Using the right colors in the garden can make the garden a refuge from worry and bring peace to an anxious mind.
The objective of a sensory garden designed to alleviate anxiety is to create an environment that encourages the heart rate to slow down and the mind to relax. For that reason, there may be some colors you wish to use and some you may wish to avoid incorporating into your design for these individuals.
Colors that alleviate anxiety
Fortunately, green is a fantastic color for reducing anxiety. Green is known as being quiet, restful, and soothing. Green comes naturally in the garden. Do not feel like you need to hide it with an overly colorful garden.
Another fantastic color for calming the mind and lowering the heart rate of those who suffer from anxiety is the color blue. Blue is peaceful. Blue is calming. Blue reminds many of us of less stressful days sitting on the green grass and watching the sky. It is those types of fond, peaceful memories that you want to remember in this sensory garden.
Other great colors to use include purple, which can create a peaceful, tranquil feeling, pink, which has a calming effect that promotes balance, and soft whites, which encourage a purity of heart and mind.
Overall, you want to strive for a cool and pastel palette of colors in your sensory garden if you want to calm the anxious body and mind.
The colors you should avoid
You may want to avoid using many intense “warm” colors in your garden. Specifically, the colors of bright orange and red may counteract the peaceful feeling you want in your garden.
The color red is associated with an increased heart rate and an increase in the fight or flight response. While it can “lift your spirits” to some extent, avoid overdoing it in the garden. If you really like red, a few red roses or other highlights might be best. Likewise orange encourages powerful emotions that are not necessarily calming. It’s best to use orange sparingly.