Here's a landscape plan for a peaceful, private garden sanctuary that shines throughout the seasons.
A. Eastern redbud (Cercis Canadensis)
Alternative: Silverbell (Halesia Carolina) or other small accent tree
B. Hearts-a-bustin (Euonymus americanus)
Alternative: Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) or other specimen plant with winter interest
C. Sugarcane plumegrass (Saccharum giganteum)
Alternative: Other tall grass
D. Spotted horsemint (Monarda punctata)
Alternative: Narrowleaf mountain mint (Pycnantheum tenuifolium); non-native options include lavender, sage or rosemary) or other medium-height, scented, woody or herbaceous plant
E. Pussytoes (Antennaria plantaginifolia)
Alternative: Non-native options include thyme or other groundcover plant
F. Prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis)
Alternative: Little bluestem (Schyzachirium scoparium) or other small grass
Landscape plan by Leah Gardner
Illustrations by Brooke Morgan
Grasses stir in the scented breezes. Bamboo panels and strategically placed plants create seclusion. This meditation-garden plan, elegant in its simplicity, creates a peaceful, soothing spot for quiet reflection.
Flagstones trace a circular path to the seating area, which accommodates a bench or a yoga mat. A small tree provides shade and perspective. In front of the bench a water element of your choice — whether a small fountain or a beautiful bowl of water — becomes a focal point. Beyond that stands a large boulder; a meditative art object can be substituted. Candle lanterns or solar lights light this garden for evening visits. And from the outside, the bamboo fence's varied height gives the meditation garden a sculptural quality.
The simple planting plan uses low-maintenance native plants, including grasses and perennial herbs, plus a shrub for winter interest. Feel free to substitute, where hardy, non-invasive exotic herbs such as lavender, sage or rosemary for the perennial herbs. Thyme would make a wonderful scented groundcover in areas as cold as USDA Zone 5. Other plants may be suitable, but be sure not to plant any invasive exotic species.