Can’t really get away from it all on a vacation? Achieve that vacation state of mind at home. Spending more time outdoors – even in your own backyard – gives your mind and body a chance to rejuvenate.

Your idea of a backyard retreat could range from English Garden to Southwestern Spa. The plants and outdoor accessories you choose will set the tone. You’re trying to create an outside room, so adding places to sit or lounge, plenty of small tables to hold beverages and reading material are a must. Tables can be as simple as a slice of tree trunk or an old crate. 

Next, surround your sitting area with plenty of plants or flowers. Being close to nature will soothe you as you enjoy your morning coffee. Take notice of the amount of sun in this area and choose plants that will thrive with you. If you prefer shade, add a patio umbrella or build a pergola. And since privacy is important for a retreat, some of your potted plants can be tall to create a wall feeling – like grasses or bamboo.

Sensory indulgences are important in a retreat as well. Create more nature to drown out modern noise with a bubbling water feature or delicate wind chime. Attract birds to watch with bird feeders and a bird bath. And add candles or string lights in the evening for sunset ambience. It’s not too hard to turn your backyard into the retreat you really need.