Five Ways to Find Hygge in the Garden
Coming home to the garden after a week of travel was not the homecoming I had anticipated. Instead, I felt stressed. There was simply too much to do. But wait! I remembered that my garden was my sanctuary, the place I go to de-stress and relax.
Over the years, I’ve done my best to create hygge in my garden. Hygge (pronounced “hoo-ugh”) is a Danish term describing “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being,” according the New Oxford Dictionary. Usually confined to describe the world indoors in winter—with warm socks, hot drinks, candles, and cardamom buns—in the garden, hygge involves benches, barefeet, the sound of running water, and bird songs.
My landscape plan includes comfortable places to lounge in the shade and another sitting area near a fire pit, with the evening-scented Datura that I planted nearby for the exotic vanilla perfume of its blossoms. Nature provides her own hygge through the melodious bellows of tree frogs at night, the songs of the birds during the day, and the flashing lightning bugs darting like Tinkerbelles along the perimeter.
Truly good gardens are an extension of the home and walking outdoors should convey the same sense of comfort, lively color schemes, and small, safe areas in which to fully relax. The components of a well-designed home work just as well in a landscape.
Our gardens are as individual as we are. Putting more hygge in my garden starts by remembering to relax, to sit still, to be quiet. And when I do remember this, the magic is allowed to happen. Because I share my garden with all creatures great and small, it is full of surprises and always evolving.
Here are five ways to work a little magic in your garden.
- Allow wildness around the edges of otherwise neat yard in order to attract nature.
- Put a table under a shade tree, or build an arbor for eating al fresco.
- Take off your sneakers and press your bare feet into the ground to truly feel the earth.
- Put benches in your vegetable garden and in the flower garden. Remember to sit still and be quiet several times a day.
- Plant a hedge around your garden to naturally create a garden room.