Turn Your Garden into a Relaxing Haven

Today’s guest post is quite topical for me, as I begin a little transformation of a forgotten flower bed in my front garden. I’m glad to see that this advice below, mentions sticking to two colours, which is exactly what I’ve done! Enjoy.

Ideas on how to create a relaxing outdoor haven

The famed Mexican architect Luis Barragan once said that “a garden must combine the poetic and the mysterious with a feeling of serenity and joy.” A serene and relaxing garden space calms the nerves and relieves daily stress. Even a small space can offer a peaceful retreat and a soothing environment to provide you with solace and comfort. If you want to turn your garden into a haven, here are some ideas to help you.


When buying shrubs, flowers and groundcover, pick a simple palette of no more than two colours and stick to it, as this will lend your garden a harmonious, minimalist appearance. Choose only a few plant varieties and mass plant these to achieve fullness without clutter. You can use your plants to draw the eye to scenic views by placing taller plants on each side and low growth beneath to create a frame. To maximise the beauty and tranquillity of your garden go back to nature by planting flowers that will attract butterflies and other helpful insects. Choose a place to grow climbing vines. These will attract butterflies and create a beautiful living wall full of colour and movement.

Shady Spots

Find a shady spot, whether that’s beneath a graceful weeping willow, a pergola or an outdoor deck and make it comfortable with a swing seat. Grab a book, sit back and let your feet trail along the ground as you read.


Strategically place chairs or benches so that you can enjoy every section of your garden oasis. Woven or rattan garden furniture is now very popular and offers a stylish, contemporary look. Choose over-stuffed pillows to induce a sense of luxury, in soft outdoor fabrics that match the colour of your blooms. Use large landscape rocks or logs as seating in areas where you want to maintain the natural look, and set benches in areas with a calming view.

Build a Zen Garden

What could be more relaxing than a zen garden? The traditional raked stone Japanese gardens are the epitome of serenity. Built to provide a relaxing environment for meditating monks, the raked gravel is symbolic of water and the stones represent mountains. Zens gardens are incredibly easy to create: all you need is a spare patch of garden, some gravel, some rocks and a rake. Borrow style tips from traditional zen gardens and plant some bamboo or choose a peaceful statute to watch over your garden.

Entertain Outdoors

The summer months are coming, and there is something special about sitting outside on a warm night and eating alfresco. If cooking helps you to relax and unwind then you should consider a barbeque. This way you can turn some steaks to channel your inner calm or even  find peace with a pizza oven if that’s your preference. Creating a designated sport for entertaining – be it a deck, patio or outdoor kitchen – even allows room for some dancing after dinner.

Create a relaxing oasis just in time for the warmer months. Soak up the warm sun, enjoy the beautiful colours and listen to the serene sounds of nature this summer. Your floral haven will be the perfect place to unwind.

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Image: Instyle Indulgence Interiors

Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an interiors writer and blogger and has an insatiable love of home style and decor

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  1. Rachel - 3yearsandhome
    March 31, 2014 / 9:06 pm

    We have to do our entire front and back garden and neither of us have a clue where to start or what we really want. We know it has to include and Swingball and a BBQ and then we’re stuck. Could be time to dial the local landscape gardener.

  2. Corten
    January 14, 2022 / 7:01 am

    I love that you discussed how open air warming and having a shade is an ideal mix when it is cold outside. In view of that, I will have a collapsed arm overhang added to our deck to be prepared for cold nights. We love to remain in our patio and get up on fire going, so having a canopy will help particularly for relatives who effectively get chilly, similar to me.

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