How to create a sublime garden spa
These days there’s no need to book into a spa to enjoy a pampering session. Your garden can be so much more than a place to grow flowers and vegetables. Follow these ideas to build your garden spa experience and create an oasis of calm where you can seek solace whenever the need arises.
Immerse yourself in nature
One of the latest health and well-being crazes to hit the UK is “forest bathing”. It’s a Japanese idea and does not (as the name suggests) involve swimming. Quite simply, the practice of shinrin yoku is about using the healing powers of the forest to reduce anxiety and stress.
Create a private, sheltered terrace or secluded spot in your garden where you can surround yourself in nature. If you don’t already have a woodland glade you can achieve the same effect with a vertical garden, hedging cubicle or ivy-clad screen.
Consider planting aromatic plants such as English lavender, sweet basil, jasmine, lemon, wild mint, white neroli, mimosa and chamomile nearby.
Your senses will be heightened as you reconnect with nature. A place where you can close your eyes, soak up the warmth of the sun, listen to birdsong and feel a gentle breeze.
Add comfortable furniture and treatment room to your scheme
A backyard oasis is all about comfort and convenience, so introduce indoor-outdoor seating for lounging. Think hammocks, elegant loungers, bean bags or a hanging chair where you can cocoon yourself in colourful throws, blankets and cushions for deep relaxation.
The Eastbury – a Grade II listed hotel in the West Country, is due to open its new “Woodland Spa” to complement the recently opened five new garden suites inspired by Victorian potting sheds. So why not transform a garden building into a rejuvenating outdoor treatment room? Here you can practice yoga; work out with a mini gym; use as a meditation space; or create a herbal tea house or garden juice bar to reconnect with family and friends.
Introduce ambient lighting
No spa would be complete without some well-chosen lighting. Festoon trees and shrubbery with solar-powered string lights and fairy lights for a magical atmosphere.
As the sun goes down and the temperature drops a roaring fire pit gives warmth and a mesmeric glow.
Garden candles and lanterns instantly give the look and feel of a boutique spa experience.
Illuminate paths and garden buildings for dramatic effect. There’s a wealth of lighting options to choose from. Find more inspiration here.
Calming water features
The ultimate way to revitalise the senses is by introducing a hot tub or swim spa. A hydrotherapy pool stimulates the circulation, energises the spirit and melts away tension. It also makes the perfect place to enjoy views of the garden as well as admire the stars.
Take your inspiration from Little White Alice’s bijou wild spa and install an outdoor bucket shower for self-administered hot-cold therapies – if you’re brave enough!
Other aquatic elements you could add to the scheme to promote relaxation include a koi carp pond, fountain or small water feature.
Garden spa treatments
Call on the services of a mobile spa therapist. Urban has a directory of practitioners offering everything from massages to facials in the comfort of your own garden spa.
Otherwise, you can have a go at rustling up your own concoctions out of ingredients you can grow.
Plants you can grow for your home-made spa products:
- Cucumber or potato slices to soothe tired and puffy eyes.
- Lavender mixed with cider vinegar and boiled water makes a great face mist.
- Strawberries combined with honey for an anti-oxidant face mask.
Click here for more DIY beauty treatments.