12 Garden Design Ideas to Lower Stress
Landscape designer and ‘Heaven Is a Garden’ author Jan Johnsen shares tips for creating a peaceful outdoor space.
Photo By: All images courtesy of Jan Johnsen
Sanctuary, Simplicity And Delight
Jan Johnsen, landscape designer and author of Heaven Is a Garden: Designing Serene Spaces for Inspiration and Reflection says the goal of every garden she designs is sanctuary, simplicity and delight. "I call this the lure of the sheltered corner," she says. "I created this niche in a wall so that our backs are protected and we have a view looking out. The dwarf fountain grass atop the wall softens the look and the flowering Kousa dogwoods act as twin sentinels."
Serene and Functional
"We all instinctively head towards the light, indoors and out," Johnsen says. "Knowing this, you can direct people just by knowing where the sun is in your garden. I laid out this stepped garden path with the sunlight in mind. It is serene and functional at the same time."
Johnsen says a "dry stream" adds all-season interest to a small space and creates a feeling of peace. "This is an example of what I call a 'garden metaphor,' which is any landscape feature that recreates a scene of natural beauty on a smaller scale," she says.
Music for the Eye
"Water is the magical ingredient in a garden," says Johnsen, who blogs at Serenity in the Garden. "The serene appeal of water lies in its never-ending ability to refresh our spirits. A simple recirculating cascade can add a dynamic effect to a forgotten corner. Add some water-loving iris and you’ve made magic!"
Johnsen sees rocks as "memory keepers," and elements of a garden that will be there long after the gardener has gone. "Large boulders provide a feeling of calming stability to a space," she says. "Here, spring-blooming Kurume azaleas drape over an outcrop at the rock garden in the New York Botanical Garden."