Time to Disconnect: Here’s How to Get Away From It All with a Disconnected Garden in Your New Home

Create That Perfect Space for Disconnected Bliss

An African-American woman sits in a backyard in a yoga pose, surrounded by her yard’s wooden fencing, trees and rocky landscaping.

A disconnected garden is where you leave phones and other electronics and find some quiet time away from screens and notifications.

Everyday life can be a harried experience. With 24/7 access to work and an unending drip of information, depression and anxiety are on the rise.

In fact, The World Health Organization recently predicted that anxiety would become the No. 1 health issue by 2030.

Intentionally disconnecting from stress for even a few moments each day can make space for peace and wellness. In a recent study of neuro-conservation by the California Academy of Sciences, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols found that time in nature and near water shifts our brain away from stress and anger and toward hope and compassion.

So, when you come home after a long day, stepping into a quiet moment can provide what is needed to truly reset. In this vein, disconnected gardens are trending in 2018. These gardens are beautiful areas designed for meditation, reading or just some alone time, with a key rule: leave your screens and notifications behind and tune into some natural Zen elements instead.

Outdoor Disconnected Gardens

You can create that perfect space for disconnected bliss with a few key elements.

Choose Your Location

Before you start, think about how you want to use your space — will you be reading? Meditating? Maybe practice yoga or sit quietly with a friend or partner? Choose where you’ll plant your garden with these things in mind. Also consider where the sun will be when you’ll be using your disconnected garden. Maximize your vitamin D intake by choosing a sunny spot or choose a location close to your shade trees to provide relief on hot days.

Choose Your Plants

Being surrounded by air-purifying plants is a fantastic perk of a disconnected garden. Choose a soothing color scheme, making sure to stick with only green plants to create a natural view that easily fades into the background for quiet, meditative moments. Or choose your foundation plants based on what they represent — cedar for strength, ferns for renewal and so on, making sure to choose native plants.

Add Other Natural Elements

Wood and stone elements can be a centerpiece in a disconnected garden. Paving stones create a path that inspires a sense of mystery, where a wood patio section inspires the feeling of simplicity and provides that perfect spot for yoga. If the surrounding area is noisy, make sure the noise doesn’t detract from your calm by adding water elements, windchimes, a birdbath or even quiet music to overshadow the noise with comforting sounds.

Choose Your Seating

All that’s left is to add in that perfect space for you! You might want a couple of comfy chairs to allow for meditation with your significant other, a hammock or simply some sturdy pillows. Now you’re ready to unplug and breathe deeply.

Creating Your Disconnected Garden Indoors

Unfortunately, not everyone has an expansive yard or the space for the perfect outdoor escape. But that doesn’t have to stop the Zen! An indoor disconnected garden can be just as soothing.

Choose an Indoor Location

As with an outdoor garden, think about how you want to connect with your indoor disconnected garden. Do you want to create a space to relax or will a small box garden help you create that mental space you crave? Indoor gardens can live anywhere, from a spare room set up for meditation, the unused area under a flight of stairs to window boxes in the dining room or a small succulent box on the mantle over the fireplace.

Water and Music

Utilizing water and music can bring in that greater sense of nature, even in limited space. There are some fantastic indoor fountains available and the sound of running water can also easily be recreated using a simple white noise machine or a nature sounds playlist on your favorite streaming app.

Other Elements

Wood elements, like a simple table and chairs or stair-stepped boxed gardens for succulents can add to that Zen feeling. Another easy indoor trick is to stack rocks for visual appeal and bring about a sense of balance. An essential oil diffuser can also bring soothing scents like lavender and sandalwood.

Finding Your Zen

No matter the location of your perfect disconnected garden, make sure you guard its purpose! Leave your phone next to your keys far away from your garden and step into an oasis of peaceful, notification-free reflection.

How will you incorporate Zen into your home this year?
Laurie Leiker is a published author, business coach and consumer advocate. She spent 10 years as producer and on-air investigator for the Troubleshooter Tom Martino radio show in Denver, Colo., where she helped consumers get back more than $2 million in one year.

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