Gardens as Sanctuary

Gardens have long offered sanctuary from our busy lives. They are our personal haven where we relax, re-charge and rethink. But when you design green spaces for a living and gorgeous gardens are the equivalent of your office, can they also be your sanctuary? Hugh Main, landscape architect, finds sanctuary at the beach….

“Because I’m surrounded by gardens all the time it’s always going round and round in my head I find a great place to get sanctuary is the beach because I don’t have to look at what other people have done, I can just think about space and air and not think about people, especially when you’re swimming out, with the whole of the city behind you and nothing ahead of you – it gives me my greatest sense of peace and relaxation.”

Seaside time is universally relaxing and rejuvenating – the absolute definition of sanctuary – but sometimes we don’t want to go further than our own backyard in the quest for downtime. And don’t worry if your back yard is an urban concrete box – with a bit of creative thinking that elusive sanctuary is just around the corner.

Hugh lives in a small apartment in a beachside suburb in Sydney. He has a small outdoor space that consists of a table, a couple of chairs, and few plants.

“It’s enough space to come out and have a cup of coffee and feel the sun on your face. The plants that I’ve chosen are plants I can absolutely neglect and they still look fantastic, I don’t need to do anything to them and they still flower and flourish, they really have very few demands. What I love about this place is the big clump of palm trees on top of the hill and you can see the horizon from here and suddenly I feel sense of peace. If you’re able to have just a little space outside to collect your thoughts and to refresh your spirit - if you’ve got it then it just creates happiness and harmony in yourself….”


Hugh Main
Spirit Level
1st Floor, 722 Bourke St
Redfern 2016
t: 02 8399 0660

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