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Ultimate Guide on How to Make a Zen Garden

Ultimate Guide on How to Make a Zen Garden

Design a meditative space in your own backyard by learning how to make a Zen garden. Even the process is super calming.

Some gardeners use the color theory or “cool” colors, such as blue and lavender, to create a space for quiet contemplation. While some gardeners create a Zen garden, where they can unwind after a hard day’s work. Zen garden is ideal for gardeners who idolize nature. These gardeners like to interpret the world symbolically. However, keep in mind that although Zen gardens may look simple, they are a lot of work—both to make and to maintain. But trust us, Zen gardens are worth it!

Zen gardens are one of the most breathtaking sights you will ever see. Plus, creating a Zen garden in your own backyard is a great way to clear your mind and reflect on your thoughts. As you dig, snip, and water your Zen garden, you become mindful, more focused, and more present at the moment. It’s like growing something beautiful while feeding your mind and soul at the same time. Isn’t that a great activity to improve your mental health?

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What Is a Zen Garden?

The Japanese appreciate and value the raw beauty of nature, which accounts for their innovation of the Zen garden. The Zen garden was developed by Buddhist monks in ancient Japan. They often dubbed it as “miniature landscapes” since their components symbolize aspects of nature, such as flat rocks or rounded rocks symbolizes islands, narrow boulders symbolize mountains, and white gravel raked to have ripples symbolizes ocean waves. Of course, plants are part of the Zen garden. Short, green plants are grown on or around the flat rocks or rounded rocks that symbolize islands to represent island vegetation, but keep in mind that these plants must be pruned meticulously.

Tools and Supplies You Will Need on How to Make a Zen Garden

  • Back brace, work gloves
  • Edging stones
  • Hoe
  • Landscape fabric
  • Rocks in a variety of sizes and shapes
  • Shovel
  • Back brace, work gloves
  • Edging stones
  • Hoe
  • Landscape fabric
  • Rocks in a variety of sizes and shapes
  • Shovel

Site Selection and Preparation on How to Make a Zen Garden

Choose a flat area in your backyard. Mark out a rectangular portion of it. If you want to grow plants in your Zen garden, you need to check their sunlight requirements. Some gardeners build a masonry wall for a meditative space, but that is either expensive or undesirable. We suggest using a lattice fence to create privacy without spending too much.

Best Plants for a Zen Garden

  • Bamboo
  • Chinese Junipers
  • Chinese Lanterns
  • Corkscrew Rush
  • Creeping Junipers
  • Creeping Thyme
  • Crimson Queen Japanese Maple
  • Deutzia
  • Evergreen Azaleas
  • Ferns
  • Horsetail (in a container)
  • Japanese Forest Grass
  • Miniature Pines
  • Mondo Grass and Lilyturf
  • Moss
  • Pachysandra
  • Pagoda Dogwood
  • Silk Tree
  • Snow Fountains Weeping Cherry
  • Umbrella Pine
  • Yews

Steps on How to Make a Zen Garden

STEP 1: Clear the selected rectangular space completely. Remove any plants, stones, weeds, etc.

STEP 2: Using a shovel, dig and remove a few inches of the top layer of the existing soil.

STEP 3: Check for level by pounding stakes into the ground end-to-end. This should be done both lengthwise and widthwise within your rectangle. 

STEP 4: Using the steel garden rake, rake out uneven areas or spots.

STEP 5: Tamp down the soil.

STEP 6: Using cobblestones, place stone edging along the lattice fence. This edging will retain the white gravel.

STEP 7: Using a shovel, dig holes for the plants and rocks. The arrangement is subjective. You can check out Instagram or Pinterest for inspiration.

STEP 8: Install the plants and rocks in their holes. Bury tall, narrow rocks. This tip-of-the-iceberg placement will make the tall, narrow rocks look more natural.

STEP 9: Place landscape fabric over the soil, making cuts for the plants and rocks.

STEP 10: Spread a few inches of the white gravel by using a hoe. Rake ripples or swirls in it by using a wooden Zen rake. Maintain your Zen garden by raking these designs back into the gravel after the elements have disturbed them.

Cultivate mindfulness by learning how to make a Zen garden today. Check out our Plant Care blog to learn more about different houseplants and tips on how to keep your plants alive and healthy.

Whatever houseplant you choose to transform your home into a lively oasis, you’ll definitely need a stylish planter to display your plant baby in. No matter what your style, there’s an Omysa planter that will be perfect with your garden and home’s décor. From ceramics to fiberstone, check out Omysa’s Shop and add it to your cart!

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