6 Simple AND Easy Ways To Make A Japanese Garden!

6 Ways To Make Your Own Japanese Garden – including plans, video’s, images, premium inspiring and helpful content and access to the Turn Your Garden Japanese Podcast’  a series of audio chats about Japanese gardens , their elements and HOW you can simply create your own garden IF you have the right knowledge.

Typical example of fencing in a Japanese garden

Typical example of fencing in a Japanese garden for example….

Start Creating a Japanese Garden….

Discover 6 Simple and Easy to understand and action Japanese garden ideas for your yard or garden…HOW to create, maintain and expand your little piece of Japan at home. Japanese gardens are PERFECT for small or limited spaces too.

If you are thinking of making a Japanese garden and maybe want a dry garden for a bit of Zen in your life OR a garden that reflects all 4 seasons using the right plants, shrubs, trees and ingredients our extensive Japanese garden knowledge will make it much easier for you to get started!

Japanese gardens are sparser than western gardens and to a large degree far more natural looking in their appearance. Japanese gardens are nature in miniature and because they are small you can create a Japanese garden in ANY sized space that you wish.

If you like trees and shrubs – they fit in perfectly to many Japanese garden designs. But if you want a little haven of ‘Zen’ to see off the stresses and strains of the day then a Karesansui or ‘dry garden’ is probably what you are looking for.

These consist of stones, larger rocks, moss , raked sand or gravel and are really the type of Japanese garden or Zen garden as they are quite commonly called where you can craft scenery in miniature either copying a piece of landscape that you love OR using your imagination to design a scene that fits in with what you are looking for or your surroundings.

We Have Everything You Need AND You Can Sample Complimentary Help Too…

CLICK HERE to find out how you can get started and to sample some of our FREE content – a crash course in shrubs and trees in Japanese gardens. If you like Acers or Maples this will be really helpful to you.

FREE Japanese Garden Design Video…

We have a short Japanese garden video presentation with some great tips for making a Japanese garden CLICK HERE to watch it

Source: expressjapanesegardenclub.com

Zen Gardens – A Quick And Helpful Guide

Zen gardens ARE part of Japanese gardens and their culture. In Kyoto for example you can see some of the World’s finest examples of Zen gardens. Often they are part of the grounds of temples but their popularity all over the world means that they have become multi faceted and mutli purpose.

Zen gardens can be indoors, on roof terraces and obviously outdoors. A Zen garden should have more than one meaning for the viewer – interpretation is key. As the Japanese say ‘the mind is flexible if we practice flexibility’.

Listen To Our Zen Gardens Podcast….

Here is our latest ‘Turn Your Garden Japanese Podcast’ that you can listen to and it will tell you pretty much everything you would want to know about Japanese Zen gardens or to give them their correct name ‘Karesansui’ gardens – take a few minutes to relax into the world of Zen gardens and CLICK on the audio player below:

Buddhism is the root of Zen gardens and they can be used on many different levels. In Japanese the word ‘Karesansui’ means ‘dry monutain water’. Hundreds of years ago Buddhist monks would draw metaphors in dirt and so began the basics of Zen gardens withing ZEN. It is after all an aspect.

The Purpose Of A Zen Garden At Home….

For me a Zen garden is all about making the visitor or owner feel comfortable. Away from the hustle and bustle of life going on around you. a garden with a few rocks and raked sand has a tremendously calming appeal. It encourages the mind to focus on what we see and not flit around all over the place.

Zen gardens are very practical for meditation because of their feeling of calmness. The were almost visually medicinal in a way. In years gone by the wealthy, samurai and even high ranked politicians were invitied to take Tea and view these types of gardens from seated galleries. They would take in the elements of the garden and appreciate it’s meaning – for example a large stone in the middle of a Zen garden should represent the centre of the universe.

Zen gardens are designed to help us get away from a single subjective view of life . They can be visually decieving to stimulate the train of thought of a viewer. A good example of this is Ryuan-ji Zen garden which has 15 stones but wherever you view the garden from you can only see 14 stones.

