Earthly Delights


Touchable Textures

The sense of touch is the easiest to overlook, but it is essential. Fuzzy lamb’s ears, smooth succulents, and other textural delights can create a pleasing sensory experience; roses and spiky plants should be kept away from walkways.


The sound of running water is soothing, so incorporate a water feature such as a fountain or pond if you can. Even a dry streambed that gives the illusion of water
can be calming (and makes a nice solution if
mosquitoes are a problem).


By choosing plants that attract birds and butterflies, you’ll please nature and yourself.” There’s nothing like a hummingbird to stop you in your tracks,” says Jack Carman, a landscape designer in Medford, New Jersey. “You just have to stop and watch.”

Aromatic plants

A whiff of lavender or sage can work wonders on stress. The meditation garden at the Osmosis spa in Freestone, California, includes a bed of chamomile to lie on for a full-body aromatherapy experience.

Sound and song

Wind chimes and gongs are popular features in meditation gardens because sound is one of the best ways to sharpen our focus on the immediacy of the present moment.