By Sarah Wilson published
Whatever size your garden there’s always room to create your own moment of calm. Alan Titchmarsh’s new Sunday morning Love Your Weekend show on ITV sees experts sharing their top tips on how to make the most of our outside spaces no matter how big or small. The show's emphasis is on how nature can make you feel good, and according to Alan we have all now realised how important our gardens are. It's official: gardening is a balm for the soul. We couldn't agree more!
With this in mind, keep reading for our top tips on how to make a relaxing space where you can slow down and enjoy a moment or two away from the stresses of everyday life. We're sure Alan would approve...
Don’t forget that we’ve got plenty more garden design ideas in our gallery too.
1. Add soothing sounds
The sound of trickling water helps to still an overactive mind and ease away your cares. It also blocks the sound of traffic noise and chattering neighbours so you can focus on your own space without interruption. The latest solar-powered water features require no fitting and slot into the smallest space like this Crucible Fountain from Haddonstone. Alan will also be playing classical music on his show to help people relax and it’s worth thinking about getting one of the best bluetooth speakers in your own garden too.
2. Declutter your garden
The trend for less is more indoors has been bigger than ever this year and the same rules apply to the garden. Start with a good tidy-up if you want a soothing space to kick back in. That upcycling project you stored behind the shed two years ago? Time to let it go. Take a fresh look at your garden with a view to curating the space to suit your needs now. If something isn’t useful or beautiful to look at get rid of it. The idea is to create balance so you can focus on your own sense of wellbeing and to let one or two favourite objects, like these Tuscan loungers from Jo Alexander, take centre stage.
3. Plant calming herbs
A combination of fragrant leaves and flowers helps soothe the senses and the soft colours of mauve, pink and cream are a balm to look at when you feel tired. Choose scented lemon balm, French lavender, rosemary, mint and sweet rocket. Planting them in a vertical planter like an upcycled wooden pallet makes sense as it brings the scent up to your level. Indulge in a spa-like experience by infusing a few sprigs in hot water to make a fresh tea to enjoy while relaxing on your daybed. Head to our feature on how to create a herb garden for more top tips.
4. Choose laidback seating
You need to be sitting comfortably when you head out to the garden to relax over a glass of wine or book. From loungers and day beds to egg seats and swing chairs there is a huge selection to choose from now that really help set the style of your garden when it comes to breathing easy. Find everything you'll need in our garden furniture buying guide.
5. Add intoxicating fragrance
A waft of gorgeous scent is deliciously calming and ups the feelgood factor. Plant perfumed varieties in pots in your relaxation space to get the most out of them. Brushing your fingers through the leaves to release their intoxicating scent is instantly calming. Aromatic Nepeta has soft velvety leaves that are perfect for this. Scented candles work well in the garden too. We love the new Green Tomato Vine candle from Jo Malone with its lingering scent of captured sunshine in a garden room.
More garden ideas:
Sarah Wilson has been a lifestyle journalist for many years, writing about gardens since 2015. She's written for Gardeningetc.com, Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, as well as Country Homes & Interiors and Modern Gardens magazines.
Her own (small urban) garden is a work in progress - so many ideas, not enough space to cram them in. Hero plants include her ever growing collection of ornamental grasses, black bamboo and ferns, and the perennials like salvias and penstemons that come back reliably year after year. All very restrained though when in fact she'd love to pack her garden with gaudy dahlias and giant cannas, so these are top of her wish list for what to grow next.
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