A garden is a place where a homeowner can truly be creative, where nature and humanity collide in an amalgamation of colour, light, sound and beauty. A garden is an expression of love, peace and tranquillity, which is why gardening should be a holistic experience from start to finish.
Anyone can hire a landscaper to design their garden but to roll up one's sleeves and work the earth oneself is a meditative and humbling experience that brings one back into the rhythm of nature. Escape the bustling city, the stress of day-to-day life and the bills that pile up by doing something for you. By investing your time and love into your garden, you'll be investing in your own well-being.
Fulfill all of the senses with these easy steps and create a designer garden that any landscaper would be proud of.
Holistic is defined as:
Characterized by the belief that the parts of something are intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole. A holistic garden is one that goes beyond a vegetable patch and a flower bed. Rather it is a space where the body and mind can be at peace, connected to the environment. A holistic garden is where a person can experience healing, taking part in an activity that occupies their mind and uplifts their spirits.
Connecting and healing are achieved in a holistic garden by the incorporation of the five senses—sight, touch, smell, sound and taste. The wonderful and unique thing about the concept of a holistic garden is that are no rules when it comes to what your holistic garden features and what it should be used for. Instead, it should be a space designed especially for your own needs. Connecting, healing and feeling a part of the whole—physically, mentally and spiritually—is a personal journey that only you can go on.
A holistic garden should be one that is beautiful, peaceful and aesthetically pleasing, stimulating the sight senses. As Alfred Austin said,
The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.
Creating a holistic garden that is delightful to the eye doesn't need to be an expensive or complicated experience, however you do need to invest some time and creativity into the design of the garden. Colours, features added to the garden and style will all influence how your garden looks and how it will make you feel when you look at it or take a stroll through it.
Planting colourful flowers and succulents is one way to create a beautiful garden. The next trick is to use your design skills and creativity to group together plants according to their colour. This will create colourful bursts throughout.
Another great visual addition to any garden is some funky garden art. Include bright pots for flowers or soft lights that enhance the garden at night. Have a look through these accessories and decorations for gardens.
The smell of a garden should be one of the most amazing sensory experiences in life. This will often come from the fragrances of the flowers in a garden. Choosing your flowers in the holistic garden design thus means choosing the smells that you will experience.
Pick flowers that work well in all seasons, unless you are prepared to recreate the garden every quarter. Currently fynbos, including South Africa's beautiful and fragrant national flower the Protea, is a huge must for every garden.
With summer raising the temperatures throughout the country, one of the most important things that can be done for a garden is to ensure that the flowers and plants that need more water are receiving adequate amounts. While there are water shortages in certain parts of the country due to the lack of rain, water-efficient tips can be employed when gardening to ensure that the garden still flourishes this season. One example is to recycle water such as bath water or water caught in a bucket from the rain. Use this to water the flowers and plants, ensuring that they continue to thrive, producing their intoxicating smells.
When you wake up in the morning, you should be able to hear the incredible sounds coming from your garden, including birds chirping, the wind rustling and even a water feature gently flowing.
This incredible water feature by Polish Landscape Designers Twoje Miejsce is the perfect example of a holistic garden. It has incorporated a beautiful water pool, that runs down into a swimming pool, creating a waterfall effect that is gentle and pleasant to the ears. The higher pool incorporates nature and its surrounds while the swimming pool below incorporates the family of the home who will be swimming, playing and cooling off in its depths.
Including small bird feeders throughout your garden will also ensure that your garden is always filled with the sounds of chirping and singing. Your fragrant flowers will also attract insects, creating the sound of buzzing bees and other noises.
A garden is a blank canvas when it comes to planting vegetable seeds that can grow into delicious carrots, lettuce, watermelon, beetroot and more. There is no limit to the abundance of tasty plants that can be created in a garden—even artichokes can be grown in a South African climate.
The first thing you need to look at is the space that you have for growing vegetables. You'll need to make use of every inch of possible gardening space. If you have a large garden, it's easy to create large, vegetable patches. However, if space is limited you can opt for some innovative ways to grow those tasty greens.
A container garden can work wonders when it comes to growing vegetables. Use an old black tyre as your garden bed or large pots that have the space to contain a large amount of soil. The trick is to see how much soil your vegetables need to grow, for example lettuce only needs about 20 cm of soil to grow in.
A raised garden bed also works if space is limited and creates a neat garden where the vegetables are contained and can be lovingly tended to.
If you're truly looking to get creative, opt for a vertical garden by utilising the outside wall of your house. Not only is this a sustainable way of gardening but it also looks really trendy too.
The last addition to the holistic garden is the wildlife that a garden attracts. A garden should be a place for bird watching, a place where squirrels explore and a place where bees suck on the sweet nectar of flowers.
Pentas and tecomas, for example, are shrubs that attract both birds and butterflies to a garden in the South African climate. Plant these to create a beautiful haven for wildlife, right outside your home.
A holistic garden should inspire a sense of peace and tranquillity within the gardener, connecting them to the beauty of nature as well as their own existence.
As Gertrude Jekyll said,
A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.
Love gardening? You might also enjoy: Great Tips To Make Your Garden More Fun!