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Peaceful Zen Garden Ideas To Add Calm To Your Backyard

The world we live in is fast-paced and now and then, you need a getaway. Unfortunately, you’re not typically able to simply pick up your bags and travel halfway across the country. It usually doesn’t work that way as there are responsibilities and a lot of planning that goes into it. This doesn’t change the fact that you need some type of timeout. This is where your zen garden comes into play. You can create a little corner in your yard that can serve as a meditation space.

Creating a zen garden is simply landscaping with dry elements like sand, gravel, pebbles, and rocks. You can play around with the combination of some or even all of them. There’s room for you to deviate from the traditional style and add water and plants. Here are some zen garden ideas to inspire you to create yours.

  1. Courtyard With Rocks

A courtyard is a great choice for a zen garden because it is separated from other parts of the building. This gives you the chance to have a quiet space without the distraction of people moving around. If you’re thinking, “why rocks?” you should know that rocks are a fundamental feature in any zen garden. They are usually the centerpiece, especially if they are large. If you plan on incorporating them into your design, they should be placed first so everything else can be arranged around them.

Courtyard With Rocks
  1. Minimalistic Zen Garden

Minimalism is about simplicity and being clutter-free. This is an easy design that will give you a sight to inspire meditation. You will need a marked-out area filled with sand that will be patterned with rakes and then have one large rock placed on the side. The rake used can be a wide-toothed rake or a fine-toothed rake to draw different patterns.

  1. River Made With Pebbles

You may have good reasons why you want to avoid adding a water feature to your zen garden. It might be because you want to stick to the traditional design of zen gardens. It might also be because you’re trying to avoid the presence of insects. While they are good reasons, it doesn’t change the fact a water feature can improve the look of your garden. There’s an alternative as you can create one with pebbles. You must be picky in choosing the color of pebbles as the execution depends on it. You will also need an area that has a depressed and unusual topography.

  1. Desert Zen Garden

The best choice of all the zen garden ideas for a hot climate is the desert zen garden. As much as you’ll always have to maintain your garden regularly no matter your choice, you can at least choose a type that requires the barest minimum of effort. This desert zen garden can feature rocks, sand, gravel, and even succulents if you decide to add plants to the mix. Succulents can survive without water for prolonged periods and look great, so there won’t be much upkeep with this style of zen garden.

  1. Lotus Pond

If you have a pond, it would be great to grow lotus in it. Different kinds of lotuses require different planting techniques and optimum environmental conditions. This can be a little technical if you have no experience planting lotus but it’s nothing you can’t learn. If you don’t have a pond but have a location where you think a pond can be dug, you can also consider this for your zen garden. Although, you should know it will require a lot more effort on your part.

  1. Moss As Ground Cover

A lot of greens in your zen garden wouldn’t hurt. You can choose to have moss as your groundcover, though it looks best if it is not a flat surface area. On an elevated ground, place a few rocks around it to depict the view of a mountain. For the most to be in optimum condition, it is necessary to have a moist environment and a shade.

  1. Heterogeneous Stones and Pebbles Mix

A combination of stones and pebbles in different sizes would create a great look. It is a sure way to create a minimalistic zen garden. You could use a rake to create patterns in the sand or dirt and these patterns would end up resembling ripples and waves of water. To pull the look together, you can place big rocks at different locations in your garden area or have one big one at the center.

  1. Plant Zen Garden

Plants are not usually a component of a zen garden but can be used to create one. The first unsaid rule is to avoid colorful flowers. Stick to plants that have green leaves and ensure they are well-trimmed. You can grow different types of plants with a landscape view in mind. When the garden is all green, the focus shifts from looking for different colors to observing different shapes and sizes.

  1. Bamboo Screen Backdrop

It’s nice to mark off your zen garden from the rest of the house so it feels more secluded and serene. A bamboo screen can be used as a fence and looks good as a backdrop for your zen garden.

Bamboo Screen Backdrop.


Your zen garden will require regular maintenance practices to maintain the aesthetics. It might involve recreating the patterns in sand or gravel and picking up fallen leaves to keep them looking tidy. Regardless of what traditional zen garden ideas look like, make sure you create a space that is pleasing and inviting to you. The set-out time for meditating helps to relax your mind, which in turn will add to your overall health.

Emmanuel Ojodun

I write for decoist.

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