The South West London Gardener

Zen Garden Ideas for a Calm and Peaceful Outside Space

jasmine in back garden

Imagine stepping into your garden and feeling an immediate sense of tranquillity wash over you.

A peaceful garden oasis isn’t just a feast for the eyes; it’s a space that nourishes your soul and offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

In this blog by the team at The Southwest London Gardener, we’ll explore how you can transform your garden into such an oasis.

We know how hard it can be whilst living in busy areas such as London to find a space to catch your breath and relax, but we believe there is no better place than your own garden.

So, grab a cup of herbal tea, sit back, and let’s delve into the world of peaceful gardens.

Picking the Perfect Peaceful Plants

When it comes to creating a peaceful garden, the plants you choose can make all the difference.

The right species of plants and flowers not only add visual appeal but also contribute to an atmosphere of calm and relaxation.

When thinking of the best choices to add to your relaxing outside space, there are a handful that really stand out.


Just the name of this famously relaxing plant is enough to evoke a sense of calm.

This aromatic herb is renowned for its soothing properties, both in aroma therapy and in garden settings.

Lavender plants are relatively easy to grow and maintain.

They prefer well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight. Once they’re in bloom, you’ll find that their scent is a natural stress reliever.

Plus, they add a lovely splash of purple to your garden. This calming tone is the icing on the cake when it comes to creating a relaxing atmosphere.


If you’ve ever enjoyed a cup of jasmine tea, you know how the sweet scent of this flower can instantly lift your spirits.

Jasmine plants are not only fragrant but also visually stunning, with their delicate white or yellow flowers.

They’re ideal for trellises (which makes them a great choice in smaller gardens) or on the ground, and they prefer a sunny to partially shaded spot in your garden.

The evening is when jasmine truly comes into its own, as its scent becomes more potent, making it a perfect plant for those sunset moments of relaxation.


Bamboo is a bit of an unsung hero when it comes to creating a peaceful garden atmosphere.

While it doesn’t offer a scent, the rustling of its leaves in the wind is the real clincher here. This movement creates a soothing, natural form of white noise.

Bamboo is also incredibly versatile; it can serve as a privacy screen, a windbreak, or even as a focal point in your garden.

Just be cautious about the type of bamboo you choose, as some varieties can be invasive. Opt for clumping bamboo rather than running bamboo to keep it contained.

Another great feature of bamboo is the fact that it is a sustainable choice and is ideal for use in natural gardening.

pond in back garden with flower on

Incorporating Water Features

Water has a magical way of calming the mind and soul.

The gentle flow, the subtle ripples, and even the reflective surface work in harmony to create a serene atmosphere.

If you’re looking to elevate your garden into a peaceful oasis, incorporating water features is a must, and here are some examples.

Adding a Pond

There’s something incredibly soothing about watching fish glide effortlessly through water.

A pond isn’t just a water feature; it’s a living garden element that creates a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere.

Setting up a pond does require some planning—you’ll need to think about filtration, aeration, and the overall design, but the end result is more than worth it.

A pond is always a mesmerising focal point that offers endless moments of peace and contemplation.

Water Features

The gentle trickle or robust flow of a water feature, such as a fountain, can serve as the perfect soundtrack to your peaceful garden.

Fountains come in various styles and sizes, from ornate stone structures to sleek, modern designs.

The key is to choose one that complements the overall aesthetic of your garden the best.

Position it in a place where you can both see and hear it from your favourite garden spot. The sound of flowing water is a natural stress reliever and is perfect for use in cities like London as it can drown out exterior noise such as loud traffic or noisy neighbours.

Both of these water features (and many that we didn’t mention) can significantly enhance the serenity of your garden.

They not only add a visual element but also engage your sense of hearing, making your garden a multi-sensory experience.

So, whether you’re sipping your morning coffee or winding down after a long day, the soothing sounds and sights of water will make your garden the ultimate sanctuary.

garden party at night

Additional Elements

Creating a peaceful garden isn’t just about the plants and water features; it’s also about the additional elements that enhance the overall experience.

Here are some extra touches that can make your garden truly feel like an oasis.

Garden Furniture

When it comes to relaxation, comfort is key.

Consider adding plush outdoor cushions, hammocks, or even a daybed where you can lounge and soak in the serenity.

Choose furniture that complements the natural surroundings, perhaps opting for wooden or wicker pieces that blend seamlessly with the garden and maintain a sustainable and natural ethos.

Garden Lighting

The right lighting can transform your garden from a daytime retreat to an evening sanctuary.

Solar-powered garden lights, fairy lights, or even a well-placed lantern can add a magical glow, making your garden inviting even after the sun sets.

This, combined with some of the other elements on this list, allows you to remain in a zen-like environment long after the sun goes down.

people laying on garden

Create Your Zen Garden with The Southwest London Gardener

Creating a peaceful garden oasis is more than just a landscaping project; it’s an investment in your well-being.

From the calming scents of lavender and jasmine to the soothing sounds of water features, every element plays a role in crafting a tranquil atmosphere.

So, why wait? Start planning your garden oasis today and unlock the countless benefits of having a personal sanctuary right in your backyard.

And, if you feel like you may need a helping hand in designing, revamping, and renovating your garden, then get in touch with The Southwest London Gardener today.

Our team are experts in transforming gardens, and yours could be next.