Create a little bit of heaven in your backyard: In this landscape design, bamboo panels and beautiful native plants create a private garden retreat.
A. Redbay (Persea borbonia)
Alternative: Other small accent tree
B. Dwarf palmetto (Sabal minor)
Alternative: Other specimen plant with winter interest
C. Bushy bluestem (Andropogon glomeratus)
Alternative: Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) or other tall grass
D. Lantana (Lantana spp.), cultivar appropriate to area
Alternative: Other medium-height, scented, woody or herbaceous plant
E. Conradina (Conradina grandiflora)
Alternative: Other groundcover plant
F. Purple lovegrass (Eragrostis spectabilis)
Alternative: 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.