So, we seem to be going through an era where society is very focused on mental health. This is in my opinion a good thing. This leads me to a view I have long held on the importance of a garden and your healthy state of mind. Space can either aid your well-being or detrimentally effect it. Sitting in a tiny office cubical can feel oppressive. While looking out over the Grampian mountains can feel expansive to the soul.
Beauty has the ability to wash away unrest in the mind. We offer flowers to those who are sick or suffering as they lift the person’s spirits to a happier place. If you have every admired a piece of art, you will know that the aesthetic essence captivates you and leaves you with a sense of tranquility. For some that would be gazing over a Ferrari. For others, it may be a painting on a museum wall. And of course, the garden all the way back to Eden, is regarded as heaven like, for instinctively we know the life force of the plants offer us comfort.
“A well-designed Garden is an aesthetic oasis, one where plants are styled to
complement the viewers liking, and one where the hard surfaces are of a
quality that the viewer will admire. Add to this functionality, in terms of an
entertainment space; veggie garden; pool, or what have you, and you have a
space that offers you a chance at bringing more joy to your life that perhaps
any other space you have.
As you imbue yourself in the beauty and admire the artistry of the garden, the
worries of life fall behind you. The more aesthetic a space is, the more a being
is focused on the environment rather that concerns and worries within them. A
modern garden should be a space of beauty and high finish surfaces, with this
accomplished, you have the opportunity to smile and laugh and be happy.”
When we design and construct a garden for a client, the main aim is to inspire the client to be outdoors and admire their surroundings. Our purpose in all we do is, to lift beings up out of the worries and burdens of our hectic lifestyles and allow them tranquility; joy; connection with nature & family; an overwhelming sense of peace; or whatever they consider uplifting. There are many ways to be happier in life, however, although I admit my bias, few would disagree that being outdoors with the family brings great pleasure.
What can you do to avail yourself of this?
The key is to take notice of what brings you pleasure outdoors. Some may say, “every time we go to our friends house I enjoy the time in the pool and the kids are at their happiest when in water, I really want a pool at our home”. Others may say,” I’m no gardener but when I was growing up I would love picking apricots at Xmas time from our fruit tree”. Then for others, “I appreciate high quality finishes.
I love to see beautiful stone pavers creating a wide-open space, with water flowing over a stone clad wall and listening to the sound of the water splashing”. The more aware you are of the things you appreciate, the greater the impact of the final landscape will make upon your life. A designer can only design to what you give him. Give the designer things that are about emotional connection, this will result in an amazing garden.
Kids, I mention here, having two young children myself, the need to drag them off the iPad and outdoors. A partial remedy for the ‘ratty kid’ is to make them ‘look’. When a kid (or adult) has their focus on the space around them and notices things, they become brighter. I have 5 acres and when one of my kids is being let’s say, a little naughty, I sometime remedy this by saying, “so walk to the corner of the property, then the next one, then the next, then the next. When done, come back and see me. And as you walk, I want you to look at the space and when you return, tell me what you saw”. – Let me suggest to you that although this may seem strange, it works every time to varying degrees. They always come back more extroverted and less trouble. I did this with a staff member many years ago who had his attention firmly fixed in his head regarding some life issues. I made him walk around the block 3 times (first two times didn’t get enough result). When he had done this, I asked him how he felt and he remarked on how much lighter he felt and promptly got back to work.
The key for a good mental state can be greatly improved just by being outdoors and especially if you connect with nature. Smell the flowers, lie on the grass, sit on the daybed, whatever gives you comfort, do it and gain the benefits by the best therapist there is, mother nature!