have purchased a home with a tiny garden and are looking for ways to make it into a peaceful retreat?

Or maybe you were thrilled when you bought the huge back yard which has now become overgrown and hard to handle.

Whatever your reason, transforming a garden can be a work in progress and can often be an enjoyable family affair if you have small children who like to be involved.

Before you begin, clean up the garden, spray the weeds, mow the lawn and trim the overgrown bushes. That way you can see what needs to be changed.

Identify what needs changing:

Do you need more privacy from neighbours, or want to lessen the impact of street or traffic noise?

Maybe you would like more colour and a secluded sitting space, BBQ area or a quiet space for reading?

Have a vertical planting plan, for example tall shrubs at the back and smaller plants in front and plants that provide ground cover at the very front.

If you are limited for space then hanging baskets and garden herb/planter walls are a great way of greening up a plain space.

Plant flowering hedging plants for small secluded areas. Choose fragrant plants. There are lots of plants, herbs and flowers which have been proven to aid in relaxation such as lavender.

Scent adds an extra dimension to a garden, turning it into a place where you linger, indulging your senses.

Many flower during the colder months so that even when there’s not much colour in the garden you can still have plenty of fragrance.

Use plants that flower in different seasons to turn your garden into a perfumed paradise all year round.

Plant heat-loving shrubs like lavender against north facing walls and surround them with brick pavers or stone pebbles to draw out their perfume.

And position night scented plants near your outdoor living spaces or windows so that you can savour their scent while relaxing in the evening.

For larger gardens the denser the vegetation around your garden, the more traffic sounds you will be able to muffle and filter out. Think of it as a sound barrier in the form of greenery.

Encourage birdlife into your peaceful new garden

Birdsong is widely regarded as one of the most pleasant sounds in nature, and in fact, it has even been found to have practical uses including helping people overcome fears, and increase their productivity.

Why not encourage wild birds into your garden by having seed bells and bird feeders and a bird bath.

Children’s garden play areas

If you are not limited for space and you have children, then a sandpit, swing, or playhouse in a dedicated shady part of the garden could be nice.

Back in the seventies, an old tyre on a rope hung over the branch of a sturdy tree gave endless enjoyment to many children.

Recycle old things to be creative

Make use of old wheelbarrows, or tin buckets and plant them with overflowing colourful plants as a feature against a barren wall.

Incorporate seating by making mesh boxing filled with large stones or pebbles to shape as benches, or consider a hanging chair or hammock to give a peaceful swaying motion as you close your eyes and relax.

With birdsong, fragrant flowers and a cool gentle breeze, it truly doesn’t get much more peaceful than that.

Solitude is where I place my chaos to rest and awaken my inner peace

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