Creating Your Very Own Japanese Zen Garden

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If you are one of the lucky few to own your very own garden space or a backyard, Summer is no doubt the time to enjoy in the same. With the help of carefully selected plants and a few tips along the way you may end up with your very own dreamy far east escape. 

Here are a few DESIGN SCENE notes for creating your very own Japanese Zen Garden, a perfect space for peace and relaxation: 

That Dream Garden

No matter where you live creating a stunning Japanese zen garden can come easy with selection of the right plants and a few tricks along the way. A Japanese Zen Garden is a great solution for a small and often tiled garden. Water is no doubt a primary aspect of such gardens, therefore in the centre of your garden you should look into placing a stream like garden, a small pond or another source of continuously streaming water. In addition to water creating a cool spot in the garden it will no doubt come as the important element of peace and tranquillity opening your space. Creating one can be easy by redesigning a dark tent or rearranging the tall greenery you already own.

Amongst gardeners a Japanese zen garden is the epitome of sophisticated design and perfect balance of minimal yet opulent nature. No matter the case it is a true escape from the busy daily schedule, and a place for meditation and tranquillity. Taking in account each garden comes with different dimensions as well as orientation therefore there are many aspects to look out for. While we can find inspiration when browsing photos of Japanese gardens on Instagram or perhaps visiting some of the public ones we have in the area. In case your garden has south or west orientation you are faced with a garden insulated throughout the day, therefore creating that shady spot we were talking about is a bit more of a task. Designing a shade with a pergola, some sort of an artificial shade or perhaps with a custom made shader surrounded by bamboo plants is an easy solution.

Selecting The Right Tiling

Earth toned nuances are pivotal when creating your own Japenese Zen Garden in your backyard, if you are working with a larger garden you could use the most of it’s geometrical shape. Furthermore a bigger garden may allow you creating your very own artificial pond. However, if you are working with a smaller space you may look into the smaller stream-fountains which might not bring in the visual effect you desire but will come in important while creating the sound of the calming streaming water. The best effect while choosing the tile can be achieved by forming your own water streams throughout the tiles. Therefore the tiles can be used to create that small must have pond or water fountain. 

It is important to know, the tiles are an integral part of a Japanese garden, yet the same should not come as primary. Tiles are often used to create steps, paths and the relaxation area within the garden. Unlike an oriental garden where tiling is taking over a big portion, when creating a Japanese garden it is important to organise the tiles only as a complimentary element to the existing greenery. Opt for rock like tiles, and irregular shapes while choosing the tiling.

Selecting The Right Plants

Asian plants which are used in Japanese gardens should last you for many years to come. While selecting your plants the colour of the same might not be as important as the texture of the greenery itself. Pappas plants and decorative grasses are to play an important role in your Japanese zen garden. A great shade and protection from the outdoor views are the bamboo trees and you may go wild with the same, the more the better. Beautiful trees are also a great signature of a Japanese garden, such as pines or the Japanese Ilex Crenata are no doubt good choice.

Finally there is no Japanese garden without a true garden bonsai, you should place it in the ground along with its pot or planter. Between all of these greenery you can not forget the flowers, the flowers are used to signal the season in a Japanese garden. No doubt a must have is the Japanese Cherry Tree, a true spring favourite, but also Japanese Azaleas and Camellia’s which can be modelled into low flowering hill like landscapes. In addition to using flowers such as Iris and Lirope Muscar which are blooming year round in the shades of white and blue. Come late summer, your Japanese Anemones will take the spotlight.

End of the summer season, by planting beautiful Japanese maple trees you are certain to enjoy the stunning nuances of autumn. And for the end, make sure to not forget the moss, use plenty of it!

Words by ARCHISCENE and DESIGN SCENE Magazine Health and Lifestyle Editor Juliette Picard.