On Creating a "Garden Nook" for our Backyard

If you follow along on the Web for any hobby you might be interested in, you are certain to come across posts/articles in the early part of the calendar year that are all about 'trends to watch in 2020'.  One of the pieces that I read recently is this one called 'What will be the hot gardening trends of 2020?'.  There are some things in there that I think I see popping up over-and-over like "Plant Parenting" and the adoption of succulents (due to climate change/low water usage, etc), but there was one item that really got my attention:  Garden Nooks.  Those little 'secluded spot' that you can create in your garden.  From PennLive:
Jody Davey, an indoor horticulture and programs specialist at Hershey Gardens, says she’s seeing more people interested in creating secluded spots for relaxing and enjoying their yard’s gardens.

“Part of the reward of nurturing a garden is spending leisure time in the beautiful outdoor space you’ve created,” she said. “A garden nook tucked away within that space is the perfect place to pause, relax, and appreciate.”

Davey says nooks are typically in the shade (although they don’t have to be) and have comfortable seating as well as accessories that might include a water feature, a fountain, or wind chimes.

“The concept of garden nooks is certainly not a new one,” she said, “but the idea is experiencing some renewed popularity as we all continue our quest for that ever-elusive work-life balance.”
The idea of a garden nook is interesting to me and something that I've thought about in some ways.  Our landscape plan calls for the installation of something as a focal point about 2/3rds of the way back that kind of *juts* out into the yard.  It would then create this little 'hidden space' behind it.

About the same time as that Penn Live piece came out, I came across a few other stories.  First, was this tips piece from Garden Design that talks about using the "Mystery of the unseen" in your garden design:
If you want to make a small outdoor space more interesting or appear larger, you can use an ancient Japanese design technique known as miegakure or ‘hide and reveal.’ This entails partially obscuring a view or features in a garden to create an illusion of distance. A half-hidden vista also encourages people to explore a space because the ‘mystery of the unseen’ is quite tantalizing. If you see only a partial view of a landscape you will invariably move forward to see what is ahead.

You can hide parts of your garden by planting a leafy plant in a strategic spot, angling a walk or set of steps or locating a mounded plant bed in front of the view. You can even use shadows to darken an area which makes it appear to recede in the distance.
(emphasis, mine).

The other piece that struck me was the creation of a garden nook that is quite accurately:  a nook.  Check out the image here:
Via Garden Design comes this image of a *real* garden nook.  This is not my photo above.  Original here
Based on Google Image Search, this appears to be called a Japanese Moon Gate, but this one in particular *might* actually be built in Sri Lanka?  Doesn't matter where it is located, but what matters more is how you feel after seeing this little entrance in the garden.  You just want to walk down that path, don't you?  To the secluded area beyond what you can see?

This is a lush, tropical garden that we could never grow in our zone.  But, what about using the structure like this 'moon gate' to draw people further back into the yard?  Could we use a large, berm + a focal-point tree (conifer) along with something like this to create that little garden nook that is so on trend right now?


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