How To Build A Zen Garden In Your Backyard
A zen garden, also known as a Japanese rock garden is an ideal way to make a meditative sanctuary in your yard. They are a little bit of work to create, yet are easy to maintain and will offer you a peaceful corner to meditate, do yoga or simply relax.
If you are somebody without a green thumb, then this could be your ideal solution for an outside design as it doesn’t rely heavily on plants. Instead rocks and water are the main elements.
It is a unique bit of landscaping that can help add value to your home if you plan to sell, as well.
In this article, we will go over some of the basics you need to know to create your very own zen garden.
Zen garden elements
There are many design features that you can get creative with, but the two main elements that are a must are rocks and an outdoor water fountain or other water feature.
The idea behind the concept is to recreate the setting so common in Japan. It has a mainly rocky coastline. In other words, plenty of rocks and water. The sound of running water or a bubbling brook is very important to create a sense of calm. Water has a lot of meditative properties so it is an essential ingredient.
Rocks are often gravel so they are less maintenance than sand, and the Japanese monks used to use rakes to make ripples to mimic ocean waves.
Select and prepare your site
Take stock of how much space you have in your outdoor area to be able to come up with a plan. You don’t need a lot of space to have a zen garden and if you do have a large space you don’t need to use all of it. A small corner of your property is probably going to be big enough.
The area should be flat and ideally shaped in a rectangle. If you can’t manage a perfect rectangle it is not a problem. Work with the shape of the area you have. The area should also be closed in to be able to block out the sounds and sights of the outside world. It should be a little refuge.
Constructing a wall may not be viable for some, so try to use plants to enclose the area. This will also factor into your decision as to where to create it as you will need sunlight for them.
If you have some natural features in your garden like a large rock, or a small hill, then you can use that to add some stylistic elements. Use the rocks to surround the feature and create the ripples around it.
What to avoid
You don’t want too many distractions within the garden so don’t use too many colors. You should have white gravel and green plants. That should be enough color.
Try to keep everything in scale too. This means that if your space is small, don’t put a large bridge in the middle of it as it won’t work for the harmony you are trying to create.