What Are Healing Gardens?
The Healing Power of Gardens
The Different Types of Healing Gardens
Choosing the Best Plants for Your Healing Garden
DIY Healing Garden
What Are Healing Gardens?
Healing gardens are said to improve the health, providing a sense of calm and tranquility. Many studies have shown the benefits getting out into nature can provide. However, with a healing garden you get maximum health and wellbeing benefits.
Wondering what the difference is between a standard and a healing garden? Below, you’ll discover everything you need to know.
What exactly is a healing garden?
A healing garden is typically found in a hospital or healthcare setting. They are designed to promote healing and provide a safe haven for patients.
Healing gardens are often confused with therapeutic gardens. While they share many of the same benefits, they are slightly different from one another. With a therapeutic garden, they are designed to meet specific needs of certain health conditions. Healing gardens however, tend to provide benefits to a wider range of people.
There are actually different types of healing gardens you can create, and each has their own unique benefits.
What elements make up a healing garden?
A healing garden is designed with safety and comfort in mind. It needs to be a place you feel safe escaping to, so having the garden enclosed is recommended.
Bright, colorful flowers are also a key part of a healing garden. This provides a beautiful visual which will really please the senses and aid in relaxation.
Sounds also play a role in a healing garden. Water features are commonly added for the soothing trickling sounds they produce. There will be a wildlife section where you’ll hear the sounds of insects and birds.
You’ll want to include things which stimulate your sense of smell too. Flowers and herbs are great to add into a healing garden due to their pleasant, strong scent.
Finally, your sense of touch will be activated as you run your fingers over the velvety stems of the flowers. Put simply, a healing garden includes things which stimulate and enhance all of your five senses.
Things to consider when creating a healing garden
Now you know what a typical healing garden includes, there are a few tips to create one which works well for you. These include:
* Choose colors which support the emotions you want to feel
* Don’t forget to add lighting
* Block out intrusive noises
* Create the layout first
* Consider the natural elements
Color plays a key role in a healing garden, so you should pay close attention to the ones you choose. You’ll want to focus on colors that evoke the emotions you want to feel. For example, if you’re looking to de-stress and relax, blues and greens tend to be the most calming. If you’re battling depression, opt for vibrant colors such as reds and pinks.
You’ll also want to add some form of lighting to the garden. Ideally, you should opt for low volume lighting to provide a more subtle, beautiful light.
One of the key challenges of designing a healing garden, is blocking out noise. If you live in a fairly noisy area, construct a thick wall around the garden. The thicker the wall the better, and for enhanced noise reduction, include some vegetation too. You can also add a water feature to create soothing noise inside the garden.
It’s really important to start with the layout first. Decide where everything is going to go and how you want the garden to look. Only once you have the basic layout planned out, can you start choosing the elements you want to include.
Finally, consider the natural elements in your garden’s design. When it’s sunny, where will you sit out and enjoy the warmer weather? This will make a difference to where you’ll want to plant trees and large outdoor furnishings. You will also want to focus on blocking out strong winds once you’ve established where they are coming from.
Healing gardens can provide so many great benefits. The above are just some of the elements incorporated into their design.
The Healing Power of Gardens
Healing gardens have become really popular in recent years. Largely used in hospital settings and rehab facilities, homeowners have started to realize the benefits these therapeutic gardens can deliver.
If you’re considering creating a healing garden of your own, below you’ll discover some of the great benefits you can experience.
Instant stress reliever
One of the biggest benefits of healing gardens, is that they can instantly reduce stress levels. When you’re experiencing stressful times, it can have a dramatic impact on your health and wellbeing. So, having a place you can go to instantly relax can prove invaluable.
Many studies have shown the stress-reduction power gardens can produce. With a healing garden, you’ll benefit from the stress-reduction of actually viewing an experiencing the garden, alongside the stress busting benefits of gardening.
Reducing anxiety and depression
Did you know gardening and relaxing in a healing garden can also help you to combat anxiety and depression? The fresh air alone is great for easing the symptoms of mental health issues. However, the way these gardens activate your senses is where their real power lies.
Spending a little time in your healing garden each day can have a significant positive impact on your wellbeing. It is known to have an impact on your outlook on life and can provide a real haven away from your daily stresses.
One of the more surprising benefits of healing gardens, is that they can enhance self-esteem. Studies have shown that those who partake in regular gardening are much more confident within themselves.
Taking care of the garden gives you a sense of purpose. It also leaves you with a sense of accomplishment which helps to build self-esteem.
They can lower blood pressure levels
It isn’t just your mental health that benefits from healing gardens. Your physical health can be improved with the right type of garden too.
If you are involved in the upkeep of the garden, it can help to lower your blood pressure. Studies have shown spending just 30 minutes working in the garden can control as well as prevent high blood pressure.
