Better, faster and more seem to define our 21st Century lives. We carry computers in our pockets—poised for calls, emails and tweets at any moment. We work from our kitchen tables, our cars, our offices and soccer field sidelines. Communication—available everywhere, all the time—has made life both easier and harder. It has blurred the boundaries between work and home, responsibility and recreation. As we have become more efficient, we seem to have lost time. The time to just be. The time to connect to ourselves—and to each other.
But there’s something about immersing ourselves in nature that fosters and restores connections. When we take a moment to enjoy the view, good things happen. The shoulders drop, the brow relaxes, the tension evaporates. But we need something to draw us into the fresh air. A place to sit and enjoy. A place to be.
Water gardens provide just the spot. They are an affordable luxury for most; and both the process and the product are equally rewarding. Water gardens are as perfect in form as they are function. Falling water replaces the sound of nearby traffic and noisy neighbors, providing a symphony to restore tired minds. Beautiful blooms emerge, layering vibrant colors over green foliage. Clean and clear water invites birds and frogs to take part in its nurturance and perform an impromptu show for onlookers. Birdsong serves as music, interrupted only by an occasional splash.
But we don’t just feel better...something happens on the inside, too. The stress melts away, the mind becomes calm and decisions become clear.
Whether you are tending to it or relaxing on its perimeter, water gardens enrich. They transform. By tuning into our senses, we can change our mental state—infuse peace, impart solace. When we notice the moment—the clouds passing overhead, water lilies blooming at our feet, the feel of the cool breeze and the smell of the freshly cut grass—our outlook changes. We feel grounded and restored. We feel better, giving ourselves the gift of a peaceful moment.
But if creating a water garden feels too self-indulgent, here’s another justification: it’s more than an investment in your mental health—it can boost your home’s value, too.
Water gardens draw us out of our homes and into the fresh air. Lilies, water hyacinth and anacharis beckon—but we have to tune out, to tune in. We have to turn off our computers and televisions, silence our phones and step away from the screens—to hear the soulful sounds of Mother Nature.