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As the home developed, the owners ?had a vision of gardens that matched the home’s architectural style. To create the East Coast feel, Shepard reorganized the garden with a more structured order, but maintained a pleasantly soft, textural look. In any remodel or addition, integrating all of the design features both outside and inside is the key to creating your “Perfect Living Spaces.” Hiring the right team to assist in the design and construction process is crucial to your project’s success. The great thing about a meditation garden is that you don’t even have to know anything about meditation to create one. Think about what you love about being in the area in terms of relaxing and offloading your stress.
You might find really good inspiration in traditional gardens from other parts of the world. Japanese – this could incorporate sand or fine gravel patterns, Zen elements, cherry blossom, the Japanese maple tree, and geometric simplicity.
Chinese – this could incorporate a fish pond, overhanging trees, little bridges, tiny pagodas, natural stone sculptures (ie: non-carved stone) and pathways.
Southwestern USA desert – this could incorporate simplicity, cacti, water-hardy plants (great for a garden in an area low in water), and a shady tree. Traditional English – think about a walled garden in a university town like Oxford, Cambridge, or Durham as an example.
Australian native – this could include gum trees, Australian natives (look for the fragrant plants to awaken your senses), and lots of shaded areas to cut out the heat of the sun.
Sound levels: Consider how silent it is already, or whether you might need to create buffers using fences, hedges, embankments, or other sound-muffling structures.
Soft, grassy surfaces – this could be created by lawn, native grasses, chamomile, button grass, etc. Mosaics – if you have the time and money for mosaics, these can be used to make a small (or large!) part of the meditation garden. Other possible surfaces include pebbles, wood, slate, gravel (very fine), sand, patterned paving. Water features – water is calming and relaxing, both when it is settled and when it is moving. Rocks – rockeries, rock sculptures, Inukshuks, and other uses of rocks can help add to the solidity and steadiness of your peaceful garden zone. Small plinths or altars – these can be ideal places for you to place a candle, a vase of flowers, make a small shrine, or leave incense, candles or other spiritual offerings if that is your wish. Statues – there are many possibilities with statues; simply choose those that instill a sense of peace in you. Sculptures – look for local artists whose work pleases you; this is a great way to support local artists as well as gaining something unique and special for your garden.
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Want to join the the community of teachers and practitioners who write for About Meditation? They hired a local architect and general contractor to design and build a home that would take full advantage of the magnificent views of San Francisco, the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, while retaining the feel of an established East Coast home. They tried several landscape architectural firms, but it was only when they contacted local landscape architect, ‘AJ’ Shepard of Shepard Design Landscape Architecture, that they felt confident that their desire would become a reality.
They can help us relax and unwind after a hard day’s work with little effort on our part.
Take those memories and feelings and translate them into practical ideas of how you would like to see a personal garden aimed totally at relaxation and peace.
While there is no need to follow a theme, having one can instill a sense of calmness through orderliness and focus. Eucalyptus trees are great for listening to the sound of the breeze as well as for their scent. There are some basics that you’ll need to consider initially in order to make the most of the space you have available and to stay within budget and the realms of what can actually be achieved.
And, unless you live alone, your garden will be used by other people, so it’s a good idea to also plan how you will divide your space from the regular hustle bustle of the rest of the garden.
All of these factors will create particular needs and issues of their own that you’ll need to work with them to create a sense of peace and comfort.
The view might be the horizon, or a lovely group of trees, or anything else that inspires you. Incorporate all the positive attributes of your existing area (for example, you might already have a pleasant quiet area or a fish pond that you can work around), and begin planning for the desired features that you haven’t yet got. Throughout history, people have used small garden buildings such as summerhouses, loggia, pergolas, and tree-lined areas and entrances to create little havens of peace or to calm the eye when viewed.
This is a small secluded patch of trees lined up either at the end of a lawn, down a pathway, or in some other formation that works well within the garden space.
They can provide shelter from sun, wind, and rain, as well as adding incredible depth and beauty to a garden space.
This semi-enclosed environment might be ideal for marking out your sanctuary with clarity and for creating barriers against external movement and sounds.
If you’re going to be relaxing in this garden, the surface upon which you walk, sit, lie down, and relax matters a great deal. You might consider water bowls, fish ponds, a fountain, a trickling water feature, or other items that use or display water.
These are little areas which are surprisingly restful as these are places which don’t need anything to fill them. English cottage garden type plants are just as valid as minimalist gardens which have very few, if any, plants. As with meditation itself, which helps you to grow and change over time, your garden should not be stuck in time.

Start meditating today and release the source of your stress with these proven meditation techniques. Follow these guidelines for inspiration and practical steps to creating a meditation garden.
If any ideas occur, (for example, a blue and yellow theme would be attractive to you, or a wooden park bench), incorporate those things into your imagined garden.
There are several ways to find out what types of gardens are grown elsewhere: borrow library books showing pictures, look online for images, visit open gardens that feature specific examples, or visit your local Botanical Gardens or specialized public areas for inspiration.
Think about how you will make obvious divisions using such items as potted plants in rows, hedgerows, large palms, benches, fencing, and so forth. If you have none of these, consider a green bamboo hedge (clumping forms) to hide a lack of view, or the mundane everyday things like the compost bin, a neighbor’s wall or an ugly fence. On a large piece of paper, draw an outline of how you perceive your garden, including the features you intend to add.
The beauty of having a pavilion or summer house type structure is that you can fill it with soft furnishings such as a mat, cushions, pillows, etc., to make it a comfortable sanctuary for lying and resting in, no matter what the time of year may be. Surfaces that are too hot, cold, or hard will affect your experience, so plan this part with great care.
That may or may not be to your liking, but it does add character over time and it creates a sense of oneness with nature. Be very careful with choosing pavers; they can look fantastic if you create patterns with them and weave them in among other surfaces, and not just rely on them alone. The plants you choose can be scented, flowering, herbal, tropical, native or even desert style. If you are practicing a philosophy of non-harm, or a virtue system such as Buddhist precepts using such toxins can affect the quality of the meditation as well as your well-being.
Whether you want to relax, stimulate creativity, gain enlightenment, or cultivate compassion and mindfulness, we help you learn how to let go. If you are going to share this garden with family or others, get their ideas and input too. Think about the elements in these gardens that inspire feelings of peace and happy solitude in you.
This plan can be updated and changed as you proceed, but it’s a good idea to begin with a basic idea to work from. Instead, look for the eco-friendly options to keep weeds and other pests under control within your garden, as well as using eco-friendly plant nutrient options. When choosing plants look at the shapes, patterns, lines, and colors to inspire a sense of peacefulness as well as something to concentrate upon when meditating.

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