As an additional health benefit, if you are maintaining the garden yourself, it also helps to burn lots of calories. This can aid in weight loss or weight management.
Providing a powerful dose of Vitamin D
We all need good levels of Vitamin D to stay healthy and happy. However, as you largely only get this crucial vitamin outdoors, instead of in your daily diet, it can be difficult to make sure you’re getting enough. Spending time in a healing garden can help to top up those vitamin D levels, leading to a range of health benefits.
Vitamin D helps to strengthen the bones, boost the immune system and keep the muscles healthier too. This makes healing gardens especially useful for the elderly and those with weakened bones.
Helping to boost the mood
Finally, healing gardens can help to boost the mood. There is something soothing and healing walking around nature, hearing, smelling and seeing the different colors and textures it produces.
Alongside the great Vitamin D levels, just getting outdoors into a nice picturesque space can make you feel a lot happier in general. Sit outside in the garden for just a short period each day and you’ll soon start to feel the benefits.
As you can see, there are lots of awesome benefits that come from healing gardens. When done correctly, they can have a positive impact on both your mental and your physical health. In order to ensure you are creating a garden to maximize your health and wellbeing, it’s worth being aware of the different types available. Each will offer differing benefits.
The Different Types of Healing Gardens
Thinking of creating your very own healing garden? Before you dive right in, you’ll want to understand the different types of healing gardens you can design.
Each type of healing garden offers its own unique benefits. So, let’s take a look at the different types on offer and how you can decide which one is right for you.
Respite gardens are the most common types associated with healing gardens. These are what are used in healthcare settings such as hospitals.
Their main goal is to provide respite, encouraging faster healing and recovery. These types of healing gardens don’t require individual maintenance. Instead you’d pay someone to keep up with the garden for you so you can simply enjoy the aesthetics.
Healing gardens for mobility
Some types of healing gardens are designed to aid mobility. Those who have limited mobility can find it difficult getting around and keeping up with standard gardens. A healing garden designed to aid mobility however, is much easier to use and enjoy.
Edible gardens are especially well suited to those with mobility issues. They are easy to maintain and also provide delicious produce you can add to your daily diet. Not everything in the garden has to be edible, but mostly it will contain fruits and vegetables.
A popular type of healing garden is the sensory variety. As the name suggests, these are specifically designed to trigger all of your senses.
They make use of taste, touch, light and smell. These too are great for those with low mobility, alongside children with learning difficulties. They contain things such as water features, sand pits and brightly colored flowers. Wind chimes are also an excellent feature to add to a sensory garden.
Educational gardens are a great type of healing garden for children. They help to teach your kids about different plants and wildlife. If you include a small vegetable patch in the garden, you can teach your kids all about growing your own produce.
This also provides an additional benefit that they will be more likely to eat veggies they have helped to grow themselves. These types of gardens also tend to include things such as bird houses, mini beast hotels and wildlife feeding stations.
Another type of healing garden is the dementia garden. Ideal for those suffering with dementia, or even Alzheimer’s, these gardens have a simple layout with sensory elements. You’ll want to include seating in these gardens, as well as be wary not to change the layout once the garden has been built.
Choosing the best type of healing garden
So, now you know some of the different types of healing gardens available, the question is how can you choose the best one for you?
Think about who the garden is for and what its purpose will be. Is it simply going to provide a place you can escape during stressful times?
Or, are you hoping it might improve certain aspects of your health? Understanding the purpose of the garden will help you to identify which one to use.
Most healing gardens tend to feature the same kind of elements. If you want to create one specifically for you, don’t be afraid to mix and match the elements featured in differing types of gardens. For example, you could add sensory elements to dementia and educational style gardens.
The above are some of the most common types of healing gardens you can create. Don’t forget, you can also tailor the design to match your individual preferences. A healing garden can be whatever you want it to be. Focus on including elements which spark calm and happiness.
Choosing the Best Plants for Your Healing Garden
When you’re putting together your healing garden, a key element to include is plants and flowers. These help to evoke your sense of smell, sight and touch, making them perfect for use in a healing garden.
However, with so many different plants and flowers available, how can you choose the best ones for your garden? Below, we’ll look at some of the best plants and flowers you can invest in to create the perfect healing garden to fit your needs.
There are lots of herbs you can add to a healing garden and Sage is one of the best. Not only does it boast a soothing scent, but it also provides lots of great health benefits.
It is packed full of antioxidants and nutrients. It has also been linked to reliving the symptoms of the menopause and it can help to improve oral health. These are just a small number of the health benefits it provides.
An additional benefit of this great herb is that it acts as a natural pesticide. So, if you tend to have a lot of garden pests, adding this to your garden will help to fight them off.
