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

 

 

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!

www.expressjapanesegardenclub.com

3 (1)

 

 

 

Japanese Gardens Are At Their Best In Spring…

JG11PFG Waterfall & Lantern

David M Cobb is perhaps the world’s most famous photgrapher of Japanese gardens. He lectures, has written books and is the ‘go to’ guy for pictures of Japanese gardens.

If you haven’t seen David’s unique talent then take a look at this BLOG entry – he has been out and about photographing a Japanese gardens in Spring – one of the most magical times of the year to do so. Greener foliage, Cherry blossom and a garden that bursts into life.

A Japanese garden is designed to reflect ALL of the seasons equally but springtime is when we turn our thoughts to summer and warmer weather after what may have been a cold hard winter.

The picture you can see above is one of David’s of the Japanese Friendship garden in Phoenix Arizona in the United States.Enjoy!

CLICK HERE TO SEE DAVID’S BLOG AND WORK

David’s images will hopefully inspire you to think about having your own Japanese garden in a small space! It’s a lot easier than you may think and our free book ’11 Simple Ways To Turn Your Garden Japanese’ will show you exactly how and give you lots of inspiration too – for making a Japanese garden.

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE COPY

 

Free for a LIMITED time

Claim Your Free Copy Now

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.

Googleplus

Creating A Japanese Garden For Your Yard Or Garden – Presentation To View


A short presentation to help with creating a Japanese garden in your yard or garden. The presentation explains what is required and what you should consider and DO to create your own Japanese garden in a small space.

CLICK HERE for our FREE Japanese garden design book to really help get you started and to give you some wonderful ideas.

Making A Japanese Garden – Flat Gardens

Flat gardens within Japanese garden culture one of the simplest forms of gardens you can consider when planning a Japanese garden space.

Flat gardens, or Hira-niwa in Japanese ,do not have hills and do not have any water in the way that a western garden would. The flat area which is essentially made of either sand or more usually gravel IS the water. All Japanese gardens tend to be a lesson in environment and space.

Part of Portland's Japanese Flat Garden Courtesy of www.tripadvisor.com

Part of Portland’s Japanese Flat Garden Courtesy of www.tripadvisor.com

Just like in a Zen garden the gravel is raked into swirls and different shapes to give the impression of the movement in a body of water. The ground is usually covered this way and on occasions I have seen flat gardens that use very small pebbles ,once again raked in circles and straight lines to give the impression of water  ripples.

A flat garden can include many familiar ingredients that you would expect when making a Japanese garden. Stones, Rocks, Trees and Shrubs are very common. The trees although natural will be pruned and the low level shrubs and bushes shaped on the edge of the water space.

Courtesy of www.japanesegarden.com

Courtesy of www.japanesegarden.com

Flat gardens were first designed to interpret and in miniature mimic Japan’s seaside landscapes or some of its grander lakes, a journey through Japanese garden history points to war and water shortages as to why water was replaced by gravel as a ‘dry’ substitute. This is a trend that has continued for hundreds of years even in peacetime and with abundant supplies of water. The Edo period of Japanese history is when flat gardens became very popular.

Interestingly water features apart from a body of water are fairly common in a Japanese ‘Flat’ garden. For example, large upright stones can symbolise a waterfall and this something that you can copy for a garden space that you have in mind however large or small.

Use non sharp edged rocks or stones ( Granite) to depict islands within your gravel water area. 3 together is a popular representation of ‘The Isles of The Immortals’.The Japanese Circle and Gourd Islands are often copied and represented in the gravel water area to add the spirit of enlightenment. You will be able to get the correct rocks and stones from your local aggregate supplier – take sometime to consider the shapes that you want and strictly speaking for authenticity you should not use rounded stones.

Other ingredients that you may wish to add to a flat garden are stone lanterns, included for the illumination of parts of the garden at night, basins and if you are very ambitious even a well ! Well’s are normally constructed out of wood and have some way of getting the water out of the well – a pulley and bucket or a large wooden spoon are common.

Stepping stones can be placed across the gravel water area and look very effective if they lead to the far side of the gravel area where a rustic hut or pagoda is located. After the 16th century this was a popular type of design where the hut would be used for the slow and meaningful Tea ceremony.

