Spring has finally arrived at the Big Lonely Ranch. It was a long winter, and the warmer weather is very welcome. Spring has also arrived in a burst of color at our new second home, the Beach Cottage, where I am writing this. The last time I saw it in early April, the leaves were just beginning to bud in anticipation of warmer weather.
Part of my mindfulness practice includes sitting in my garden everyday, my sit spot. Even if it’s just five minutes at the start of my day, it does wonders to ground me for the day ahead. If you want to know more about sit spots, read “Finding Your Sit Spot.”
Turning your garden into a sanctuary does take a little time and some hard work (i.e. great exercise), and it is well worth the effort. You don’t have to go overboard, it doesn’t have to be a hugely challenging or expensive. Here are some ideas to help you get started:
Pick a place where you want to sit
No matter the size of your garden sanctuary, the most important thing is that you want to find a comfortable place to sit. Take your time on this. Where in the garden do you feel calm and peaceful? What view do you have from this sit spot? You might want to orient it so that you get the morning sun, and it’s protected from the hotter afternoon sun. Then investing in a nice, comfy chair, or even a hammock, will encourage you to spend more time outdoors.
Your garden, your way
Because this is your garden, you get to choose what it looks like. Love color? Add lots of colorful annuals in pots. Are scents important to you? You can plant anything from lilacs to lavender for all the smells. Does water have a calming effect? A small fountain fits the bill and is easy to maintain. Be sure to use all your senses when deciding what to include.
Encourage the pollinators
Inviting bees, birds and butterflies into your garden creates a tranquil paradise for all to enjoy, and there’s the added benefit of being good for the environment. Look for flowers and plants that are native to your area.
Enjoy your privacy
If you live in an area with neighbors close by, be sure to create a private space. This can be through clever plant placement or by installing a screen. If you enjoy socializing with your neighbors, you can create privacy in just your sit spot section while leaving other areas open.
Getting outside in nature is so important for our physical, mental and emotional health, and while you might not have time for a full on hike everyday, creating a sanctuary at home brings the peace and solitude right to you. Even if it’s just for five minutes.