Many people don’t know what “wellness” encompasses. According to UC Davis Student Health and Counselling Services, wellness can be defined as:

“Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth.”

There are eight dimensions of wellness. If one of them is out of sync, your wellbeing as a whole suffers. You will have difficulty dealing with stress, which left unchecked, may lead to serious health conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases and mental illnesses, including anxiety and depression.

Gardening is said to be a form of wellness therapy. Being able to cultivate an area of natural beauty can have great effects on your happiness. Many people are even incorporating a summer house into their garden, and transforming it into a personal wellness space. You can decide which one (or more) of the eight dimensions you would like to address in your wellness space.

There are many ideas to choose from. If you find therapy in:

  • Cooking you could utilise your space to prepare healthy meals to enjoy outdoors if the weather allows. What’s great about an activity such as this, is that it can be practised solo, or with someone else, which will contribute to social wellness.
  • Reading you could unwind with a relaxing novel on a comfortable chaise lounge. Books, even fictional ones, open new avenues for us which can benefit our intellectual wellness.
  • Holistic health you could create a yoga, meditation, or gratitude studio. All of these practices bring about calm and spiritual wellness. Gratitude is scientifically proved to improve our mental, and physical health.
  • Bathing you could turn your summer house into a home spa. A soak in an aromatic hot tub, fragranced with flowers from your garden will undoubtedly increase your emotional wellness levels.

Regardless of the purpose of your construction, these are a few tips to keep in mind when creating your wellness sanctuary.

Natural Light

The space must have windows to allow for natural light. Your body needs vitamin D, derived from sunlight to facilitate healthy bone growth.


Many garden constructs are already insulated. This allows for the ambient temperature to be comfortable.

Colour Scheme

Few gardens in the city have large areas, so you’re likely to invest in a smaller log cabin. When decorating, opt for neutral, earthy tones. These will invoke a sense of relaxation. If you want to add an accent, blue and green are colours to consider as they are cool, soothing tones.


A softly aromatic geranium or vanilla candle will add warmth to any space. The gentle fragrance will invoke a sense of calm. You could even dry lavender flowers and rose petals from your garden and use as potpourri or in your hot tub. The sound of wooden wind chimes swaying in the wind is soothing.

Outside the Summer House

If you have space, consider a water feature, or koi pond. Put a nectar feeder in a tree to attract birdlife to your garden. Bird watching in itself is therapeutic. Plant scented plants in your garden. These will attract butterflies and bees, transforming your garden into a beautiful and natural space.

Whatever you decide, your personal wellness space is sure to reduce stress and raise happiness.