Zen says that you cannot see all the things all of the time.

Some Zen gardens demonstrate the forces of YIN and YANG – the Chinese understanding of natural forces that alster our lives and the changes in our environment. In Buddhism a similar belief is called NIYAMAS – a belief of natural forces that can change our lives and world.

Would You Like To Learn More AND Have Your Own Peaceful & Serene Japanese Garden Space?

Zen gardens are a pretty complicated subject and if you would like to make one make sure you do your research. a lot of people like the concept and love the feeling of visual and literal tranquility that they bring.

Here is a guide to the essential ingredients for a Zen garden so you can get planning and designing. Don’t forget to ‘level’ an area of your yard or garden and get rid of the dreaded weeds completely:

Stones: try not to get stones that are too small. Arrange then before adding them to your garden until your feel happy with their placement. Take a photgraph to remember the arrangement for ease of adding them to the garden later on.

Rocks: You will need quite a few – it is best to gather them together in groups no lower than 3 and about 4 or 5 of those stone clusters will be sufficient.Partially bury your larger rocks into the ground in the layout that pleases your eye.

Brick and Wood: Primarily you will use either of these to ‘edge’ your garden space. You can use stones if you wish.

Fabric– you should source some landscape fabric cover sheeting. Cut to cover the base of your entire garden space. This will help prevent the return of weeds and provide a surface for your next ingredient.

Sand / Small Pebble Gravel: a covering of 4 to 5 inches will be enough ( approx 8 to 10 centimetres) going around the rocks and up to the edge of the Zen garden on all sides.

A Rake: This will give you the final ‘Zen garden’ look. Rake the sand or gravel as simply as possible. Take a look at photo’s and copy their raking if you want to be influenced by the expert Zen gardeners.

You can add pottery pieces, maybe a statue, a small pond it is up to you. these types of gardens are tranquil and peaceful and SO easy to maintain – no growing and apart from plucking out the odd protruding weed there is very little to do.

Zen gardens are special peaceful havens in a busy and stressful world and they are pretty simple to build and you will have fun too! Try our FREE book ’11 Simple Ways To Turn Your Garden Japanese’ for some inspiring garden ideas for making a Japanese garden at home! 11 Simple Ways To turn your Garden Japanese Book



Boundaries In A Japanese Garden -Free Podcast

Thanks for stopping by our Making a Japanese garden blog.

We have a free podcast that is published every 3 or 4 weeks on all sorts of aspects of Japanese gardens and Japanese gardening at home in a garden or yard.

So, if you are excited about the idea of making a Japanese garden space at home with beautifully manicured plants, shrubs and trees…maybe some running water, stone lanterns and perhaps a ‘dry’ garden in more of a Zen style then we think you will find our FREE Japanese garden podcast pretty helpful!

Courtesy of www.coolgarden.me

Courtesy of www.coolgarden.me

Boundaries are very important in a Japanese garden or a Zen style garden and this edition of the podcast is all about the importance of boundaries in a Japanese garden – essential to distinguish the garden itself from the outside world.

Take a listen here….

To get more help, ideas, tips and practical examples on how you can easily and quickly create a stunning Japanese garden space at home please take a look at The Express Japanese Garden Club.

Want Your Own Calming Japanese Garden? Listen to our FREE Podcast

If you are keen on making a Japanese garden or creating your own Japanese garden in a small space at home in your yard or garden then why not try the ‘Turn Your Garden Japanese ‘ Podcast.

We have just launched it and over the coming months it will be packed with really helpful practical tips on creating a Japanese garden.

Check it out and LISTEN to it HERE

And you could have your own Japanese garden that looks something like this….

Japanese Garden Basin

Making a Japanese Garden In A Small Space On PINTEREST

Here’s some of our Pinterest boards with LOTS of useful HELP, ADVICE and INSPIRATION for making a Japanese garden at home.

Follow Japanese Garden Information’s board Making A Japanese Zen Garden on Pinterest.


