Zen gardens are meant to be peaceful, relaxing places where you can meditate without any distractions. Classically, Zen gardens are like small landscapes with water features and mountain views or shapes. If you want to build a tranquil area on your property, here are some tips for creating your very own Zen garden. It’s also possible to create a dry garden if you don’t want to worry about water features, but still include some water elements to evoke the same feeling.
Find a site.
The best location for a Zen garden is a level section that you can easily build on. If possible, mark out a rectangle of 10 feet by 16 feet. It’s also a good idea to move as far away from noise as possible. Dig out the section approximately four inches deep. Make sure the site is level by using a carpenter’s level. Be sure to level out the ground before creating the Zen garden. Once it’s level, pack down the soil using a tamper.
You can also create a Zen garden without digging out the space. In this case, just section off the area and make sure to level the ground so that you’re starting with an even surface.
Set the scene
Once you have the site ready, line the edge with stones. Try to choose large, rectangular stones that are all around the same size. If you don’t want to use stones, put two-by-fours around the edges, hammering them in place so that they stay put.
Decide where features will go.
Figure out what you want to add to the garden, then decide where those features are going to go. Where will you put lighting fixtures, plants and seating areas? Are you going to add any statues? Mark these areas in the dirt so that you can plan everything out before you actually start adding items. Zen gardens typically have things like a meditation bench, pagoda lanterns, water features, plants and statues of Buddha.
Fill in the space
Once your features are in place, fill in the empty space on the ground with crushed granite or small stones. You’ll want to fill about three to four inches of depth with the granite or stones. Use a hoe to evenly spread the material throughout the garden so that the ground is even.
If you’re using crushed granite, you may want to use a rake to create “waves.” Water is a common element in Zen gardens, and this is a way to include it even if you’re setting up a dry garden. You may assume that sand is a better material for creating these waves, but the waves won’t hold in the sand, so crushed granite is a better, longer lasting option.
Note that if your Zen garden is in an area that’s prone to weed growth, you may want to put down landscaping fabric before adding stones or grained. Granite and pebbles, which are considered a type of inorganic mulch, can help deter weeds, but to make sure they stay away, landscaping fabric will provide even more protection.
Prune the plants
Take a good look at the plants in your Zen garden and decide if any of them need to be pruned. For example, you may have a tree right next to the meditation bench. If the lower leaves are getting in the way, trim them back, which will create a pretty, shady canopy over the bench. You can also trim some shrubs into sleek, symmetrical shapes.
Having a Zen garden in your backyard means you’ll always have a place that’s perfect for escaping daily stressors, giving you the chance to get more centered.
My name is Jordan and I am an editor at. I love to work on different projects that reuse and recycle materials. I love the feeling of working with my hands and making something from nothing out of them! When I’m not working on a project, I usually spend my down town hanging with friends and attempting to live my best life!