How to create your own garden sanctuary!

In most parts of South Africa, the weather is wonderful almost all year round and with many of us working in offices five days a week, it is important, and a part of staying healthy, to get out into the open and breathe in fresh air. The best place to do this is in your very own garden. Wherever it is that you call home, if you have a garden, make the most of it.

In the definition of sanctuary you will find the words, a place of safety, and nature reserve, amongst others. A sanctuary can be anything you make it and with a space so often overlooked, the garden can provide the perfect spot for your sanctuary.

On the one hand, we have plants and trees that absorb carbon dioxide and potentially harmful gasses from the air which helps combat the effects of global warming and they release oxygen to which we breathe. During hot months, trees also provide shade and may even reduce air conditioning costs in the home. Another benefit of trees is that they also shade the grass, which means less loss of water. Having trees present in your garden helps create the start of a sanctuary.

On the other hand, flowers and herbs are also an integral part of creating a space that provides relaxation, calmness and rejuvenation. Not only can one reap the benefits from a completed sanctuary, but the process of gardening to get it to that state is also a stress reliever.

Herbs such as Chamomile, Lavender and Jasmine, all combat stress, whilst having roses in your garden may fight depression. According to Organic Facts1: “Rose oil boosts self-esteem, confidence, and mental strength while efficiently fighting depression.”

Depending on what kind of sanctuary you are creating, here are 4 ideas of what to include to make the most of it:

  1. Bench or seating area – so you are able to take time out to sit and enjoy your surroundings
  2. Water feature – “If you are looking to add a water featureto your garden, feng shui areas such as southeast (money & abundance); east (health & family) and north (career & path in life), are excellent areas for water feng shui element energy.” (According to The Spruce 2)
  3. Zen Garden – raking the sand in Japanese-style zen gardens and strategically placing stones in the garden assist in focus and can aid in meditation. 3
  4. Vertical garden – work well in cordoning off an area that you may want to use to create a sanctuary garden. They also work well in smaller spaces to bring in the element of the garden into the area. Any type of plants including those planted vertically, help to reduce filter pollutants and carbon dioxide out of the air.

According to William Brown, the Horticulturist at Granny Mouse Country House & Spa, “We have incorporated the element of water throughout the property and throughout the gardens to not only mimic the sound of the Lions River which runs adjacent to the hotel, but because water is calming and helps promote relaxation. Any garden can become a sanctuary when water is incorporated. We also have Lavender growing around the gardens which is also known to reduce anxiety and is relaxing to the body”.






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