The whole world has had a year like no other and our lives have changed in all sorts of ways. Freedoms have been snatched and jobs lost. The affectionate hugs with loved ones that we all took for granted, switched to Zoom calls and waves from a distance.
We appear to be heading in the right direction now thanks to the amazing work carried out by our NHS staff, the all-important vaccines and the patience and support of everyone who has followed the government rules and guidelines.
However, it’s been difficult and it may also feel strange to be slowly moving into our new way of life as rules change.
A space to escape
When many of us have grown used to a slower pace of life and the safety of our homes, getting back to ‘normal’ can feel a little overwhelming and at times stressful.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a space of your own to go to when feeling a little anxious, or when you just need to escape the hustle and bustle of life? Especially if all you need to do is step outside your door to reach that space of sanctuary.
Creating a sanctuary garden gives a much needed space where you can slow down, take a deep breathe, relax and feel calm. Whether you have a postage stamp plot or acres of garden, there are any number of ways that you can create your retreat away from the world.
Green spaces have been proven to have direct effects on mental health as it provides us with relaxing distractions and natural highs. It’s simple to add green to any garden with a lawn, hedges, trees, shrubs and even living walls. You may prefer them to be uniformed and neat, or you may like overgrown and wild.
It’s natural for us to like the feeling of being enclosed in our garden. To have privacy and feel protected in our sanctuary. Privacy is easy to achieve with high fencing or trellis with climbers offering colour and texture. Clematis is a fast-growing climber that comes in a variety of beautiful colours and can quickly create privacy, as it grows to as tall as 9m in just a few months.
For a longer-term option, you could plant dense hedging with lush foliage, high pleached trees forming a ‘green wall’ effect, or giant flowering deciduous trees to provide shade and windbreak as well as privacy. If you are looking for a fast-growing tree, then the hybrid poplar tree grows at a rapid rate of up to 2m per year, reaching 20-25m in height at maturity.
A separate space
Another low key and potentially low-cost option is to section off a small part of your garden, which could be a patio or decking, and build an enclosure or screening around the section. Add your own taste in garden furniture, lighting, potted plants and any other accessories that give a cosy natural feel, and your sanctuary is complete.
Adding a water feature to your space is not only visually pleasing, it also awakens our sound senses. The sound of water soothes the mind and gives a feeling of tranquillity. Picture yourself at a quiet beach with the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. Or walking next to a lake with a swan floating by and a frog leaping onto a lily pad. It’s a pure and natural environment that transports you to a haven of calm. You can recreate this feeling in your own sanctuary garden with a water fountain, pond or any manner of water features available.
When it comes to creating your sanctuary garden, you could spend thousands of pounds creating that perfect look or choose a lower cost DIY option if your budget doesn’t stretch that far. There are no rules. Work out what’s best for you and when it is complete, sit back, relax and enjoy!