Are you sick of the daily grind? A healing garden is a traditional cure for the ailments of busy modern life.
The idea of adding landscaped spaces to promote tranquility is becoming popular with homeowners and other property owners in busy urban areas. At hospitals across the country, landscape architects are being asked to create special gardens that promote healing for patients.
A recent New York Times article focuses on the work of one such landscape architect, Mikyoung Kim, who designed the Crown Sky Garden on the 11th floor of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. A second garden, Project Ripple, was designed and completed by Kim for the Jackson South Community Hospital in Miami.
The theory behind such gardens is to add natural spaces that are quiet and inviting, which can induce feelings of wellness and relaxation. The garden can be large, such as the 5,000-square-foot Crown Sky Garden, or scaled smaller to fit into the backyard of a home in a suburban neighborhood.
Design plans that interweave natural features and sculptural elements can lay the groundwork for a pleasing landscape that serves as an outside shelter from stress. Gardens can be created to blend in seamlessly with the area, or stand out as a restorative oasis separated from busy urban environments.
A home garden or other landscaped area can allow the owner to escape daily activities by providing a place to sit, think, read or enjoy a quiet meal. To design an outdoor room or space, selectively plant trees and other foliage to create a natural barrier between the garden and the outside world. Tall shrubs and vine-covered trellises are also good choices to create such spaces. A well-designed landscape might also have plants selected to attract birds, squirrels and other animals. Berry-producing bushes, for example, are a great choice for adding attractive colors and food in the yard.
Sculptural elements — such as benches, stone pathways, birdbaths and water features — invite garden visitors to sit or stroll while adding visual interest. You may also want to add heating lamps, stone fireplaces and other elements to make your garden inviting year round.
The goal is simple: To make your yard a tiny bit of paradise.