Meditation Garden Plan

Use this landscape plan to create a private garden retreat that's perfect for a little quiet time, away from the stress of daily life. We've included one simple plan with eight distinct plant lists tailored to your specific region and climate.

January 19, 2022
Meditation Garden Plan

Meditation Garden Plan

This view shows the meditation garden after a few years of maturing. Vital to the plan are the sitting area, water feature and privacy fence or wall.

Photo by: Landscape plan by Leah Gardner. Illustrations by Brooke Morgan

Landscape plan by Leah Gardner. Illustrations by Brooke Morgan

This view shows the meditation garden after a few years of maturing. Vital to the plan are the sitting area, water feature and privacy fence or wall.

Grasses stir in the scented breezes. Bamboo panels and strategically placed plants create seclusion. We love everything about this meditation garden plan, originally designed for HGTV.com more than five years ago. Elegant in its simplicity, the plan creates a peaceful, soothing spot for quiet reflection, which you may find yourself needing now more than ever.

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 species.

Planting Plan

Use this plan to lay out your own meditation garden. Elements identified with a number in red circle are hardscape features, and elements identified with a letter in blue square are plants. For plant suggestions, refer to the list below for your region.

Southeast Meditation Garden

Southeast Meditation Garden

This overhead view provides a landscaping plan, including hardscaping and plants, for the meditation space.

Photo by: Landscape plan by Leah Gardner. Illustrations by Brooke Morgan

Landscape plan by Leah Gardner. Illustrations by Brooke Morgan

This overhead view provides a landscaping plan, including hardscaping and plants, for the meditation space.

Hardscape Key

  1. Stone-edged patio (patio surface can be pea gravel, concrete or flagstone)
  2. Water feature (bowl or fountain)
  3. Boulder
  4. Bamboo fence, 2' x 6' panels
  5. Bamboo fence, 2' x 4' panels
  6. Bamboo fence, 2' x 2' panels
  7. Candle lantern (or solar light)
  8. Stepping stones
  9. Entrance
  10. Bench

Northeast Plant List

A. Striped maple (Acer pennsylvanica)
Alternative: Allegheny serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis) or other small accent tree

B. Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)
Alternative: Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) or other specimen plant with winter interest

C. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)
Alternative: Other tall grass

D. Sweetfern (Comptonia peregrina)
Alternative: Other medium-height, scented, woody or herbaceous plant

E. Sand heather (Hudsonia tomentosa)
Alternative: Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) or other groundcover plant

F. Palm sedge (Carex muskingumensis)
Alternative: Other small grass

Southeast Plant List

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

How to Plant and Grow a Redbud Tree

Learn all about colorful redbud trees, plus get expert tips and information for choosing, planting, growing and caring for Eastern redbuds in your home landscape.

Florida Plant List

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

Southwest Plant List

A. Arizona madrone (Arbutus arizonica)
Alternative: Utah serviceberry (Amelanchier utahensis) or other small accent tree

B. Soaptree (Yucca elata)
Alternative: Other specimen plant with winter interest

C. Bamboo muhly (Muhlenbergia dumosa)
Alternative: Lindheimer's muhly (Muhlenbergia lindheimeri), deer grass (Muhlenbergia rigens) or other tall grass

D. Orange hummingbird mint (Agastache aurantiaca)
Alternative: Sunset hyssop (Agastache rupestris), a sage (Salvia spp.) that's appropriate to area, or other medium-height, scented, woody or herbaceous plant

E. Mat penstemon (Penstemon caespitosus)
Alternative: Other groundcover plant

F. Blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) or Mexican feather grass (Nasella tenuissima)
Alternative: Other small grass

Lower Midwest Plant List

A. Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia)
Alternative: Other small accent tree

B. Bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata), choose a dwarf cultivar like 'Sherwood Compact'
Alternative: Other specimen plant with winter interest

C. Sugarcane plumegrass (Saccharum giganteum)
Alternative: Other tall grass

D. Spotted horsemint (Monarda punctata)
Alternative: Downy wood mint (Blephilia ciliata) or other medium-height, scented, woody or herbaceous plant

E. Green and gold (Chrysogonum virginianum)
Alternative: Other groundcover plant

F. Pink muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris)
Alternative: Sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) or other small grass

Growing Muhly Grass

As the garden winds down in late summer and fall, pink muhly grass explodes with airy, pink plumes. This perennial grass is beautiful and easy to grow.

Upper Midwest Plant List

A. Pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)
Alternative: Other small accent tree

B. Red osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera)
Alternative: Other specimen plant with winter interest

C. Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans)
Alternative: Other tall grass

D. Blue sage (Salvia azurea)
Alternative: Other medium-height, scented, woody or herbaceous plant

E. Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
Alternative: Other groundcover plant

F. Little bluestem (Schyzachyrium scoparium)
Alternative: Sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) or other small grass

Rockies and High Plains Plant List

A. Juneberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
Alternative: Other small accent tree

B. Bristlecone Pine (Pinus aristata), dwarf cultivar like 'Sherwood Compact'
Alternative: Other specimen plant with winter interest

C. Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)
Alternative: Other tall grass

D. Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)
Alternative: Other medium-height, scented, woody or herbaceous plant

E. Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
Alternative: Field pussytoes (Antennaria neglecta) or other groundcover plant

F. Little bluestem (Schyzachyrium scoparium)
Alternative: Other small grass

Pacific Northwest Plant List

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

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