The lifestyle of the modern era usually depletes one’s energy by the time they get home from work. Whether or not they will manage to recharge it before the next business day and whether they’ll have any energy left for the weekend, mostly depends on their recharge options. A nice hobby, a great recharge room or a quiet family routine as a part of a decent work-life balance are just some of the factors that can make this happen. Another way to tackle this issue is by reestablishing your long-lost connection with nature on your own property. To do this, you would have to create a backyard Zen oasis. Here’s how you do it.
1. Provide privacy
A truly sheltered Zen experience can only be achieved if you provide your backyard with enough privacy. You see, an oasis is a place that’s concealed by the vegetation of all sorts from the outside world, which is why you have several options available. You can go with hedges or you can go with a fence. Naturally, hedges are a more aesthetic option but they also require more work. They need to be pruned, maintained and it may take a while until they provide enough protection. Also, the way they look changes over the course of the year.
You can also add layers of protection to the area. For instance, the backyard seating area can also be concealed with a screen overgrown with vines. One more thing, you need to worry about the field of view from above, as well. Nowadays, everyone has drones and if the neighbouring homes have balconies or are multi-levelled, chances are that they will have a clear field of view over your Zen oasis. A structure like a gazebo can prevent that but you can also think about shade sails. A retractable awning is a more expensive option, while a pergola is something that you can resort to on a budget.
2. Combine four elements
In order to make your garden truly Zen, you need to find a way to combine four natural elements here. You should start with the audit of the current element status in your backyard. For instance, air and earth probably already exist in abundance but the earth can be emphasized by going for raised garden beds with flowers. As for the wind, a small windmill as a decoration or, even better, wind chimes on a porch can be used to enhance this. This is likely the simplest way to enhance the way in which the wind in the garden is perceived.
This brings us to the next two elements. First, you have water. The simplest way to achieve this is to invest in your own irrigation system. Sure, sprinklers are probably already taken care of but what about the rest. What about other parts of the system like hoses or even sophisticated equipment like an automatic hose reel. When it comes to fire, it depends on your budget. An outdoor fireplace in a seating area is a high-end option, while a fire pit is its frugal alternative. A budget option would be to just settle for a grill.
3. Pathing and flooring
The matter of flooring is something that requires so much care. You see, while the idea of a garden usually looks like a massive grass-covered surface, this is definitely not the best solution, nor is it your only choice. First of all, the bigger the lawn, the more homogenous it looks. Homogenous can sometimes be synonymous with boring. The thing is that you want to avoid boring and, in some cases, even symmetrical. How do you make this symmetry? Well, by driving a garden path throughout your backyard oasis.
The choice of material depends on your budget, intentions and personal preferences. For instance, pea pebbles can cost about $6 per square foot, concrete pavers and brick pavers between $10 and $14, while stone pavers cost well over $20. Each of them has its own properties and features. It also allows you to redesign your backyard into a certain visual and thematic style. Most importantly, if you plan to design a proper seating area, you may be forced to provide a deck/patio. Here, you also need to select the right flooring option.
4. Seating area furniture
The choice of adequate seating area furniture is not an easy one to make. The material determines more than just aesthetics. Think about it, admiring furniture is something that will happen when you first set your eyes on it and then occasionally. What’s even more important is the comfort that the furniture in question provides and the free flow of energy. When it comes to the latter, it’s pivotal that you understand the importance of Feng Shui. An outdoor seating area is also a subject to many of its neat tips and tricks.
Most importantly, the feel of the furniture will depend on the materials. Natural materials like metal and wood have a unique flow of energy but your ability to combine organic materials doesn’t stop here. Think about the floor. If you have a wooden deck, concrete or a solid surface of any kind, you might have a choice of adding an outdoor rug to the mix, thus enriching the seating area. In the summer, this will even provide you with a unique texture under your soles, if you decide to relax barefooted in your own backyard.
5. Make every corner usable
The next important thing to keep in mind is just how vital it is to make every single corner of your backyard usable. Sure, you have a seating area but this doesn’t mean that the seating area should be the only functional spot in the backyard, while the rest is there only for decoration. For instance, a miniature shed for garden tools can be incredibly handy for the overall maintenance of the area. Keep in mind that if you are living in a region where seating cushioning needs to be removed comes the autumn, this shed will give you another storing option.
Other than this, you could add some additional seating options to the mix. For instance, you could have a major seating area on your patio. This is where you greet your guests. However, why not add a remote bench for meditation. This bench can be somewhere dark so that you can stargaze. It could also have an outdoor lighting option so that you can use it as your own, outdoor reading nook. Keep in mind that by customizing and personalizing every corner of the garden, you will make it more fun to spend your time there.
6. Imagine your happy place
This piece of advice may sound a bit simplistic or naïve, but it’s actually quite effective. Imagine a batch of nature, any batch of nature, regardless if it’s a place you’ve visited, saw on TV or just dreamed of visiting. Then, try to recreate it. By picking your own place, you will start with a larger dose of intrinsic motivation than you normally would. This will keep you motivated to look for various new ideas and invest extra effort into making it so.
The choice of trees and shrubbery can make your backyard garden look like a fairytale forest, while a stone garden may appeal to those who are obsessed with the Far East. This is also something that you should know before you start worrying about watery elements in your backyard. It may determine whether you should go for a tiny fountain, a running stream of water or something else entirely. The key thing is that you set things up so that you are content with the end result. Individual elements are easy to replace and alter. It’s a general impression that really matters.
7. Appeal to all your senses
Previously, we’ve mostly focused on the visual impression that your backyard should make but what about the other senses. There’s so much that you can do in order to make your backyard just outright better to spend some time in. For instance, you can choose the flowers for your garden based on the aroma that they spread around the place. This way, you can appeal to your sense of smell in order to make the time spent in the garden more memorable.
If the place is remote and if you’ve done the right job of erecting barriers (something we’ve discussed earlier), you can achieve a peace and quiet. The sound of running water and crackling fire will further enhance the ambience. Just keep in mind that you’re not alone in the neighbourhood and that others may have different plans. Still, this shouldn’t deter you from trying to reach excellence and doing the best you can to transform your backyard into a proper ZEN oasis.
8. Organize separate areas
While it is much simpler to keep it simple and select a single theme for your entire backyard, the truth is that you don’t really have to impose such restrictions on yourself if you don’t feel like it. Instead, you can organize separate areas and award each of them a unique theme. Imagine this as an interior decoration where each of these areas is a separate room within your household. What works for the living room doesn’t necessarily work for the home office and so on. With that in mind, start devising a separate plan. Just keep in mind that, due to the nature of your backyard’s layout, this is more like designing an open floor home than a traditional one.
At the end of the day, it’s so important that you understand that Zen is a peace of mind and not a design style. So, a Zen backyard is a backyard that makes you feel Zen and different people react to various things quite differently. Still, the above-listed ideas generally tend to act in a calming manner, thus enhancing one’s feeling of comfort and helping them relax. This is one of the simplest ways to really turn your backyard into a proper recharge area and create all conditions to truly enjoy your entire property.