A completed flat garden will give a real impression of depth of space to the viewer as the eye is drawn into the water area with the clipped shrubs on the faraway edge. The stones or rocks placed carefully within the raked gravel ‘water’ area give a feeling of depth and perspective relative to the scale of the garden.

As a Zen garden is designed to be viewed from a single space it is exactly the same with a Japanese flat garden. The view is sometimes ‘framed’ when a veranda door is opened or when looking through a larger window into the garden itself.

A flat garden is often seen as similar to a landscape painting when designed and built correctly to scale. The viewer’s eyes are drawn across the water to the carefully clipped low level shrubs and plants like Lilies or Azeleas. In Japan plantings are deliberately made in a flat garden to show off the seasons.

Maples for the autumn , Cherry blossom looks its best in Spring, the soothing impression of water signifies summer and something like a Black Pine denotes the winter.

Flat gardens became an alternative to hill gardens in Japan as were amongst then first residential gardens added to the homes of ordinary Japanese people and they continue to be a wonderful type of garden today for any yard or garden area.

I believe a ‘Flat’ or Hira-niwa garden is a cost effective and beautiful option for a domestic Japanese garden as it includes some of the essential ingredients needed for a Japanese garden as well as the classic Japanese garden design method of borrowed scenery. This is where the designer either copies a specific landscape in miniature or use existing scenery such as a hill located outside of the flat garden space to include it in the overall garden view.

But, lets face it, not many of us have a natural piece of landscape that we can include in our overall design so just the copying of a real or imaginary landscape will be more than enough. Creating miniature landscapes allows your creative juices to flow and your imagination to run wild! All the more reason to get started on building your dream Japanese garden space.

For more help with a flat garden design and how to develop your own stunning Japanese garden get your free copy of my latest book ’11 Simple Ways To Turn Your Garden Japanese’ by CLICKING HERE

Best Wishes and I hope you have found this information useful and inspiring for your own Japanese garden space!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

’11 Simple Ways To Turn Your Garden Japanese’ from Making A Japanese Garden Dot Com

Hi,
Thanks for visiting makingajapanesegarden.com.

If you have always wanted or dreamt of a Japanese style garden space for your home whether indoors or outdoors then I have some great news for you. Launched today is my new FREE book ’11 Simple Ways To Turn Your Garden Japanese’ and this short video will tell you more. Take a look!

To find out more and how you can make your Japanese garden dream a reality without breaking the bank! CLICK HERE for your complimentary copy and free membership to ‘The Japanese Garden Bulletin’ our weekely new newsletter for fans of Japanese gardens and making a Japanese garden.

 

The Japanese Garden Bulletin NEW Newsletter – Listen To What It’s About…

Hii,

Thanks for stopping by making a Japanese garden dot com.

In a very short while I am launching an exciting, interesting and inspiring newsletter on Japanese gardens …it will be totally free and take a listen to my little message about the service I am providing for Japanese garden enthusiasts.If you love Japanese gardens or dream, of your own Zen garden ( sometimes referred to as a Japanese Rock garden) you will love the design tips and information that I have got for you.

Delivered straight to your ‘inbox’ EVERY week ‘The Japanese Garden Bulletin’ will help you make your dream of a relaxing Japanese garden become a reality…and it’s not as difficult as you may think!

CLICK on the audio players ‘Arrow’ to LISTEN

 

 

Happy New Year From ALL Of Us At Making A Japanese Garden Dot Com

Thank you for visiting our website that is all about giving you useful information and tips for making a Japanese garden. There is a lot of very informative and helpful information on this website that will help turn your small or large space at home whether indoors or outdoors into a space with a touch of Japan.

We wish all our readers a very Happy New Year and a HEALTHY and inspiring 2013!

We are starting a FREE Japanese garden NEWSLETTER at the end of January called the ‘Japanese Garden Bulletin’.

Banner- Bulletin correct size

You can sign up for free to ensure that you recieve a massive amount of Japanese garden and Zen garden information at this website , where you can read more about the sort of information we will be providing in our ‘Japanese Garden Bulletin’ newsletter.

We never share your email with anyone else or any third parties and you can unsubscribe at ANY time with a click of your mouse or a tap on your smatphone or tablet!

We really look forward to sending your our newsletter CLICK HERE  to SIGN UP