Is there anything more peaceful than reading a favorite book outside? Thinking about a private and serene outdoor space to enjoy a book brings scenes from “The Secret Garden” or a Jane Austen novel to mind. If this sounds appealing to you, you’re not alone. The trend of reading gardens has grown recently, and they can be as simple or complex as you want.
What Is a Reading Garden?
A reading garden is simply an outdoor space designed for relaxation and reading. It can be a simple bench in your backyard or a beautiful garden with water fixtures, lighting, seating and shrubbery. You have the freedom to personalize it to your tastes. If you would like to create your own space for reading, take the following ideas into consideration.
You will need to consider location in the beginning stages of planning a reading garden. Think about what is most comfortable and relaxing for you. Maybe you want your reading garden to be close to your house for easy access. Perhaps you want to read in a shaded area, or maybe sunlight doesn’t bother you. Do you want it close to a road or far away from civilization? Maybe there are beautiful views around that you want to see as you read. Would you like to be on a hill or flat land? There is no right or wrong answer. Simply customize your reading garden to your own preferences.
As you think about where you want your reading garden to be, also consider what’s already in the space you want to use. Are there fountains, a pond, or flower gardens nearby? If you choose a place that already has some life and character in it, you won’t have to do too much to decorate your reading garden.
If you are someone who loves gardening, then planting bushes, flowers and other plants and caring for them won’t be a big deal. However, if you don’t have a green thumb, you may want to make your garden simple. You don’t want to feel like you have to work every time you go out to your garden to read.
Think about how much time you want to spend maintaining your reading garden. As you plan, consider the type of maintenance it will require. Does it need to be watered regularly? Will you need to mow it every week?
Make sure there is enough space in your garden for you to actually be able to complete these jobs. If you have a large yard and you want to mulch most of it in order to plant a garden, you may be better off renting equipment. Larger yard spaces require a mulcher to do the job quickly and efficiently. The same goes for watering the yard or garden. If you have a large amount of space and you want to keep it looking healthy and green, think about investing in a sprinkler system, especially if you live in a dry climate.
Personalizing your reading garden is the fun part. Scour the Internet for inspiration and ideas for the perfect reading garden. Plant your favorite flowers, bushes, trees or even fruits and vegetables. Maybe consider a theme that you love. If you want wildlife around you, plant flowers that will attract bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies.
Choose your seating wisely. You’ll likely end up in your reading garden for hours as you get lost in an excellent book, so make sure you can get comfortable. You can weather-proof almost anything — from beanbags to wicker chairs, wooden benches and hammocks. It depends on how much you want to spend.
Don’t forget to personalize your reading space to you and your family. Think about who will be using your reading garden. If there will be children reading with you or playing in the garden, stay away from using water fixtures or ponds. Does your reading garden need to be wheelchair accessible? If so, you will need to design an appropriate walkway.
No matter what, design a space you love where you can relax and read. If you create a reading garden that fits you and what you love, you’ll find yourself there all the time!