Photo: garden by Wildroof Landscapes Penrith Cumbria

From Hygge to Shinrin-yoku

From Hygge to Shinrin-yoku

The team from Wildroof Landscapes and Buzy Lizzie constructed a fascinating stand for the Cumbria Life Home & Garden Show at Rheged last week. Liz Newport, aka Buzy Lizzie and one of the curators of the Show, took as her theme a Japanese ‘forest bathing’ approach to relaxing gardens. You might have read about Danish hygge – comfort, cosiness and warmth – but forest bathing (or shinrin-yoku in Japanese) is a refreshing, green and invigorating alternative.

“At its simplest, a forest bathing trip involves being amongst trees for relaxation and recreation,” says Liz. “Studies in Japan and the US have demonstrated both psychological and physiological benefits with physical benefits probably coming from inhaling volatile substances called phytoncides which are emitted by trees. These are essential oils, such as α–Pinene and limonene.”

Liz and husband, Phil, are working on ideas for Cumbrian gardens that build in some of the traditional Japanese forest bathing ideas, especially where clients have mature trees already in place but want to add new planting to create woodlands to enjoy for many years to come.

“The forest bathing approach can work well even in a smaller garden,” says Liz, “and we’ve incorporated dwarf pines into this sort of design in the past.

You can find out more about “forest bathing” online at www.shinrin-yoku.org or by getting in touch with Liz or Phil at Wildroof Landscapes.