Published at Thursday, March 14th, 2019 - 05:10:20 AM. Kitchen Room. By Alvarie Schröder.
Light and fire. Low-voltage, energy-efficient illumination for the outdoors is now easy to install, even without an electrician. It can be placed along paths, in grass, water features, and trees to extend garden use past dusk. Lighting also helps homeowners enjoy their gardens from afar by spotlighting different garden focal points so they can be enjoyed during inclement weather or when residents are otherwise unable to venture out. Real flames and light can flicker safely in gas-fired tiki-style torches or a fire pit to expand a gardens use into evening. Fire offers a mental health benefit since it tends to call people together to sit and linger, which is especially helpful for for those feeling isolated. “Theres something almost tribal about being around a fire together,” says Sachs.
If youre looking for inspiration, ask hospitals and wellness centers in your area if they have therapy gardens that the public can use. Mercy Medical Center in downtown Baltimore planted trees, boulders, paths, and water features on three outdoor levels of its new Mary Catherine Bunting Center building with the firm of Mahan Rykiel Associates in charge. “Families, staff, and patients enjoy seeing greenery flourish through windows and when outdoors. It helps them remember that life goes on as patients recover,” says Dr. Joseph Costa, medical director of the intensive care unit. When planning their own garden, homeowners should be selective and make decisions based on how much maintenance they want to undertake—or pay to have done. Too many features, or the wrong kind, may add stress, says Delaney. And thats the opposite intention of these gardens.
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