Zen garden design ideas, inspiration & pictures | homify Zen garden design ideas, inspiration & pictures

Zen garden design ideas, inspiration & pictures

What is a Zen garden?

It is a garden created with the purpose of transmitting harmony and tranquility, both to those who design and create it, as well as to those who contemplate it. They are popular in Eastern culture, but because of their beauty and meaning, they have gradually been introduced into India and globally, both in private homes and in shopping centers, offices and hotels. The history of these  gardens  traces its history to the ancient monasteries in Japan and Buddhist centers, where these spaces were designed especially for meditation on the way to enlightenment. The Japanese word for zen garden is karesansui and zen means meditation.

Main characteristics:

It is a dry garden, that is to say there is no presence of water so it is relatively easy to maintain. All of its elements must be of natural materials and harmonize with each other. They are simple in aesthetic and design transmitting harmony and tranquility. 

Some of the advantages of a Zen garden is that they're relatively cheap to build and its maintenance is very easy and inexpensive. The disadvantage is that if you lack information or knowledge, you might tend to mix it up with other types of gardens, such as Chinese or some other kind of Japanese garden. The Zen garden has its own elements and you have to respect them. Therefore, before creating a Zen garden you have to be well informed.

What are the elements of a Zen garden?

Sand: The main element of a zen garden is sand or gravel, in which wavy shapes, such as water, should be marked with a rake. In addition, these waveforms convey harmony. According to Zen philosophy, sand represents the environment in which we develop and as an element in the garden, helps us to remove all negative influences, including thoughts and attitudes. The sand opens the way to the tranquility and serenity of the human being.

Path: can be of stone, wood or sand. This way is to guide the visitor to the Zen garden to slowly travel the space. The meaning of the path is to recognize our own steps and how they help us to move forward in life. Also, that each step also means being consistent with our actions and decisions. 

Plants: green is life and Zen philosophy says it clearly. Therefore, to include plants, of preferences of soft forms is fundamental in a garden of this type. Ideally, the plants should be selected according to the climate of the region so that they grow naturally and not forced, for example, bamboo, jasmine, chrysanthemum, which are easy to grow in most of India. Although if you can get some plants of Japanese origin such as Japanese maple, bonsai, azalea or carex, it would be perfect. Do not forget to include bamboo, it is a main plant in the Zen garden. You should also take into account the tones of the greens and accommodate the plants according to their color palette, in order to convey beauty and harmony. 

Trees: the presence of trees is very important because it not only adds personality to the Zen garden, but also fills it with symbolic meaning according to the type of tree it is, for example if you have a chestnut, denotes courage, if you includes a pine tree, respect for old age. The typical trees of a Zen garden are willow, cherry and prunus. 

Stone: rocks of all sizes and textures, both to create the path, and to delimit the garden. The stones in a Zen garden symbolize the obstacles that we face daily and throughout our lives, which are always there, but we must learn to live with them. The stones help us learn this. They can also symbolize experience, fertility and eternity.

What materials can I include in a Zen garden?

In addition to the elements that make up a Zen garden, it is important that if you are to incorporate other objects choose the simple and natural materials, such as bamboo. A fence that delimits the garden will be a good idea and will increase the visual impact of your space.

You can also include small garden figures of soft shapes and natural tones. Avoid objects that attract a lot of attention or synthetic materials, that would completely break the aesthetics and harmony of your Zen garden. Also do not include hanging bridges or brightly colored flowers. Green and sandy color should be the predominant.

How to make your own Zen garden at home?

No matter what size you have available for your Zen garden, the procedure is very simple and is the same for large, small or miniature gardens. Here we tell you how to do it yourself, although you can also call one of the landscape architects in your city, to help you:

Step 1: Find the right space for the garden, which is perfect for contemplation. 

Step 2: Delimit the space with a bamboo or wood enclosure or if you place it indoors, build a wooden container of the size you want, but at least 10 cm deep. 

Step 3: Place a sturdy plastic over the wooden container or over the space where you will place the garden. 

Step 4: Fill it with sand. 

Step 5. Place the plants and stones and other decorative elements, including the path. Step 6. Mark wavy shapes on the sand. The design of a Zen garden has to be to your liking, but always taking care that everything looks aesthetically and in harmony. For more zen garden ideas and inspiration to design your own, continue browsing here in homify.