Japanese Style Gardens

Zen gardens are good for your mental health as they are a simple peaceful place to spend time in.  They are easy to create and easy to maintain.  I suggest you choose between one of these Japanese styles: a flat garden or a hills and pond garden. Here are some thoughts for creating a calm garden in your own style.

  • Pools stand for lakes and positive energy
  • Rocks represent whole mountains
  • Source wooden or stone bridges, stone lanterns, basins and pagodas
  • Experiment with a combination of Japanese maples, pines, cherry trees, evergreens and bamboo.
  • Choose a relaxing focal point such as a tree, bridge or rock.
  • Find meaningful simple gates or create small windows in walls
  • Raked gravel represents water
  • Encourage moss and lichen for a lush green look

First choose your stones, then your trees, and then your shrubs!  Make sure you pick ideal rocks as they are the backbone of a subtle Japanese garden.  Look for tall stones and or low flat stones.  Lay them out in threes or use them as stepping stones in fives or sevens.  The stepping stones must be one to three inches above the garden soil. Use wider stones when you want people to put both both feet on them.

In your garden you are looking always for balance. Remember less is more! Emptiness or minimalism is a good thing in these spiritual gardens.  Go easy on the showy color combinations for a feeling of tranquility and harmony.  Don’t plant anything too flashy – when in doubt go for native plants for a rustic feel.