The purpose of a zen garden is for contemplation, meditation and relaxation. A zen a garden has a very distinct style with features that showcase the symbolism behind these important qualities.
The first instance of a zen garden stems from the 14th century in Kyoto, Japan. However, today you will find this popular garden style an appreciated art form in exterior landscaping. How do we achieve this look for our own backyard? There are several ways to make a zen garden for your peace of mind.
Many zen gardens create sandy areas similar to a children’s sandbox. The difference is the sand isn’t necessarily as deep as a children’s sandbox nor is it meant to be tampered with frequently. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t play with it. In zen garden design, white sand is used in sectioned off areas with one or two large rocks placed atop of it. Some people use large racks to create wavy patterns in the sand around the rocks and throughout it similar to the ripples of a river or body of water.
Rocks and Gravel
Many zen gardens use rocks and gravel to create designs that resemble a river with twists and turns throughout the landscape. There is a fluidity to the rocks and gravel. They are stagnant but still in motion.
Moss and Greenery
Moss is a common plant found in zen garden design. It can grow where many plants have trouble growing. It can also be used to fill any spots with exposed soil or soil that will no longer grow grass and other plants naturally. In places where plants will grow, try adding some greenery, foliage and flowers. Do not overload your zen garden with too many elements.
The pathways can lead to anywhere you choose in a zen garden. It may lead from one feature of the garden to the next, or it can wrap fully around the garden in a labyrinth style. Stepping stones and river rocks work like a charm when creating pathways around your garden.
Places to Relax
You can add seating to your zen garden for a place to rest as you admire your surroundings. A bamboo bench, a stone table with stone seating or a well-placed daybed. Avoid ornate furniture with too many embellishments. Stick to a minimalist japanese style for your furniture.
It isn’t always necessary to have a source of water in your zen garden. However, some people like to add it to their motif. Think simple and still for water. You may have a small square pool with a large rock in the center or a tiny pond with bamboo planted off to one side.
Now that you know how to make a zen garden, you can begin your journey to making a serene sanctuary for you to enjoy outdoors in the comfort of your home.