Published at Tuesday, March 19th, 2019 - 00:13:27 AM. Outdoor. By Aili Otto.
Seating and other accessories. Furniture can provide a comfortable place to sit and savor a view, but the choice of what type should be made carefully with the prime users in mind. Elderly people or those with health problems may need seats with arms, backs, and cushions. Outdoor rugs add color and pattern and can become a soft place to perform yoga or meditate. Aside from furniture, Monterey, Calif.–based feng shui expert Preeti Sodhi Sharma likes to use accessories to set the tone. “Buddhas and other statues help improve the chi energy in a garden and remind users to stay in the present.” For those with more space, a simple structure such as a small wooden bridge can work as part of a physical therapy program to improve balance and coordination, says Ray Ward, who helped to design and maintains several of Marianjoys Wheaton campus gardens.
Rocks, hardscape, and paths. Rocks artfully arranged in their own grouping or along paths are another key because of their long association with Zen and “dry landscape” gardens. While smaller pebbles add a pleasant crunching sound for those who want an auditory component, they can be tough to traverse. Thats why Sachs instead suggests concrete pavers without gaps. For those with dementia, a path should always be laid out in a circle that winds around to the starting point rather than coming to a dead end that may cause confusion about where to go next, she adds. At the Marianjoy gardens, theres a labyrinth to practice navigation, which could be replicated on a smaller scale at a home.
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