6 Basics for Creating a Zen Garden

posted in: Gardening Tips | 2

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There’s something about sitting outside on your deck or patio in the summer that can’t be beaten.

You can hear the birds singing, feel the sun warming your face and see (and smell) the beautiful flowers in the garden.  It’s just so relaxing!

Create Inside Rooms Outside

Outdoor kitchen
Outdoor kitchen


Try to create outdoor versions of your indoor rooms to give your space a purpose. If you have an outdoor dining area, living area or kitchen area outdoors, it gives you a specific reason to go out there.

Creating a room with a gazebo is an obvious option.

The lattice fence adds privacy
The lattice fence adds privacy

But you can also do it with plants, a screen, or anything else that helps to make an area feel contained.

Use Comfortable Furniture

The next secret to creating a really relaxing outdoor living space is to make it as comfortable as your indoor space.

Think outdoor sofas, armchairs, end tables and/or a dining table and chairs.

This little bistro set may look pretty, but nobody is going to relax sitting in these little chairs!

Make Sure There’s Enough Shade


If you are lucky enough to have trees providing shade for your seating area, you are ahead of the game.

If you don’t, providing some shade over the seating area will help to cool it down, making it more comfortable. You can do this using permanent structures such as gazebos, covered porches, and awnings.

Or you can use less-permanent shade solutions such as umbrellas and shade sails.  Don’t be afraid to use more than one if one umbrella does not cover your area.

Umbrella lighting
Umbrella lighting

Some of them even have lights installed, making them great for evening use, too.

Peonies and Roses make good companions
Peonies and Roses make good companions

Use Colors That You Like

Both flowers and seating material provide color in your outdoor space. Just like inside, if you pick colors that you love, it will automatically make you want to go out there.

Fortunately, these days outdoor fabric is available in all kinds of different colors, so you can create pretty much any color scheme you want to use.

Add Landscape Lighting

outdoor lighting
outdoor lighting

Besides being functional, lighting at night adds a magical feel to your outdoor room. You can use candles for a really easy way to add light.

Create task lighting
Create task lighting

Or go for a more permanent solution with installed landscape lighting. Either way lets you use your outdoor room after dark.

Click HERE to find out more about outdoor lighting and how to install it.

Control the Bugs

Nothing makes it uncomfortable to be outside like being bitten by mosquitoes or swarmed by flies.

Fortunately, there easy ways to do this.  I like to use tiki torches with Citronella fuel.  They look pretty and help to keep the bugs at bay!

Create Some Privacy

You don’t have to build a brick wall or a tall fence, but creating a feeling of privacy will make your outdoor room feel like a secret garden.

If you want the flexibility of having the space open or closed, try installing curtains that can be opened and closed (like these cabanas at the Beverly Hilton in L.A.)

2 Responses

  1. Nice ideas you given. Thank you!

    • Wanda

      Thanks, Ivory…glad you liked them :)

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