Creating a Tranquility Garden
Creating a tranquility garden is a very special and personal endeavor. It doesn’t matter how large or small the space is, it is all about bringing your senses alive to nature's elemental beauty, seen and unseen. The plants chosen to populate the landscape or corner of your patio, should be chosen for fragrance that will lift the spirit. Roses, jasmine, honeysuckle, lemon balm, rosemary, all scent the air beautifully. Choose trees that provide shade, to sit beneath and meditate. A pine tree, if included, provides a lovely rushing sound through its needles. Poplar trees love to shimmer and shake their leaves and also produce a rushing sound through their branches. Make sure to add flowers of color and interest. Perennial flowers will come into bloom year after year, so make sure you have those. Herbs and annual flowers which you can change out in the spring are also a prudent choice. With annuals, if one year an all-white flowering garden scheme is your choice, it is easy to create it instantly. Your garden represents your own artistic vision for what you seek to sensorily construct in the experience of all who sit within it.
Where Zen Gardens Come From
An authentic Zen garden is a meditation tool invented by Zen Buddhist monks in the 14th-16th centuries. Rather than offering perfect representations of nature, they were intended to imitate its essence. This is why monks would rake the sand of such gardens, in order to evoke the concept of water ripples. However, gravel was generally more popular, as it was less susceptible to disruption by wind and rain. Compositions of stone became popular in order to allow the mind to focus on the concepts the garden would evoke. Different arrangements would signify mountains, water features such as rivers and waterfalls, and islands. Moss would commonly signify forested land. A Zen garden is meant to be observed from a single viewpoint outside the garden, such as a porch. Tranquility gardens are in many ways inspired by traditions of Zen gardens. However, unlike Zen gardens, tranquility gardens are less abstract and more temporal. That said, they can still serve to focus the mind on reflection and meditation. Tranquility gardens are also typically intended to be experienced from within the garden itself, rather than removed from it.
Zen Garden Design Ideas and Tips
Now that the backdrop is in place, think about a focal point within the garden. Water features, and especially Malibu Fountains’ copper tree fountains, fit into this type of Zen garden. A fountain can be a simple granite stone with water burbling out. With our copper tree fountains, such as our classic Japanese Maple Fountain, the cascading droplets evoke raindrops falling from tree branches in a woodland or forest, a timelessly beautiful sound. Nothing soothes and calms the spirit like water. Perhaps it is because this is where we originated from. As we listen to the breeze in the pines, and hear the sound of life through the tinkling of water, we can add to this composition a feature to delight the eye: a kinetic wind sculpture. There are so many types these days that will turn and dance on the slightest breeze, bringing wonderful chi energy into your tranquility or Zen garden.
Accessorizing Your Tranquility Garden
Of course, in order to actually enjoy your garden, you’ll need to make sure your garden includes a comfortable space to experience it from. A hammock is an interesting potential choice: an excellent way to enjoy the serenity of your outdoor space while the gentle movement lulls you to sleep. Alternatively, a plush lounge chair is very inviting for those who enjoy a relaxing place to lose themselves in a good book. The upholstery of your garden furniture may have to depend on whether you live in a wet or dry landscape. Seating walls make great aesthetic additions to a garden and are winning popularity because of how comparatively easy it is to build your own. However, they run into problems of comfort— most lack any back support, meaning they don’t lend themselves to long periods of contemplation. Seating can be made more comfortable by adding shade. A vine-covered pergola can make a great aesthetic inclusion to a garden. A more simple solution could be a patio umbrella.
Once you’ve settled on your seating, finishing touches are in order. Fire pits, small stone formations, strings of lights to imitate stars, whatever you feel will round off the elemental aspect of your garden most effectively. If you are the type of person that finds birdsong to be relaxing, you can encourage the population of your garden with songbirds by stocking a bird feeder with a high-quality birdseed mix. Make sure to place it in an area where vermin will be less able to access it. Other options for another aural element to your garden include bamboo wind chimes.
Tranquility Garden Motifs
A tranquility garden encompasses all the natural elements. The wind as it sweeps in over the curve of the land, turning the kinetic wind sculptures silently and soothingly. The sunlight bearing down through the trees. The sound of the water cascading through many miniature streams, and from the water features themselves. Nature’s unseen powers conspire to delight and mesmerize its onlookers, whether it’s through wind sculptures or the music of babbling brooks and trickling fountains. A tree fountain is a natural focal point for this peaceful setting which calms the senses. Be mindful of the seasons when creating your tranquility gardens. The bones of the garden should be built with evergreen shrubs, and trees that feature colorful, interesting bark on their trunks will make good texture throughout the year. Color can be augmented through the cultivation of perennial flowers and annuals. Japanese garden design can be a ready source of inspiration, with rock gardens and raked gravel offering low-maintenance but high-impact additions to your space. Japanese forest grass and moss can create subtle but aesthetically striking distinctions in height and texture. Even if you live in a dry area, like Southern California, there are desert mosses that thrive on little water. Other elements that can play with verticality include flowering vines and draping or ‘weeping’ plants.
Tranquility Gardens from the Malibu Fountains Family
One of our customers in New York has shared his tranquility garden with us here at Malibu Fountains. He chose two of our fountains to reside in his special garden. One more is now being commissioned to join the other two. It could be the unique sound of our outdoor fountains and their fine craftsmanship that prompted him to come back for more of our custom-made fountains. In summary, a tranquility garden is a place to create a natural space and refuge. One that should inspire all your senses— sight, smell, touch and sound. Peruse the internet for ideas, using the terms ‘Zen garden’, ‘sensory garden’, or ‘tranquility garden’. Look up ‘copper tree fountains’ or ‘unique fountains’ for spectacular water features. For visually pleasing wind ornaments, look up ‘kinetic wind sculptures’, ‘wind dancers’, and ‘wind spinners’.
May your very own tranquility garden bring you peace and happiness. To discover more about how you can obtain one of Malibu Fountains’ hand-crafted copper tree fountains for your tranquility garden, you can call us on (424) 781-7698. Let’s work together to make a tranquility garden that speaks to you like no other could.