By CHRISTIANNA SILVA Published on 12/20/23 Thespruce.com
As the thick of winter settles on our patios and yards, you might not be thinking about gardening yet. But if you look forward, you’ll see that 2024 is poised to be the year of the wellness garden.
A wellness garden, also sometimes called a healing garden or therapeutic garden, isn’t new to the gardening world. In fact, Katie Tamony, chief marketing officer and trendspotter at Monrovia, told Veranda that wellness gardens have been on the rise since 2020.
“Gardening has increasingly become an activity that allows us to remove ourselves from the noise of life,” Tamony told the outlet.
These gardens provide a sensory experience while promoting relaxation. It’s a garden created specifically to give us joy while we spend time in it, designed with harmony and rejuvenation in front of our minds. Your garden is more than a plot of land, so you should experience it that way.
Wellness gardens often incorporate fragrant plants, which help transport you to a relaxing and joyful space. Lavender is famous for its calming fragrance and can be a joy to grow because it’s so low maintenance. You can grow classic roses, sweet and elegant jasmine, bright and beautiful lilac, and fragrant honeysuckle. Scented geraniums are a great option, too, because they come in various scents, from rose to lemon to mint.
There are plants that not only smell great but you can also snack on or include in a meal, like mint, basil, and citrus trees. And we’d be remiss to forget chamomile, valued not only for its calming properties but also for its sweet, apple-like fragrance. In 2024, gardeners are not just planting their flowers; they are sowing the seeds of joy.
Moving beyond fragrances, wellness gardens will have plenty of green companions to those fragrant flowers. Bring in the leafy greens that bring you joy, be it from their coloring, their leaves, their structure, or just their general feel.
Consider ferns, known for their lush, feathery foliage; hostas, prized for their big, broad, textured leaves; boxwood with its small, dense leaves; ornamental grasses, like fountain grass or maiden grass, to add movement; colorful coleus with its unique patterns; and moss for ground cover.
Wellness gardens in 2024 are not just about individual plants—they are about crafting a soothing and complete space. After you’ve carefully selected the colors, textures, and forms you want in your space, you have the opportunity to explore how you want that aesthetic set up. Gardeners are increasingly exploring creative design elements like color-coordinated flower beds, meandering pathways, and strategically placed focal points to make their outdoor spaces feel like an immersive retreat.
Once your plants are set up the way you’d like them, it’s time to add the additional elements that bring you joy. When you consider spending time in your garden, try to prioritize comfort with chairs, benches, and hammocks that are padded and additional cushions and throws full of your favorite colors and patterns.
You can add a small fountain, birdbath, or pond to attract birds and get those soothing sounds of water; wind chimes for some gentle, ambient sound; sculptures that bring you joy; string lights or lanterns that make it feel magical; mosaic tiles and garden gnomes; soft, weather-resistant outdoor rugs; insect houses or beehives that support local biodiversity; perhaps even a fire pit, depending on the size of your space.
Beyond the visual experience, wellness gardens in 2024 are championing holistic well-being by putting the act of gardening itself in the front. We know planting seeds and tending to your growth can be a balancing and joyful experience.
The rhythmic tasks of gardening—the gentle rhythm of watering, the meditative act of weeding, and the individualistic care given to each plant—contribute to a sense of mindfulness. You can give gardening with friends and family a go, too, turning what can be a solitary experience into a community-based one.
It makes sense that wellness gardens would become a trend alongside the huge rise in gardening clubs—gardening is more than just growing plants. In a world that often feels fast-paced and chaotic, wellness gardens offer a serene space where individuals can reconnect with nature.