Issue 93 June 2012
Islamic gardens have typically drawn on spiritual accounts of the Gardens of Paradise: gardens under which rivers flow, the coolness of shade reminding us of God’s Shade on the Last Day, and the heavenly scent of blooms. We are worlds away from the Gardens of Paradise, but we can seek to create a small piece of serenity away from the hectic tasks of daily life.
Words Fatema Zehra
Although all the gadgets and gizmos of modernity are supposed to help us, the demands of busy working lives and the pressures of contemporary living give us less time to focus on the things we often take for granted, such as our family and friends. By creating serene spaces to contemplate our world, we can help to restore balance in an ever more frantic existence. A perfect place to start for a serenity overhaul is the garden. Be it a large suburban garden or smaller city patch outside, the clever use of space can help transport you a world away from the mundane tasks of life.
Transformations such as adding a seating to a patio may seem small and insignificant, but these little changes can help provide communal settings perfect for spending time with your loved ones. A space to get away from the hectic tasks of life can help you to seek solace, allowing for contemplation and reflection, which can often lead to a healthier approach to the day.
Creating a garden space that works for you need not be complicated. The most important question to answer is what are the needs of your garden for you. A well-rounded garden may work on three levels, as an inviting place to spend time with family and friends, a comfortable setting to escape the hustle and bustle of life, and an aesthetically pleasing location full of nature’s wonders. These can be achieved by the components of lighting, flowers and seating; adapted to best suit the shape and size of your garden.