I keep reading over and over again about how much a simple walk in the woods can improve our mental health. I completely believe it! When I’m out in my little garden, or tromping through the forest with my girls, I feel so relaxed. It’s so therapeutic. If you’re like me and you suffer from anxiety or you’re a real “deep-feeler”, I bet you’d also benefit from spending some time outdoors in the woods. We’re lucky enough to have a little forest behind our house on our acreage, so I decided I needed to take my “forest therapy” one step further and create a little secret garden swing retreat for myself. She Sheds are all the rage right now, so why not a “She Swing” retreat? It’s a lot more affordable, and you can make your secret garden swing retreat as simple or as complex as you’d like. Here’s how I made mine.

A secret garden swing retreat - the perfect little mini patio in the woods with a shade garden, a wooden swing, and a side table for drinks

A secret garden swing retreat - the perfect little mini patio in the woods with a shade garden, a wooden swing, and a side table for drinks

First, we plotted out the perfect spot in the woods for my mini retreat. We’re building a tree house for the girls in our backyard, so I decided to situate my swing in a location where I could watch the girls play.

A secret garden swing retreat - the perfect little mini patio in the woods with a shade garden, a wooden swing, and a side table for drinks

Next, I planted some plants given to me by my parents next to the swing site. They gave me a Bleeding Heart and some ferns – both love the shade and are so beautiful! I also bought a Hosta and planted it here too.

A secret garden swing retreat - the perfect little mini patio in the woods with a shade garden, a wooden swing, and a side table for drinks

Next, my husband dumped a load of sand where we wanted the swing to go (and the rest of the sand was used for a sandbox beneath the new tree house).

My hubby’s the type of guy that likes to haul all sorts of treasures home. Sometimes they’re from construction jobs he’s working on, and he’s even been known to haul things home from the dump that he thinks might be useful one day… This passion of his really came in handy for this project – he had a pile of patio stones just waiting to be used!

A secret garden swing retreat - the perfect little mini patio in the woods with a shade garden, a wooden swing, and a side table for drinks

A swing base from leftover, free patio stones and a view of the treehouse

We laid some square patio stones on the sand for the main swing base, and then we edged these with some patio stones that looked like river rocks. Finally, I made a little path along the garden I planted out of broken patio stones. I think the whole effect is rather cottagey and lovely!

A secret garden swing retreat - the perfect little mini patio in the woods with a shade garden, a wooden swing, and a side table for drinks

Now for this gorgeous garden swing! I ordered the Wood Canyon Patio Swing from The Brick with this project in mind. The swing looked so rustic and cozy, and I could picture it in a beautiful wooded setting like our forest.

A secret garden swing retreat - the perfect little mini patio in the woods with a shade garden, a wooden swing, and a side table for drinks

You do have to assemble this swing, so make sure you’re ready for an adventure when your swing arrives! It did take me the good part of a morning to build our swing, but I was SUPER proud of myself when I was done. The instructions that came with the swing were really easy to follow, and my girls even helped me build it by handing me nuts and bolts! Hubby helped me tighten some of the bolts at the end to make sure the stand was nice and sturdy.

A secret garden swing retreat - the perfect little mini patio in the woods with a shade garden, a wooden swing, and a side table for drinks

The quality of this garden swing is fantastic, and I can picture us enjoying this for years to come! I love it in our forest retreat setting, but it would also look really great on a backyard patio or a large porch. It’s also on sale right now.

A secret garden swing retreat - the perfect little mini patio in the woods with a shade garden, a wooden swing, and a side table for drinks

To style my secret garden swing retreat, I put an electrical reel table and this super stylish Sandstone Accent Table beside our swing. I love this little accent table!

A secret garden swing retreat - the perfect little mini patio in the woods with a shade garden, a wooden swing, and a side table for drinks

It’s made of metal, so it’s durable and it could work indoors or outdoors. I’ve also placed it on our porch and it looks great there too. It’s the perfect height for holding drinks or a tiny cup of tea that I might have the time to gulp down between refereeing the kids.

A secret garden swing retreat - the perfect little mini patio in the woods with a shade garden, a wooden swing, and a side table for drinks

A secret garden swing retreat - the perfect little mini patio in the woods with a shade garden, a wooden swing, and a side table for drinks

For the upcycled spool table (which I simply dry brushed with some white paint to give it a little more character), I made a shade-loving planter filled with begonias, coleus and some English ivy. I can’t wait to see how this one fills out.

A secret garden swing retreat - the perfect little mini patio in the woods with a shade garden, a wooden swing, and a side table for drinks

The swing itself is actually really comfortable to sit and swing on, but to make it even more cozy I added a blanket, a DIY pillow, and a floral pillow by Craftberry Bush.

To make this little spot a little more romantic for an evening escape for two, I simply added some twinkle lights…

A secret garden swing retreat - the perfect little mini patio in the woods with a shade garden, a wooden swing, and a side table for drinks

A secret garden swing retreat - the perfect little mini patio in the woods with a shade garden, a wooden swing, and a side table for drinks

… and swapped out the tea cup on the Sandstone Accent Table for some wine glasses.

A secret garden swing retreat - the perfect little mini patio in the woods with a shade garden, a wooden swing, and a side table for drinks

Wrapping old outdoor Christmas lights around trees is an easy and inexpensive way to add some sparkle and romance to your backyard. I also used the same string lights I used on my porch and hung them between a couple of trees. Battery operated lanterns add the final touch. I also draped a piece of lace fabric over the upcycled spool side table to add a bit more glamour.

A secret garden swing retreat - the perfect little mini patio in the woods with a shade garden, a wooden swing, and a side table for drinks

It’s such a romantic escape for after the kiddos are in bed!

A secret garden swing retreat - the perfect little mini patio in the woods with a shade garden, a wooden swing, and a side table for drinks

Our tree house is almost done, so now I’m all ready to watch the kiddos from my little forest retreat. Meanwhile, they’re playing in the sandbox below the tree house so I’ve already been enjoying my “she swing”. It’s so relaxing and the therapy of being out in the woods can’t be beat.

A secret garden swing retreat - the perfect little mini patio in the woods with a shade garden, a wooden swing, and a side table for drinks

Hooray for a little “me time”… even if it’s for only just a moment!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by The Brick. As always, all of the opinions here are my own. I only recommend companies that I use and love myself.