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Find your zen in your garden

Mon 17th May 2021

Add some zen to your home with a beautiful garden.
Add some zen to your home with a beautiful garden.

A Japanese rock garden, or zen garden, may look simple but in fact takes much care and consideration to create.

Once the planning has been completed, however, it can bring peace and tranquillity to a courtyard, front entry or small backyard area.

The Japanese Garden Association reports a zen garden is a paradox - both simple and complicated at the same time - but it is that depth to its design that makes the garden so emotionally moving.

Placing zen garden elements willy nilly around the yard is a big mistake - each aspect needs to be meticulously chosen and placed, even if the final result seems haphazard.

To start, gardeners should identify what the garden is to be used for - will it be a place to sit in quiet contemplation? Or will it be a space to walk through, so pathways need to be considered?

This will help determine the style of zen garden to create.

Encyclopedia Britannica reveals there are many styles that can suit the available space and intended use - such as water garden, forest and water, literary scholar, tea garden, and front of entrance.

A water feature such as a pond or waterfall is typical in most gardens, however if there is no access to water or in particularly dry climates, stones and pebbles are seen to create the same illusion.

In a tea garden, a water basin is an essential element; while in a literary scholar garden, bonsai plants are typical features.

The plants used are evergreens such as conifers, rather than flowers; although cherry and plum trees that blossom can help provide colour.

Create the illusion of running water with pebbles.
Create the illusion of running water with pebbles.

Moss, meanwhile, is encouraged to grow to help boost greenery among stones or instead of lawn. Stone lanterns and figures are interspersed in the greenery and if there is space, a bridge over a pond is a common feature.

A large stone placed at the entry point acts as a welcome sign and bamboo can be used for a pagoda or even just line the fence to boost the atmosphere.

When used at the front of a house, a zen garden can decorate the entry path to the front door but gardens do not need to be so accessible, and can be set up in any sized space in the garden, or even along a narrow side of a house.

If plants, lawn and stone is too much to fill the space, a dry landscape may appeal.

This involves laying out pebbles across an area, with at least three square metres being a good size. The stones are raked into straight line, circles or swirling patterns.

The only maintenance proviso is that zen gardens are kept meticulously manicured and clean, which may mean regular weeding and pruning.

Whether you're just getting started or maintaining your zen garden, find quality, expert tradies to help with Buy Search Sell.

By Cara Jenkin