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How to Make a Zen Garden

What You Need to Know About a Zen Garden

Zen Garden, Sand, Gravel, Water Feature, Landscaping Materials

Zen Garden Design

Rivar Sand and Gravel’s experts always enjoy discussing garden design and how to use natural landscaping materials for massive effect and unquestionable appeal.

Zen is the Japanese word for a Chinese term dzjen which means absorption or meditative state.

The allure of a Zen garden cannot be underestimated. Its origins lie in Japan and the environment should be tranquil, light and soothing. A natural calm prevails so you rarely see hot or multicoloured plants, modern artwork or complicated structures which could be visually arresting and less Zen.

A Zen garden is organised and intended to assist peacefulness and contemplation.

An integral part of planning your Zen garden is deciding whether the design will cover part or the entire garden space. You can plan your garden on your computer or make a desk size model, there’s no reason why you can’t play with your design.

Think About What to Implement Into Your Zen Garden

Think about whether you want statues, Buddha’s perhaps, or boulders or a mixture of these. The size and breadth of these can affect the overall appearance of your Zen garden. A four foot Buddha may sound appealing but will it detract from other parts of your design? Would a two foot boulder enhance the serenity?

A water feature is a must. Water is seen as positive energy so it’s a favourite in Zen gardens.

Sand is normally used in a Zen garden but if your preference is for gravel then you’re free to use this landscaping material. One of the inherent details of a Zen garden is a moulded and raked finish to the sand and gravel.

Fine sand and gravel works excellently; sand is arguably more malleable. Consider circles, stripes, figures and shapes, as long as the overall effect is calming you can rake your landscaping materials in to any design. The best results are often found with sand or gravel laid around four inches deep.

A zen garden is essentially a dry garden but the raking often delivers a gently rippling water effect.

If you don’t like a design or grow weary of it, just redesign, re-rake and at no additional cost you can transform your space.

If you add pebbles or small rocks the key is to ensure that the space doesn’t become cluttered. These landscaping materials should be used wisely to achieve maximum visual appeal and a tranquil mind.

When you think about planting you can be as sparing as you wish. If your enthusiasm for gardening isn’t high then you can leave a zen garden without any plants. Most people opt for some planting though as it softens the garden’s appearance.

Dark green represents yin energy and yellow blossoms are yang energy.

For pathways in a zen garden use landscaping materials to edge them rather than manufactured products. This will offer a greater sense of harmony.

Adding lighting to the space will enhance the garden’s beauty at nightfall.

For more advice, please ask one of the experts at Rivar Sand and Gravel. We’re happy to help.

Locations we cover:

(Surrey) Virginia Water, Egham, Staines

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