What makes a garden calming? What makes a garden exciting?
There are numerous ways to achieve both in your garden.
Japanese gardens in Zen Buddhist monasteries are purposely planted to calm the senses to enhance the meditative state. In Chinese tradition this would be the yin, the quiet, the winter, the shade.
A garden in Zen fashion allows the eye to rest. It contain, features of repetition, simple green color schemes and natural shapes. These these allow the eye to move from one element to another without surprise. Repeating patterns have the ability to create relaxation.
If you think of it, the ancient mind is always scanning the horizon for danger. It’s looking for the predator amongst the vegetation. When you have a long repeating pattern of green and perhaps the blue-gray of a sea, the mind knows it can relax. Because they’re is nothing to fear. I definitely need a space that creates this calm.
Features such as a monochromatic scheme color scheme.
But for every calming aspect you need elements that promote life. The active butterfly garden creates movement and excitement.
This is the yang. And here everything is alive, everything moves, it is the growth in summer. And so here we have plants with lots of movement grasses bright colors of course the ability for things to thrive. Here is where I plant the deal for the butterflies here is where I plant the aster for the bees in fall. And here to the sunflowers.
My yin and yang.
If you enter the garden from the south side of the house you will be immediately struck by the yang. Here’s my pollinator garden. It contains all kinds of flowers for the bees. And some for the butterflies. As you move along the south side of the house you start to enter a woodland type area. Here is the yin and my zen garden. Filled with grass in shade and the calm of a blue hammock. And a view of a white sand sea.
The yard closest to the house is also calm and shaded. A path wanders in to the waterless pond where a bench sits for contemplation.
Across the bridge, a garden of Life awaits in the western northernmost portion of the backyard. This south-facing aspect is the active, it’s the Sunny bright fiery side.
A meadow separates the contemplation garden from the garden of Life. This garden feeds me and all who enter.
But as you make your way to the east, you again find the yin and the shade. Here is the densest of shade. And here you will find water, and green but also fire. The fire of cooking end of heat. This is where Mike rules. If you enter the garden from the north you are thinking of a woodland and of raw nature.