Refresh the body and mind in your own “secret garden”

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Who still has time for gardening these days?

Breaking soil and planting seedlings may not be the most efficient recreational activities today, but gardening is one of the most rewarding – and just what we need in our fast-paced, high-stress time.

Psychologists say being in a garden reduces both short-term and long-term stress, as the pleasant smells and shapes calm the senses. Doing garden activities brings even more benefits. A study shows that gardening lowers blood pressure and improves attention, while another finds that 30 minutes of light garden activities lift the mood more than reading books.

Remember Colin in the novel “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett? Wheelchair-bound for a long time, he regains the power to walk after some time of helping the protagonist Mary Lenox revive the long-neglected family garden. That event has scientific basis after all, as suggested by current studies.

The stress relief offered by gardens makes them effective aids in healing patients of severe illnesses. The elderly with dementia who have access to gardens improve their brain functions and are less agitated and aggressive. Horticulture therapy, where patients do both medical rehabilitation and gardening activities to restore health, not only heals patients fast but also fosters overall quality of life.

Don’t you wish you have your own “secret garden” to retreat to when life has become unbearable? Here are some ideas on how to put together one in your own home:

1. Chaise A garden becomes more relaxing with the presence of water, so consider having one dug out in your own garden. Then place a chaise along the bank to recline on during lazy Sunday mornings. The one in Henrik Pedresen’s Grid collection is made of aluminum frames with a teak tabletop on one side and a backrest that adjusts to six angles.

Adjustable chaise by Design Within Reach

Adjustable Chaise by Design Within Reach with white background

DESIGN WITHIN REACH | Grid Adjustable Chaise – $3363.00
International shipping weight – 184kg
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2. Umbrella Take cover from the sun under a standing umbrella, like this one from Pottery Barn. You can have the pole in aluminum, teak, or eucalyptus, although we recommend the wooden ones for a more rustic feel. The canopy is also customizable and you can ask the manufacturer to make it either in Sunbrella fabric or polyester outdoor canvas.

Square Market Umbrella by Pottery Barn

Square Market Umbrella by Pottery Barn with white background

POTTERY BARN | Square Market Umbrella – $259.99
International shipping weight – 20kg
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3. Knickknacks.  Lend a touch of whimsy to your garden by placing dainty knickknacks here and there. Let Frederic catch fish from his poolside seat. Listen to the sweet music made by the Freckle Fish Bell. Elicit smiles and sighs from guests with a miniature patio set from Hi-Line Gift. Lure birds with this shingle-roofed birdfeeder from Home Bazaar.

The Little Fisherman by Design Toscano
The Little Fisherman by Design Toscano with white background
DESIGN TOSCANO | The Little Fisherman – $43.90
International shipping weight – 4kg
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Freckle Fish Bell by Mackenzie Childs

Freckle Fish Bell by Mackenzie Childs with white background

MACKENZIE-CHILDS | Freckle Fish Bell – $48.00
International shipping weight – 3kg
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Gazebo Feeder by Home Bazaar

Gazebo Feeder by Home Bazaar with white background

HOME BAZAAR | Gazebo Feeder – $69.99
International shipping weight – 3.5kg
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Fairy Six-piece Garden Furniture Set by Hi-Line Gift

Fairy Six-piece Garden Furniture Set by Hi-Line Gift with white background

HI-LINE GIFT LTD. | Fairy 6 Piece Garden Furniture Set – $33.99
International shipping weight –  1kg
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4. Topiaries  If you want your garden to look like Edward Scissorhands hangs out there, you don’t need to grow a real shrub yourself. Fancy sells faux greenery shaped like a dog — one that is taking a pee, no less.

Peabody Faux Boxwood Garden Dog by FancyPeabody Faux Boxwood Garden Dog by Fancy with white background

FANCY | Peabody Faux Boxwood Garden Dog – $170.00
International shipping weight –  52.5kg
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5. Gardening tools Gardening isn’t all basking in beauty. Much of it is hard work, and you need constant motivation to pull through it. So, for tools, pick those, in Mary Poppin’s words, with an “element of fun”. The tools in this gardening tool set from Mackenzie-Childs have morning glory prints all over them, so pretty you would want to hold them and start gardening. Off-duty, they can be garden ornaments themselves.

Morning Glory Gardening Tool Set Mackenzie Childs

Morning Glory Gardening Tool Set Mackenzie Childs with white background

MACKENZIE-CHILDS | Morning Glory Gardening Tool Set – $45.00
International shipping weight – 3kg
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6. Wooden wagon A wagon will be handy in carrying smaller gardening tools and transporting plants. But don’t pick just any boring wagon from the hardware store. Get this antique-style wagon from Best Choice Products, made of fir wood. Tip: Park it at a corner and use it as flower box instead.

Wagon Flowers Planter by Best Choice Products

Wagon Flowers Planter by Best Choice Products with white background

BEST CHOICE PRODUCTS | Wagon Flowers Planter – $69.94
International shipping weight –  29kg
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7. The Garden Book. This is the book any gardening enthusiast should have on his or her shelves. Published by Phaidon, the art book authority, The Garden Book showcases 500 gardens from across the world and through history. Refer to it whenever you need garden decorating ideas, or even when you’re not decorating but just want to feel a high from looking at beautiful sceneries.

The Garden Book by Phaidon Press

The Garden Book by Phaidon Press with white background PHAIDON PRESS | The Garden Book – $10.00
International shipping weight –  1kg
Get it here!

Still haven’t got a U.S. Address? Get one now for free at comGateway.com and start shopping!