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 holds the potential to be more than just a space for flowers and vegetables. Explore these ideas to build your garden spa experience and create an oasis of calm where you can seek solace whenever the need arises.

Lady walking through a forest
Spa candle, incense and dry body brush
two chairs in sun

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.


Neon sign
Meditation in Breeze House

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.


Hanging candle outdoor lights

Calming water features

The ultimate way to revitalise the senses is by indulging in water-based relaxation. The healing power of water invigorates the body and calms the mind. Introduce a hot tub or swim spa to your garden retreat. 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. Outdoor water-based relaxation creates a unique sensory experience,

Take inspiration from The Manor House Spa and their English country garden spa experience. Install an outdoor bucket shower or plunge bath 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.

Spa-like scents at home

Essential oils are known for their potential to address various mental and physical concerns. They can be inhaled, providing aromatherapy benefits, or absorbed through the skin during massages. Some common uses include easing anxiety, aiding digestion, and relieving headaches.

Fragrant, multi-use flora and herbs to plant:

Lavender Known for its calming properties, lavender can be used in aromatherapy to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

Peppermint  Great for relieving headaches and treating coughs and colds. It can also be used in a warm comforting tea, excellent for aiding digestion.

Rosemary Not only is it a flavourful herb in cooking but also has potential cognitive benefits, believed to enhance memory and concentration.

Eucalyptus  With it’s invigorating scent, eucalyptus oil is used to help ease respiratory issues, coughs and congestion.

Essential oil and eucalyptus

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:

  • Camomile cooling tea bags, 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.
  • Aloe vera – use the gel instantly for a wash off, skin tightening face mask. Or, freeze the gel into ice pop moulds to glide lightly across your face to instantly soothe and hydrate your skin. Aloe vera has great anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.

Click here for more DIY beauty treatments.


Jade roller and guasha for facial massage and enhancing blood circulation

Fluffy robes and slippers at the ready and head down the garden path to your spa sanctuary.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and relax…

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