Having an outdoor garden in which to relax is truly a lovely thing. But you may feel disappointed because you don’t have an outdoor space in which to build one. Maybe you see photos online and they look beautiful and serene, but then you feel lousy that you don’t have the space, money, or time to live your dream. Well, you actually don’t need any of those things. Because sometimes the dream is just as powerful as the real life experience.
Take me, for instance. I’ve always loved those tidy European potagers I see in gardening books, magazines and websites. They’re often similar. They have gravel or crushed lime for a base. They’re laid out in squares or rectangles in a courtyard formation. Sometimes they’re lined with boxwood shrubs or stone borders. At the center, they always have a lovely birdbath or triangular obelisk. I often see lavender and rosemary blooming. Tomatoes and beans tumbling around. Just thinking about it soothes my soul.
Well, studies show that imagining is highly effective at growing our happiness. Also, learning about the potager’s dimensions, materials, plants, and all else can boost a person’s mood as well. And so, while I feel a little sad that I don’t live in the countryside in France where I could walk out in the sun every morning and pluck a sweet pea off a vine, I know living the dream in my head is a positive healthy thing for my mind.
How I Build my Dream Garden
Years ago, the best way to create a dream garden might have been to create a board of photos and articles. Tack up newspaper articles, diagrams from books, photos from glossy magazines. And you of course can still do that. The tactile experience can’t be beat. But you can also create a Pinterest account in seconds. Pin your diagrams, articles on vegetables from that site. You can also get a Pinterest plug in that allows you to pin any photo you see on the internet. It’s an easy, wonderful way to collect your favorite ideas and images.
Yes, it only exists virtually, but that’s okay, because the dream garden is there to soothe you when you need it. I often go to my French potager board when I’m stressed. I read, I pin, I aimlessly look around. There’s no pressure, there’s no expectations. I just allow myself to relax into the joyous escape of a dream garden.
What is your dream garden? My potager is more about a lifestyle. Living in a sunny place where I can simply grow my own food and wander the cheery serenity of a garden. Yours may be a brick patio with a fireplace for entertaining, maybe a cozy bench nestled in fragrant rose bushes. Whatever it is, let your mind fill with anything and everything you’ve ever desired. Don’t hold back and enjoy the exciting possibilities!