If you are planning to upgrade creatively your back yard, you can employ an exciting Japanese landscaping technique long known as the Zen Garden. It provides a cozy spot for yoga practice, meditation, unwinding, or just a beautiful alternative to a typical lawn.
In the early days, Zen gardens were completely dry, composed only of sand and rocks. However, new designs have accommodated bridges, water, and even lights. You can create one that encompasses all your outdoor space, or just a small area of the backyard.
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Bridges made of wood or stone, placed above gravel paths or ponds, or even connecting small islands make a great add-on. According to the Japanese, bridges are a symbol of transition from one space to another.
You can create an island using a single rock or a landform patterned with soil and rocks. In case you do not have enough space to create an actual island, you can represent one with big stones coming out of your pond.
3. Plants or flowers
Colorful, blooming flowers are not normally seen in Zen gardens. However, you may sometimes see lotus, lilies, and iris close to the shrubs or water, made into bonsai trees. Stones and moss growing on logs can help add greenery to the design.
White sand is used widely in this type of landscaping. You can either rake it or keep it unraked. When you rake the sand into curves, you create ripples very similar to what you will find in water bodies. It’s apt to keep the sand within low walls or fences. There are many other creative ways to keep the sand within boundaries.
Another prominent feature of Zen gardens would be stones that often symbolize islands, mountains, shrubs or animals. However, you should have an uneven number of stones to make them look natural. In addition, you can bury partially big rocks in the ground so that they appear to sprout from the earth.
Flowering plum, bamboo, cherry, dogwood, Japanese maple or old pine trees do extremely well in Zen style landscaping. After planting, the trees require just watering and rare fertilizing.
There is nothing more calming and relaxing than flowing or still water. In case you already have a pond in your garden, go for your Zen garden around the structure. Otherwise, create a pond and grow lotus blossoms for providing the right setting for meditation. You can also intersperse the pond with rocks, sand, and moss.
Water bodies emanate ever optimistic and positive energy. A waterfall can flow into a pond or cascade on rocks. Zen waterfalls are normally partly bordered by big rocks. You may also create a waterfall by using rocks in a plain sand garden.