Meditation gardens aren’t whimsical and playful as a children’s garden, are used as a place to relax and reflect. When designing a meditation garden or reading garden, it’s important to select a color palette that is serene. Think of a Claude Monet, the French impressionist painter who used pastels and avoided earth colors including browns. A meditation garden should resemble a backdrop for a plein-air landscape painting. Instead of using oil paints, the gardener uses the different colors and textures of flowers, bushes and trees as his or her palette.
Know a flower’s symbolism
Before planting flowers, research the different symbolisms of flowers. Choose flowers and plants that not only attract butterflies and hummingbirds, but also symbolize virtues and positive character traits. In feng shui, some plants are more auspicious than others, but most flowers have a meaning. Daisies symbolize purity, loyalty and patience, for example. Consider planting a Magnolia tree as the anchor tree in a meditative garden since a single magnolia tree, with large white blooms, symbolizes great contentment or peace. For practical purposes, plant bee-loving plants away from the seating area in a meditation garden.
Plant night-blooming flowers
The best meditation gardens are ones that can be used during the day as well as in the evening and early morning hours. Angel trumpet trees often bloom during cooler hours such as night and early morning. Night-blooming moonflowers can also be used on a trellis in a meditation garden. Make sure to place several solar lights along the edges of the garden for nighttime use.
Add a water feature and wind chimes
In feng shui, water can bring prosperity into a person’s life. Wind chimes also help circulate the positive chi energy. If adding a bird bath to a meditative garden, make sure to purchase one with a fountain or water wiggler that keeps the water circulating instead of remaining stagnant. Many bird baths now come with solar panels that keep the water moving. The soothing sounds of the wind chimes and water cascading through the fountain will help a person who wishes to read, pray or meditate at the start or conclusion of a day.
Choose serene colors
Monet was known for using a limited palette that included titanium white, various yellows and greens, cobalt blue, crimson and a vermilion hue or an orange/red. One suggestion to match Monet’s color scheme is to plant blue, pink, white or red asters with their sunny yellow centers. Colorful butterflies such as the Spicebush Swallowtail and the Monarch also complement a meditation garden. Consider planting butterfly-loving plants such as butterfly weed, milkweed, coneflowers, lantana, butterfly bush and azalea.
Meditation gardens can be invigorating for the gardener as well as family or guests who come to rest outside. Think in terms of getting all the senses involved when designing a garden, including the sense of taste and smell by planting aromatic edibles and herbs. Relaxing in a meditation garden should be an experience that transforms much like exposure to any other form of art.