Basic elements of Japanese zen gardens are plants, stones and water combined together to create a peaceful and relaxing area perfect for mindful practices and tranquil retreat. Regardless of the size of your backyard, you can transform it into a zen garden you’ll never want to leave again. Read on to learn about some gorgeous ideas for turning outdoor space into a zen retreat. 

Design a gravel garden

When it comes to essential elements of authentic Japanese garden design, gravel garden takes up an important place. It’s the central part of every zen garden. You can choose a suitable size for your gravel garden and place it wherever you want. In order to assure easier maintenance, put down the edging and a weed barrier and definitely opt for gravel that’s round and small, so you are able to take it easily. You can use a different combination of gravel size, where the tiny stones will serve as a base and larger ones as a decoration and variety. What makes a gravel garden even more beautiful are some small plants such as succulents, moss, and grass. Moss is a perfect choice as it is quite resilient and it can survive in a place where no other plant can. 

Provide comfortable seating

In order to be able to enjoy your zen garden to its fullest, you need to choose a perfect set of outdoor furniture. There are so many options available varying from the typical table and chairs sets, beach chairs to the soft sofa and armchairs sets. Add some throw pillows and blankets when it starts to get chilly outside for the best experience. The furniture is best placed in an area that’s covered in concrete you can maintain easily. If you don’t have any concrete areas in your backyard, you can opt for decorative, general and premium one and incorporate it into your garden. 

Add plants, greenery and trees

Plants add colour to every garden, including a zen garden. As far as the choice of plants is concerned, you should opt for shrubs and local greenery as they are easier to maintain and they are present all year long. You can put some of the plants in pots and arrange them all around your garden to achieve that fairytale-like look. Japanese zen gardens are all about showing a difference in texture, style and colour. You can use all kinds of evergreens to achieve this effect. You can also add textural contrast with shrubs as well. Typical flowers that are usually seen in zen gardens include lilies, lotus and iris while the popular tree types include bamboo, flowering plum or cherry, Japanese maple, dogwood or even gnarled old pine tree. These trees are practical as they just need watering and occasional fertilizing. As you can see, there’s a whole science behind zen gardens! And if you’re not sure about doing the job well yourself, leave it to the pro companies such as Landscape Solutions to make your retreat perfect to the last detail. 

Shade your zen garden

Now that you have a gravel garden surrounded with plants, greenery and trees as well as a comfy area for relaxing, you need to think about shading your garden, or at least some part of it. After all, you won’t be able to enjoy it if you don’t have protection from the sun during hot summer days. Consider putting up some shade sails, which can be erected and taken down easily daily. They will be functional in protecting you from the sun and they’ll also add a sense of style and comfort to your zen garden. 

Include water 

Water is an important part of every zen garden. You can incorporate it in many ways. You can make a small pond in your garden, surround it with some rocks and shrubs and add some koi fish to it. Another popular way to make water a part of your garden is to make an artificial waterfall, also embellished with plants and stones. The water enables you to enjoy a peaceful sight and sounds and it also blocks the noise from the traffic. It’s a soothing feature all in all. And for those extreme zen garden lovers, you can also create an artificial island in the middle of the stream passing through your yard. It adds to the sense of seclusion and mystery.


Incorporate bamboo

When you see bamboo, you immediately think of Japan and the zen garden country of origin. The easiest way to incorporate bamboo in your garden is to add bamboo fences all around your garden. It that way, you’ll also add to the privacy of your home and retreat area. You can also add it in the form of bamboo water fountains, which are easy to make and provide a sense of serenity and tranquility. Plus, they are a beautiful and yet functional sight. 

Thinking about making a perfect retreat, finding some ideas suitable for your backyard, as well as designing the garden yourself or hiring pros is a process that lasts for some time. You should consider all the factors carefully before deciding what to do. And when it’s finished and you start enjoying your zen garden, you’ll see it was all worth the while and you’ll wonder why haven’t done it sooner!

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