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How to build a garden for all seasons

Did you know that gardening is good for your mental as well as your physical health? First, working in the garden is good exercise, exposes you to healthy doses of vitamin D from the sun and inspires the natural production of the antidepressant serotonin. And research has shown that just seeing natural beauty from your window, whether it be flowers, shrubbery, trees or even beautiful rock formations, has a positive effect on your mind-set whatever the season.

In a study published in PLOS, a journal from the University of FloridaCharles Guy, a professor emeritus of UF/IFAS said “… gardening can help improve the mental health of people who have existing medical conditions or challenges. Our study shows that healthy people can also experience a boost in mental well-being through gardening.”

Similar studies around the world have had comparable results. For example, during the last pandemic, the Mental Health Foundation, a charity in England devoted to promoting mental health, found that people who stayed connected to nature in some way – whether by taking a walk through the park, watching nature films or working in their own gardens – enjoyed better mental health and had less depression and anxiety than their peers.

Because we’re located in Spring Grove, Illinois, we often find that people tend to think of gardening as primarily a spring and summer activity. They seem to assume that nature’s beauty can only be enjoyed in a garden from May through October. But if properly designed, residential gardens in this area can be created to add a special magic to a family’s life all year long — indoors as well as outdoors.

Here are five elements we frequently use to create an outdoor space that can refresh your soul and replenish your energy every day of the year:

  1. Pathways, Patios and Boulders
Gardens should places to walk, sit, relax, talk, read and just enjoy the sights, sounds and fragrances of the natural world. Using various materials – stone, concrete, wood or metal – we create pathways by which you can journey through your garden to enjoy quiet contemplation as well as visual beauty. Boulders and stone formations can be used to balance the design, add contrasting color and texture throughout the year and provide areas for pets and wildlife to enjoy your garden too! Here's an example designed for one of our local clients:

pathway leading to water feature

  1. Trees and Shrubs
Shrubs and trees can be used to set the boundaries of your space and to create a sense of privacy. This lush wall of greenery, for example, forms a natural and colorful barrier that separates one area from another, delights the eye, adds a focal point to the garden and a home to birds and other wildlife. Even during a snowy winter, this oasis of foliage will add color, symmetry and a sense of joy to your space.

trees and shrubs

  1. Perennials
Perennials are plants that survive throughout the year, although some may bloom for only a few months. Their hardiness means that you can have a varied and substantial garden even on a limited budget. Perennials also take less energy and time to maintain than other plants, and they come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, textures and colors.


  1. Annuals
Annuals are flowering plants that live and bloom for only one year. Loved for their beautiful shapes and brilliant colors, they are ideal for creating focal points, filling gaps in borders and providing continuous blooms throughout the spring and summer. In addition, they attract pollinators like bees and butterflies to your garden.


  1. More Than a Garden – A Living Space All its Own
To make your garden even more inviting, why not add a pergola, seatwalls and benches to relax on as you revel in your own botanical space.

Or you might consider taking full advantage of our area’s warm weather months by building an outdoor kitchen like this one for family, friends and guests. If this idea appeals to you – explore this site a bit further and call Curt Peterson Landscaping at (847) 912-6319. Find out more about how we can build an outdoor kitchen like this one just for you.

living space
Thanks for reading! Enjoy the start of the growing season!
Yours, Curt


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