• Mia Johnson
  • Turning your garden into a peaceful sanctuary that will get your creative juices flowing
Turning your garden into a peaceful sanctuary that will get your creative juices flowing
Written by
Mia Johnson
April 2019
Written by
Mia Johnson
April 2019

As a writer, you face many challenges on a daily basis. Most of them revolve around not having a quiet place to sit down and collect your thoughts before you turn them into your next masterpiece. Alas, this is because you are not just a writer. You are a human being with obligations, perhaps another job, perhaps even a family with children. The environment isn’t always that fertile for writing, as writing isn’t your only occupation.

Inspiration won’t come naturally, though. You have to work at it. Poke it until it surfaces its head from the bottoms of your soul, then seize the moment and use every moment of feeling inspired wisely. Finding your little corner of peace and solitude is essential for bringing inspiration to the surface. The ideal place for a writer isn’t somewhere ordinary. It is in the deep and hidden depths of your garden, where you can be part of a whole new world while you create one.

1. Plan carefully

Before you put any plans into motion, you’re going to need to know what exactly you’re working with. Without planning carefully, you risk your pieces not fitting in together and having to start over. Every inch of your garden should be familiar to you.

This is the only way to ensure that everything will go according to plan. As well as that, these are your working grounds, so you should be familiar with them. You’re going to be spending a lot of time here, and it’s important to familiarize yourself with the environment.

Landscaping is serious business, and if you don’t know the size and capabilities of your garden, you might miss out on some great design features. Imagine you wanted to build a level in your garden and add some stairs, or you wanted to add an outdoor swing.

You buy the swing and you start looking for a contractor to help you with implementing the stairs, but then you get to your garden and realize these features simply don’t fit. There’s a reason the saying goes: “don’t count your chickens before they hatch.” In other words, make sure to have all the measurements and details before you start putting things in motion. It will save you a lot of time, money, and heartbreak.

No one said that your garden needed to be done tomorrow. You can take as long as you want to complete the transformation and start working there.

2. Mask the noises

No matter how secluded you think your garden might be, there are still going to be some noises that bother you. Be it the faint traffic from the street or your neighbors, you can count on it to disrupt your peace and disturb your focus.

You can counter sound pollution with lush greenery which has the tendency to slow things down and soften sounds. Make sure to include tall trees to block the sounds, too. This may not be one hundred percent effective, but it will give you the peace you need.

Another thing you can do is introduce a surround sound system to the back yard. Wire each corner and put up small speakers which create beautiful cohesion when they’re on. Thanks to the advancement of technology, a lot of waterproof options are available. As well as that, you can choose wireless speakers. This means that the weather won’t be able to stop you from enjoying your music. In fact, it may be even more healing for the mind to play a soft song while it’s raining.

The main reason no sanctuary can go without music is the fact that music can inspire you like nothing else. If you’ve been writing for a while and feel strained, play something upbeat and happy to get your body moving. If you’re looking for a better way to focus, play some jazz or blues.

Your favorite tunes shouldn’t be left out, either. They can be the perfect way to end the working day. After all, writing is hard work and you’ll need a pick-me-up after you’ve scribbled endlessly for the whole day. You want to leave your sanctuary without a cell of stress in your body, and music will ensure that happens each day.

3. Play with stone

Stone paths are the perfect way to let your creativity loose in the garden. You can come up with elaborate designs and even section off your garden. Let this corner be for brainstorming, while that one has the perfect view of your water feature, thus calming down your thoughts. The stone tiles will decide how you walk and interact with your garden.

How you lay them down can directly match the way you think, too, as it was demonstrated in the example above. You don’t even have to stick to one type of stone or one pattern. Just coordinate the colours and the whole design will make the garden pop.

Another type of stone you can play with are boulders. They make for great décor and fit into the holes you might have in your design perfectly. What’s more, boulders are known for instilling a sense of stability and Zen, hence why they’re a very common sight in Zen gardens.

You can even mix boulders with sandboxes so as to achieve a complete sense of calm. A water ripple pattern should decorate the sand, while the boulder should be found either in the middle or in the corner of the sandbox.

4. Invite nature in

If you want to be inspired by nature, you have to let it in. After all, you’ll be spending your time outside, amongst the trees and numerous plants. This will be enough to inspire calm and peace, but you’ll be missing the spark which sets the fire to your imagination.