Another herb you’ll want to add to your garden is Chamomile. This is one of the most soothing plants to include in a healing garden. It is really easy to grow and can be used in a lot of different ways.
You’ll also find these plants are ideal as a companion plant. That means, when planted amongst vegetables and fruit trees, they can ward off fungal infections.
The health benefits of chamomile are also impressive. It is frequently used in herbal teas and as a relaxation and sleep aid.
A great tip when growing chamomile is if you plant them next to other herbs like rosemary, it enhances their natural scent.
When it comes to soothing flowers, Lavender cannot be beaten. It produces a wonderful, relaxing scent that is perfect in healing gardens.
It also boasts a sedative quality, helping to aid sleep. It is quite a robust plant too, requiring little in the way of maintenance to keep it thriving year after year.
After being surrounded by the scent and colorful beauty of Lavender, you’ll instantly feel calmer, more relaxed and happier.
Healing gardens are all about brightly colored flowers. Why not opt for hardy Fuchsias which can be grown in hanging baskets around the garden? These will come back year after year and they benefit from a very vibrant color.
You’ll find they come in a wide variety of colors and shapes. Browse the different varieties available to see which ones you prefer.
Another plant to consider is the Hydrangea. These are fairly large, ensuring they stand out in the garden to create a beautiful floral feature. You’ll find they too come in a variety of colors and they tend to attract a lot of wildlife.
While the most popular Hydrangeas are large, you can also find them in differing sizes. This ensures there is a Hydrangea to suit every garden environment.
Plants with meaning
When choosing plants for your healing garden, you’ll want to consider adding ones that have a personal meaning. For example, if you are creating a dementia garden, you can incorporate some of their favorite childhood flowers.
When you focus on adding plants that have personal meaning for you, you’re going to get the most benefits from the garden. It could be your own personal favorite plants, or you may have been gifted a stunning bouquet of a specific flower that you’ve now fallen in love with.
Making the healing garden personal to you is a great way to enhance its benefits.
These are just some of the best plants to include in your healing garden. Make sure you take time researching your options and keep in mind the maintenance of each plant before deciding whether or not it’s right for you.
DIY Healing Garden
Now you know the awesome benefits healing gardens can deliver, it’s time to create your own.
While setting up your own healing garden can be challenging, it can also be really rewarding too. There are a few tips and tricks you can follow to make it easier and once built, you’ll get to enjoy it for years to come.
Here, you’ll discover how to create your very own healing garden you can enjoy all year round.
Assess the practicalities
The first thing you’ll need to do before you create your healing garden, is to establish the practicalities. This includes:
* The layout
* The environment
* Focal points
You’ll need to have a good idea of where you want to put everything before you actually get started. Ensure the layout matches your needs. For example, if you suffer with mobility issues, take that into account when designing the paths.
You’ll also need to consider the environment such as the climate and the noise pollution surrounding the garden. The climate will determine the type of plants and flowers you can use, while you’ll need to block out as much noise as possible in your garden’s design.
Establishing the focal points of the garden is also important. There should be at least one focal point that grabs your attention. This could be a tree, a piece of furniture or even a sculpture.
Next, it’s time to look into how you can add different textures to the garden. If you’re using a variety of plants, alongside trees and different types of paving, this will produce a number of different textures.
Ensure you have necessary equipment
Once you know what you want to include in the garden, it’s time to ensure you have the right equipment.
You’re going to need standard gardening equipment such as spades and compost. However, if you’re planning on designing the entire garden by yourself, you may also need to invest in specialist equipment. Be sure you have all of the necessary equipment before starting on the garden’s design.
Choose your plants and flowers
Choosing the right plants and flowers is crucial in designing the perfect healing garden. Remember to choose flowers that resonate with you. Each of us is different so you’ll want to make sure you include plants and flowers that enhance your individual senses.
Of course, you also need to consider how easy they are to grow too. If you’re unsure of which plants and flowers would be best, it’s a good idea to ask someone at your local garden center. The staff there are usually knowledgeable in which types of plants grow best in differing environments.
Include a water feature
All healing gardens should boast a water feature. They really help to aid relaxation and they can look beautiful in the garden.
You’ll find a variety of different water features on the market. You can purchase an ornamental water feature or create a pond in the garden if you’d prefer.
Add comfortable seating
Of course, you’re going to want to be able to sit back and enjoy your hard work. Comfortable seating is a must for DIY healing gardens. They allow you to fully rest and relax in the garden, producing a lot more benefits.
Consider using steppingstones
You can use steppingstones to create a more unique pathway. They tend to add a magical feel and make the garden design a lot more interesting.
The above is just a brief guide to create a DIY healing garden. It is recommended you do as much research as possible prior to creating one. If you want the best results, you might also want to consider hiring a professional gardener to create it for you.
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Angela Hobbs aka CMA Admin