How do I describe magic in the garden? I could have used enchantment instead but it sounds a bit too saccharine. I like the word magic because it implies a sleight of hand and a garden is, after all, a construct of the gardener.
There are several ways to create a special experience in the garden, but one of the easiest ways is to add a symbolic space. A symbolic space is a spot for the mind to rest and every garden should have one.
This space may or may not be actively used but is a spot that one can glance at or contemplate from a distance. At first I was hesitate to speak to clients about this because I thought they might think I was kook, wasting their money or on hallucinogens. To my surprise, most clients really brighten up when I start speaking about these type of spaces. While I admit to being occasionally persuasive when I need to be, I think that the idea just resonates.
My symbolic space is a bench and table surrounded by potted plants. I rarely have the time to sit on the bench, but I can see it several times a day through a window in my door. It makes me happy to see it and sometimes tempts me outside to relax for a few moments.
For others this spot might be a swing attached to an old tree or chair by a small fountain. A urban farmer might like a crate next to an apple tree. I think a seat of some sort is good and if surrounded by plants, even better. Maybe just a beautiful, handmade tile hanging on a wall is all that is needed. I probably wouldn’t place my spot next to the laundry room, adjacent to a weedy patch or in view of an abandoned project. Those locations would be reminders of the never-ending to-do list!
The point is to create a spot that reminds one to stop for a moment and enjoy what you have.