How To Design A Backyard Meditation Garden And Create A Personal Sanctuary

You don’t need to go on a retreat to enjoy the benefits of relaxing in a meditation garden. You can easily create a simple, defined area in your own backyard that brings you peace and doesn’t break the budget.

We’ll walk through all the important steps to create a backyard meditation garden area you will enjoy for years to come. From selecting the right location to adding focus elements and flowers, we’ll help you build a beautiful relaxing space. 

Private meditation gardens have been in use for thousands of years. These natural spaces continue to increase in appeal as daily stresses plus technological progress invades every aspect of life.

We all need to take the time to breathe deeply and allow both mental and physical processes to slow and relax. Doing so can significantly increase our ability to handle the overwhelming stress life often creates for our minds and bodies.

closeup of woman hands in the Gyan position while meditating outside

A simple design in a quiet corner where you can put your head back and relax, do soothing stretches, or simply enjoy nature, can add an indispensable balancing dimension to your life.

What Is a Meditation Garden and How Is It Used?

A meditation garden is a small, often physically separated space designed as a sanctuary for the soul and body. It’s a place away from the noise and demands of everyday life. This personal haven is a nook where you can escape to quiet your thoughts and release the tension that can build up with many of life’s ongoing demands.

Meditative spaces are used for yoga, quiet contemplation, or prayer. The features included in these peaceful environments bring us back to nature and remind us of what’s most important–enjoying life and loving the special ones we live it with.

How to Design Your Own Backyard Meditation Garden

The rule of thumb for creating a successful meditative space is simplicity. It’s fairly easy to plan and implement a personal garden space without straining your budget. Use the natural plants and features of your area as much as possible for a year-round retreat.

Research photos and meditation garden ideas to help you as you plan your own backyard retreat. The size and location of your property will dictate how some features may or may not be appropriate for you.

1. Selecting The Location – A Critical First Step

The ideal location for your backyard meditation garden should be quiet, comfortable, and have no outside distractions.

You’ll want to choose a quiet corner where surrounding manmade noises can be cut off or muted as much as possible. Consider what time of day the garden will be most used and ensure there’s plenty of shade and relative privacy.

Quiet is one of the most important factors when choosing your location. Keep in mind that this is a personal, private space. Choose an isolated backyard corner where you will be free from distractions for an extended period of time. 

Comfort is also paramount. Though the space need not be large, it does need to be cozy and welcoming. So make sure your chosen space will be large enough to stretch out in or place a comfortable seat. 

2. Important Features To Include In Your Meditation Garden

backyard water fountain with cherubs and fish sculptures

Once you have set aside a small portion of your yard as a personal sanctuary, it’s time to decide what kind of features best appeal to your own pleasant memories and feelings of contentment. Some important features may include:

  • Physical barriers–such as natural scrubs, a gate, a fence, or screens for privacy
  • Pathways or pavers–add structure, symmetry, and purpose
  • Water features–birdbath, small fountain, or even just a bowl of water to run your fingers through is soothing to frayed nerves
  • Comfortable seating–a padded, reclined chair, a hammock, or a yoga mat
  • Gentle windchimes or bells
  • Rock or sand features–variety in textures can add to the therapeutic quality of the space
  • Inspirational symbols–figures that take your mind to inspirational, positive thoughts
  • Firepit or candle feature–like a water feature, firelight mesmerizes, allowing the mind to rest and process at leisure

Try to keep cohesiveness in the space with composed and focused presentations rather than a chaotic or muddled mixture. Keep the goal of your special space in mind as you design your favorite natural features into a whole relaxing panorama.

3. Adding Plants And Flowers

Minimal color is often preferred to chaotic hues and fragrances. It’s important not to overwhelm your senses. Consider the two choices below.

Comparison of two backyard meditation areas with colorful flowers in one and white flowers in another
  1. The image to the left has a minimalist color palette with primarily white flowers.
  2. The image to the right has a much more vibrant color scheme with brilliant pinks, yellow and orange flowers.

Which do you find more relaxing???

When selecting the flowers for your design, think about not only are they beautiful, but do they bring you peace.

Seasonal Selections and Native Plants

Perennial bulbs may add a progression of color and design throughout the year. Naural flowering shrubs can also add seasonal color changes.

Make use of the definitive structure of tall grasses, evergreens, or weeping plant species for the calming effects of a natural environment. Also, native plants will attract native wildlife for your enjoyment. Varying plant texture and shapes add visual interest as well.

For the therapeutic benefits of fragrances, try lavender or aromatic herbs such as rosemary and thyme. Sandalwood also has a relaxing fragrance. It could be used as incense so long as it doesn’t clash with other natural fragrances.

Potted plants can add structure and interest, and during colder seasons can be brought in to help create a consistent, recognizable inner sanctum. In addition, rotating potted plants can keep the area active and visually stimulating.

Benefits And Practical Tips

A carefully thought-out meditation garden design provides unending opportunities for overcoming life’s challenging events. Spending time in your personal sanctuary can help you think clearly and re-center yourself. 

Times of quiet reflecting also help keep you emotionally strong and grounded. These times build stronger concentration and focus along with discipline and self-control. For many, these garden spaces represent the determination of an individual to enjoy life and keep negative influences from overwhelming and controlling them. 

Studies have cited a long list of positive benefits of meditation. Creating your own backyard sanctuary makes claiming those benefits more accessible.

Along with the emotional, stress-relieving benefits of quiet meditation, there are physical compensations as well. These include lowering blood pressure, strengthening the immune system, increasing and enhancing brain function, and lessening pain and inflammation.

Tips To Remember

Remember to choose your location carefully. Visit potential areas at different times throughout the day to determine the light and sound effects. 

Not everyone has the same idea about what relaxing means to them. You will want to design a space that fits your personality and surrounds you with the things that bring you inner calm.

Remember, too, that this is your personal space. Most people feel the need to create some kind of privacy barrier, whether natural or manmade, to communicate that the area is off-limits without permission. 

woman meditating in private location sheltered by a fence
A privacy barrier such as a fence can help to make sure your meditation time is not interupted.

Remember that meditative gardens can be enjoyed by everyone, no matter what belief system they hold dear. These personal spaces help restore faith and inspire a positive outlook for anyone willing to slow down and come away from the pressures of everyday life. There are no age or cultural limitations. 


The ongoing practice of creating meditative gardens emphasizes a common need of every person. The stress of life pushes us to set aside a time and place to bring balance and new energy into ourselves. A natural, outdoor setting is ideal for revitalizing the whole person.

As we face our everyday challenges, planning and implementing a routine of quiet, rejuvenating mindfulness is still within our grasp. 

Quiet meditation is healthful for body and soul, and even a slim budget can go far to separate a few feet of yard space for the purpose of building inner quietude and peace.

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