Check out the Express Japanese Garden Club too. Create your own Japanese garden space – guaranteed for under $5.00!


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Japanese Garden Books Package For Making A Japanese Garden

Creating a Japanese garden does take a little knowledge and an equal measure of inspiration too!

From www.japanesegardenbooks.com author and Japanese garden expert Russ Chard gives you the perfect package of 3 Japanese garden books that will help you have your own Japanese garden space at home AND at 50 per cent off the Amazon price too!

CLICK HERE for details and how you can secure this special offer.

Japanese_garden_books_001CLICK HERE to take advantage of this offer.

Making A Japanese Garden Now on Google +

Just to let you know we are now on Google plus CLICK HERE for our Japanese garden page all about making a Japanese garden and creating Japanese gardens generally.


Making A Japanese Garden – Some Unlikely Inspiration?!


On a recent visit to Norway I visited an extraordinary tropical flora garden on an island near Stavanger.

It was stunning and is a garden that was developed with countless years of planning and careful planting. The family that run it used to run a flower business in the city but the grandfather found a small island to relax in and his love of gardening started to take over!

It is now over 20 acres big and features a large bamboo and bonsai garden. If you are intending making a Japanese garden at your home – or maybe it is a distant drweam?!- you will get some inspiration from these pictures.

They are from a board of pictures we have set up on Pinterest dedicated to our garden visit. Acers, Maples, Koi, pathways, edging, bonsai trees of all sizes, bamboo, rocks and a lot more. Take a look and be inspired!  CLICK HERE TO SEE THE GARDEN

For even more EASY to understand Japanese garden ideas to help you make that special stress free garden area claim a free copy of my latest book ’11 Simple Ways To Turn Your Garden Japanese‘ by CLICKING HERE

Design Principles For Making A Japanese Garden At Home

Pathway 1

The first design principle to be absolutely clear about when making a Japanese garden is that ALL elements of nature are present in these types of gardens. In Western style gardens it is usually far fewer elements of nature that are used in any one garden area.

Japanese gardens use more water – whether wet or dry- than a Western garden. Rocks and stones are much more common as ingredients too. There are reasons for this and a read up on Japanese garden history will explain all.

Gardens in Japanese culture have spiritual, historical and cultural meaning. You can read about all the aspects of Japanese gardening in one free book that I have prepared for you CLICK HERE to get your copy and also for access to my Japanese garden Newsletter called ‘The Japanese Garden Bulletin’.

For now I want to simplify the design principles so that making your own Japanese garden is simple and straightforward.

Most Japanese gardens reflect real landscapes that you see in nature. This is something called ‘borrowed scenery’. What a designer does is copy a real piece of scenery only in miniature.

You don’t have to do this because you have something called an imagination. Don’t be afraid to use it,think about the elements that you would like in your ‘mini’ landscape garden and let your mind wander. Use stones and rocks as hills and mountains, sand or gravel as water, small shrubs and grasses as plantings, trees like Acers / Maples and so on.

Think of creating a scene that catches your imagination and reduce its scale to give you a manageable garden space. There is nothing to stop you thinking big but that does mean a lot of work – it is far better to start making a Japanese garden on a small scale and once you have confidence and more knowledge increase the scale.

A pond could signify a lake, raked gravel the swirling movement of an ocean. A lot of people like water in a garden space – in a Japanese garden you can do this although in a Zen garden it is not generally included as the sand and gravel are the water area.

Flowing water in a Japanese garden signifies the passage of time. Fountains are rare but waterfalls ( more natural) are fra more commonplace.

Japanese gardens usually appear very ordered and manicured but can also be wild and even tropical in design. This gives you a lot of options depending on what garden space you have vaialable and what sort of climate you have.

One thing that I recommend is a border for your garden. It is the division between your peaceful , stress free haven and the outside world with all the distractions that go with it.I prefer a border of bamboo eith in cane form or using a growth of black bamboo for example.

