Yes, naked gardening is a thing! Granted, the concept of pulling weeds in the buff doesn't appeal to us modest Midwesterners (or most anyone above the age of three). Nevertheless, I do believe that when someone is in a safe and private outdoor space where one could be naked, the space creates an exceptional feeling of calm. Now I’m not exactly promoting a practice of a nude lifestyle (indoors or out), but here are my reasons for recommending some outdoor privacy.
Front Yard/Back Yard
No doubt, we humans (introvert or not) are social creatures. The traditional front porch and entry gardens with welcoming pathways are located on the public, street-side of our houses are invitations to socialize. Although we love (and need) the friendliness, we sometimes seek privacy in the back yard, say, to enjoy the delights of lounging in our PJs while sipping coffee in the morning sun. Even a friendly “Hello” from your sweetest neighbor may feel like an intrusion when you want to be inside your own world while outside of your own house—in the back yard.
Just as the interiors of our houses allow for varying degrees of privacy, it makes sense to create areas in our outdoor living spaces that offer different levels of seclusion. Similarly, private zones are located away from activity and out of visual range from the general living areas. For even more isolation, interior features provide much needed “acoustical privacy,” as described by Architect, Sarah Susanka. We replicate these elements in landscape by carefully positioning structures and plants to create a comfortable experience and sense of seclusion. To incorporate acoustical privacy, we suggest the ambient sounds of a water feature, a fireplace with a crackling fire or an outdoor audio system.
Another indisputable fact: Spending time in nature is good. No, it’s essential! As humans, we crave and need fresh air, sunlight and the presence of plants and wildlife. It’s in the out of doors where we best experience awe. Whether we relax, exercise, study or sleep in nature, it improves our health, creativity and capacity to learn—and restores our sense of well-being. As humans, we are undeniably part of the natural world, and that’s where we feel most at home.
One of the goals of Mom’s Design Build when we shape our clients’ backyard living space, is to create a peaceful and secure feeling— almost as if the clients are inside their home. Whether you dream of reading the morning paper outside in your PJs or you wish to enjoy a romantic night in the gazebo—or if you decide to plant flowers wearing only sunscreen and gardening gloves—I encourage you to get comfortable in your great outdoors.