This summer more than ever, our gardens, balconies and terraces are a source of comfort and calm. Cultivating the soil can not only create a wonderful place to sit, eat and play, but studies show that it can also help your mental health.
So whether you are lusting after a fragrant garden, adding a spot of colour in a small space, or simply want a quiet place to relax, here’s how to make your garden the place-to-be this summer.
Add a splash of colour
The colours in your garden can affect your mood, so think like an artist and consider your palette. Cool shades from the blue and purple spectrum are soothing and restful, whereas warm reds, oranges and yellows are bright and energising.
Plant tulips, petunias and dahlias for a pop of colour that will last long into the summer. But don’t forget about the winter. Ensure your garden transcends the seasons by introducing evergreen foliage such as holly, juniper, camelias or boxwood.
Tip: Remember that colour doesn’t only come from the flora and fauna. Bring your landscape to life by painting pots or fencing in ochre yellow, burnt orange or Mediterranean blue.
Whether you have a sprawling garden or a cosy balcony, you can wake up to the sound of birds and bees with a few simple tweaks to your gardening habits.
Put away the lawn mower and let your grass grow free. The thick pile provides a safe haven for critters and gives daises time to flower – boosting pollen production and tempting bumble bees.
When planting, opt for native wildflowers such as poppies, foxgloves and cornflowers. They’re a rich source of nectar and seeds, keeping the birds and butterflies happy.
Tip: Biodiversity thrives when wildlife is allowed to run rampant, so put away the shears and fix yourself a refreshing summer drink instead.
Think with your ears
The perfect garden consists of more than colours and smells. Sound also plays a part. So consider the three W’s – wind, water and wildlife.
Plant bamboo in breezy areas of your garden to recreate a rustling forest. Pile pebbles to amplify the pitter-patter of rain. Or hang bird feeders on tree branches to entice songbirds.
Tip: Studies have found that the sounds of natural world - such as trees rustling, raindrops falling and birds singing - make us feel more relaxed. So next time you’re stressed, take 15 minutes to sit and listen to the sounds in your garden.