Fencing ( low level) is more rustic in look and you can have a gate in a Japanese garden , usually they are found only in Tea gardens.a nice touch in larger gardens is to separate areas of a Japanese garden with different borders as the viewer and visitor moves seamlessly between areas of the garden.

Never over clutter a Japanese garden. The Japanese enjoy free space and the elements of your garden will look more natural and stand out as a result. If you want to plant dry climate plants or cactus in a Zen / Japanese rock garden then space them out to get the same effect. Less is more in a Japanese garden space and empty areas are not only authentic but pleasing on the eye to the creator and visitor!

For some really great ideas for turning your garden Japanese at home , however large or small your space, you can get a free copy of my latest book ’11 Simple Ways To Turn Your Garden Japanese ‘ by CLICKING HERE


Trees, Plants and Shrubs For Making A Japanese Garden

Acer1Satoyama Chelsea flower show 2012


When making a Japanese garden it should look older and more established than its surroundings. Plants, Shrubs and Trees can help bring your garden space to life and make it appear at one with nature.

Avoid over cluttering your garden and you may find that you have to slightly control your enthusiasm. Always pick living ingredients that suit the climate where you live and don’t be afraid to plant trees like Maples in colder climates as they survive in Japan in temperatures well below minus 10 degrees.

The heat of the sun is more of an enemy than the cold and ice.

This article is going to give you some suggestions on what to consider adding to your Japanese style garden and I promise not to get too technical. But if you want to find out more detailed information you can download a free copy of my book ’11 Simple Ways To Turn Your Garden Japanese’ by CLICKING HERE. As you become more adept at this form of gardening and you acquire more knowledge you can start to spread your wings a little.

A popular common element in a Japanese garden and Zen gardens are small Coniferous shrubs. Evergreens provide colour all year round and will help your other trees and plants stand out during their seasonal changes.

A good rule of thumb when making a Japanese garden is for every Deciduous planting plant 2 evergreens. Coniferous shrubs really fit the bill as they are hardy and require little maintenance apart from some minor shaping and pruning. They really look striking when planted near rocks and stones and because they start off small and the view actually gets better over time. Remember to plant with spaces between them and other shrubs or rocks to allow this growth.

You have literally hundreds of varieties and species of Coniferous shrubs to choose from and popular ones include Mugo Pine, Dwarf Balsam firs and Next Spruce.

Bamboo is another popular addition in a Japanese garden not only for separating areas but also in plant form. Tea gardens always have arrangements of Bamboo but for your small space garden then these are the varieties of Bamboo plants that will work best sasa, dake, chiku and take.

Japanese garden plants are chosen for their flowering and if you want a cavalcade of colour to contrast with your evergreens and trees then Herbaceous Japanese plants will be the solution.

Morning glory , Iris, deadnettle, Lily Turf, Kuzu Vine, White Radish, Japanese Pampas grass, Henbit, Horse Radish, Japanese Ardisia, Peony, White Chrysanthemum are plants that flower very colourfully but also in most cases have very green leaves providing a beautiful contrast.

You can use Azaleas and Camellias to great effect as well. For the spectacular there is the climbing Japanese Wisteria which grows vertically and is covered in white flowers to a maximum height of approximately 5 feet.

Bonsai plants/trees are popular too but be warned they take quite a lot of looking after and need to be skilfully watered and pruned. These are usually placed in suitably sized pots or containers around the garden area. Some like the Japanese Maple bonsai look wonderful planted between two rocks whilst others like Japanese Black Pine or Japanese White Pine , Plum and Cherry flourish better in a container.

By far the most popular bonsai plant in a Japanese garden is the Japanese Black Pine which is hardy and looks green all year round. A balance of colour is what you are looking to achieve throughout the 12 months of the year.

I hope you have found this useful and you can find out a lot more about creating your own Japanese garden space at home for a feeling of peace and serenity by claiming your copy of my FREE book and Japanese garden newsletter called ‘The Japanese Garden Bulletin’ by CLICKING HERE.

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