Outdoor Designs - Relax At Home

Backyard Oasis – Backyard Zen

Is your backyard the space you prefer to relax in? Let’s make sure you have the backyard oasis you deserve. Whether it’s a relaxation garden to meditate in or a backyard oasis pool, always start with a yard design or at least know what part of being outdoors makes you happy. For me it’s a little sunshine and colorful flowers. Your outdoor oasis has to reflect you as much as your indoor spaces. Keep reading to get inspired to create space for your relaxing days out.

A corner in a backyard with a medium sized tree. There are flowers in hang pots off the tree, a butterfly house attached to the tree and flowering plants freshly planted in the ground.
I’m just getting started on my backyard oasis.

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Backyard Zen

Peaceful zen garden is my ideal for an outside space to relax in. When I was doing research on this I came across “zen garden principles”. Well, I am no expert. But in my mind “zen” is different for everyone. The definition of zen according to UrbanDictionary.com goes like this “One way to think of zen is this: a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind. Zen is a way of being. It also is a state of mind. Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts.” My translation, you need a place of peace and calm; possibly a place to meditate. And if you are to meditate outside, you need a zen garden. Here are some suggestions for the best zen garden:

Backyard Butterfly Garden

A couple years ago I started a butterfly garden in a quiet corner of my backyard. I love to sit in the shade with the warm sun scattered from the branches of the birch trees. Ahh, I feel more relaxed just writing about it. For a successful butterfly garden you need butterfly friendly plants. A few of these include purple coneflower, aster and sunflower. Read more about butterfly gardens here. The bonus to a backyard butterfly garden is hummingbirds. They like the same flowers! You can also add a hummingbird feeder and butterfly house.

Beautiful monarch butterfly in black and white. Quote: the august sun has just started to peak over the trees
Need inspiration? Download list of Butterfly Gardens in northern IL

2. Backyard Meditation Garden 

I’m seeing a black sand zen garden in the warm sun. This zen garden idea for backyard sounds so fabulous but I worry that it would be very hard to keep animals out of the sand. So, let’s switch gears to rocks for zen garden. I think this is a little more manageable. So now we can imagine a low lounge chair to warm your feet on the rocks baking in the sun. Here’s a great resource for this type of backyard meditation garden. Be sure to bring your favorite best seller to read and relax. 

3. Water Feature

tiered bowls with stones in them creating a water fountain

It may not be crashing waves of the ocean but a backyard water feature can create the perfect backdrop for backyard zen. The calming trickle of the water as you warm your feet on the rocks in your zen garden. I’ve listed all the different types of water features below with possible diy options. And for some best garden water features inspiration check out Sunnydazedecor.com They have a promo going throughout the year (2022) You can get $20 off an order of $100 or more. Click here now and use promo code LOYALSD

Feng Shui Backyard

I’ve delved into feng shui just a tiny bit but have never researched how it pertains to a yard.

Let’s learn together!

Black rock with feng shui painted on it. The rock is places on smooth white sand. Below the rock is curved lines raked into the sand

The basics of a Feng Shui backyard is to keep the negative bad energy out and allow for flow of good energy. Of the five elements of Feng Shui, outdoor spaces should include water, earth and wood. Water can include a pond, pool or a fountain. Be creative as long as the water is placed in the North area of the yard it will invoke prosperity. Earth elements are best utilized in the south-west area of a yard and are frequently represented with rocks in an exterior space. Using large rocks can create that barrier needed to keep the negative energy out. Toward the east should include the wood element. This can be the obvious tree but can be a man-made structure as well, like a swing set or gazebo. Creating a great energy flow in your backyard oasis will definitely invoke relaxation.

If being outside isn’t relaxing for you, check out this blog I wrote about other spaces in your home: A Peaceful Place – A Peacful Mind

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Q: How can I make my backyard peaceful?

A: In my mind, peace is synonymous with private. There are many ways to create a private backyard. The most obvious is a privacy fence. There are many options these days for privacy fences from wood to vinyl. For a feng shui privacy barrier use trees, bushes or other plantings.

Q: How can I make my backyard more attractive?

A: I always start with the basics when working toward a more attractive space. And that means clean up and simplify. Cut in all the edges of flower beds and get fresh mulch. If you’ve found your bushes are overgrown or taking command of your yard, rip them out and replace with something fresh and new. Finally, take care of what you have already. Fertilize your grass. Powerwash your patio and apply a concrete sealant.

Q: What are the eight elements of zen garden?

A: According to gardengreen.com these elements are bridges, islands, flowers or plants, sand, stones, trees, water and waterfalls. Read more

Q: What do you put in a meditation space?

A: Everyone relaxes and clears their head in different ways. Consider yourself. Are you a sensory person? Which sense is the strongest for you? A waterfall if sound is sends you to a calm place. Or beautiful flowers for those who are more visual. Figure out what’s for you and go with it.

Q: What should I plant in my butterfly garden?

Check out 25 BUTTERFLY GARDEN PLANTS & FLOWERS at gardendesign.com

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