Pay close attention to details, especially in the realm of comfort. Be sure the seating you use fits your body. A good-looking chair that is not suited to your favorite relaxing position won't draw you to use it. This is a place where looks matter to only you, so let comfort predominate over style.
If you don't have any outer views to take advantage of, create your own views within the secret retreat. Add the plants and yard art that you enjoy the most. This is a good place for mirth and personal expression. Keep a large basket of pottery shards or colorful stones and create a mosaic around where you sit, adding to it or changing it with each visit.
Specimen plants or favorite plants are good additions to a private and very personal meditation spot. Because this garden is for you, you should choose the plants that make you feel most comfortable and that you enjoy taking care of. Avoid overdesigning a space that might look good on the cover of a magazine but that feels too formal or stiff for everyday use, or that becomes a maintenance burden.
Another consideration is fragrance. Scent is the most evocative of all the senses and can make you feel as comfortable as any chair or majestic view.
You could use all the ideas covered on these pages and have a wonderful getaway only to have your time there marred by distracting sounds, such as a jet flying overhead, honking cars, or a barking dog. A fountain may help to drown out unwelcome noise. By adding a fountain with a variable jet, you can adjust the white noise to the level you desire when you desire it.
Continued on page 4: Gallery of Ideas