That’s why you should try and invite nature’s critters into your sanctuary. You can completely melt into the chirps of the bird, and use the color of their feathers to describe the most amazing things in your work. All you have to do is add a birdbath or some birdfeeders to your garden and you’ll get an abundance of different birds to complete your garden design.

Another welcome garden critter is the toad or the frog. Imagine how adorable it is to be watering your sanctuary only to be greeted by the cutest little toad who came out to say hello and shower under your watering can.

Finally, you can pile up some leaves and stack up a few logs to create hidden corners where hedgehogs can reside. These prickly creatures love gardens, even though they might be too shy to hang out with you. They’re the perfect tools to use as the metaphor for the next great character in your novel.

As well as inspiring you profoundly, these creatures will also have a practical role in your garden. They’ll keep it clean and safe from insects and pests. You won’t have to worry about diseases spreading or your beautiful sanctuary collapsing because of them.

5. Put up a structure

A garden can be as beautiful as you intend, but it won’t mean much if you don’t introduce a garden structure. Whether you opt for a pergola or a pavilion, you’re bound to benefit from it greatly. These garden structures are very similar and have almost the same features, so you can choose one based on your preferences without fear of making a mistake.

First of all, a garden structure allows you to have some privacy. You may be surrounded by your garden, but the place will seem too open and you’ll feel too vulnerable without a structure to protect you. No wandering eyes will be able to penetrate the fortress that is your pergola or pavilion, thus allowing you to continue writing uninterrupted.

What’s more, a pergola or pavilion are the perfect places to put your desk and chair. It may seem tempting to just throw these items in the middle of the garden and get to work, but you’ll have a much more elegant a swifter design if you make your garden structure your office.

Having a garden structure also means that you can work in your garden regardless of the weather. Some people choose to leave their pavilion or pergola without walls, but perhaps it’s more convenient to cover the structure in glass. This way, you won’t have to deal with the weather, regardless of what it may be.

When it’s too hot to be outside in the summer, your garden structure will be cool and your desk chair waiting. You can enjoy the warm summer day through the pristine glass, with cold lemonade sitting snugly on your desk. In winter, when it’s too cold to be outside, you can let the snow inspire you while you sit in your comfy office, wrapped in the warmth of the inspiration that’s overcoming you.

Let’s not forget about the most romantic weather for a writer: a rainy day. The thud of the drops against the glass will be just the thing to wake up your creative juices and get them flowing.

6. Choose the plants

What kind of plants you decide to put in your sanctuary will greatly influence how peaceful and inspiring it will be. Generally, in these situations, it’s advisable to avoid too much color. Even though flowers are pretty and smell nice, they can end up being too much of a distraction. As well as that, they won’t have the right Zen effect you need to get your creative juices flowing.

Instead, opt for something green. The more green you have, the better. Just look at Japanese Zen gardens. They’re full of lush green plants which inspire tranquillity and peace. A sense of calm is the spear which will break through the wall of your writer’s block.

One of the most common and most beautiful plants to have in your garden is the traditional Japanese bonsai tree. This plant has a unique effect on the mind due to its interesting and unusual shape. If it’s not a testimony to creativity, we don’t know what is.

Another plant you can easily and effectively incorporate to the design is the bamboo. You can find it almost anywhere, it’s easy to maintain, and it can offer you the peace and serenity you’re looking for.

7. Add a water feature

The soft hush of the water may be just what you need to get your creative juices flowing. When you close your eyes and breathe in deeply, it will be that hush that washes your troubles away and lets you focus on the work ahead.

A fountain is one of the most common water features you can find. It’s also one of the most convenient ones. After all, fountains come in many different shapes and sizes. This means that you’ll be able to incorporate your fountain into the vision you have of the garden completely.

You can opt for something small and modern, perhaps even small enough to fit on your desk or shelf. On the other hand, you can choose a fountain wall which will resemble a majestic waterfall and provide for an inspirational background.

We can’t forget the ancient but beautiful fountains, either. The rustic and modern classic designs are always good choices if you aim for some elegance and sophistication. You’ll surely like the detailed engravings as much as the hush of the water. No matter what design you choose, it’s bound to fit in well with the lush green serenity you’ve surrounded yourself with.


As you can see, there are many things to take into consideration when designing your sanctuary. After all, this is a place where you’ll spend the happiest hours of your day- it has to be perfect. With a little elbow grease, you’ll soon have your sanctuary and your excuse to escape from the ordinary and mundane to a place full of new and unimaginable possibilities. We’re confident that inspiration will be a regular guest in your garden.

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