This April, many of our posts will be about encouraging calm and tranquillity as it’s Stress Awareness Month. Today, I’ll talk about creating a calm corner in the garden by using natural materials and colour, water, plants and comfortable seating.

A corner can be a very good setting for a quiet and private place. No-one’s going to creep up on you. Let serenity descend.

spring colour. calm

Viburnum tinus provides a great evergreen backdrop to patios and borders, and pretty flowers in winter and spring are enjoyed by gardeners and bees. This image is licensed for re-use under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International licence.

Natural materials and calm colours

Start by giving yourself strong foundations. Stone, wood and other natural materials provide you with these by linking you strongly to the earth.

Bright colours have no place here in your calm corner as they are much too stimulating. Instead, choose from the relaxing pastels and all the different shades of green. Green is probably the most relaxing colour of all.

foliage. calm

The strappy and bright green leaves of crocosmia (any variety, but this is the common orange one often found in hedgerows in south west England) contrast with rounder leaves to create a lovely picture in their own right. Sarah Buchanan

The calming effect of water

If you need to decompress – urgently – then seek the presence of water. It has the most magical way of clearing your mind. Your garden may not be able to accommodate the crash of waves but you can achieve the murmur of flowing water with a small pond and pump. And the serene peace of a pond or pool, however small, can be fitted into most outdoor spaces.

Calming plants

Plants bring tranquillity in different ways. Choose scented plants, such as roses and lavender. Choose those that attract pollinating bees and their hum and buzz will mesmerise you into relaxation. Plant the same plants again and again and you’ll create a restful rhythm in the garden, quietening the mind as your gaze drifts across.

scented plants. Patience. Calm

Plants with scented leaves are ideal along paths or near gates or doors. Here lavender at Rousham Gardens makes a stunning and scented entrance. Sarah Buchanan.

Be comfortable and calm

You’ll never be calm if you’re wriggling about on an uncomfortable seat or boiling in the sun. Choose comfortable seating and create shade, whether with planting or a strategically placed garden parasol. Remember the cushions and don’t forget throws for cooler days and evenings.

Let serenity descend.