Evergreen huckleberry and Pacific madrone help accent this low-maintenance garden sanctuary.
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.
A. Pacific madrone (Arbutus menziesii)
Alternative: Manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.) or other small accent tree
B. Evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum)
Alternative: Pacific rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum), salal (Gaultheria shallon) or other specimen plant with winter interest
C. Basin wildrye (Leymus cinereus)
Alternative: Other tall grass
D. Sage (Salvia spp.), appropriate to area
Alternative: Other medium-height, scented, woody or herbaceous plant
E. White mountain heather (Cassiope mertensiana)
Alternative: Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva- ursi) or other groundcover plant
F. Feather reed grass (Calamagrostis foliosa)
Alternative: Other small grass
Landscape plan by Leah Gardner
Illustrations by Brooke Morgan