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



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

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…


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



Kew Gardens In London – Video Of The Japanese Garden Area

When making a Japanese garden there is perhaps no better way to formulate the design ideas that you may have in your imagination than actually looking at exsisting Japanese gardens.

I recently visited the garden and had a great time. From The Imperial Gateway to a beautiful Karensui area to stunning rock placement and topiary it is all here on this short video. Steven Speilberg I am not but I hope that you take a look and enjoy it!

Claim Your FREE Copies Of Our Japanese Garden Ebooks On AMAZON Kindle


Thanks for visiting makingajapanesegarden.com .

Following on from yesterdays post – our 2 E books are available for the next 5 DAYS ONLY on AMAZON KINDLE. Here are the details and we hope you enjoy them and they help with your plans to make a Japanese garden.

Japanese Gardens – Revealed and Explained  – CLICK HERE to access a free copy.

Japanese Zen GardensCLICK HERE to access your free copy.

Japanese Gardens – The Use Of Stones And Rocks FREE Download on Amazon Kindle

Thanks for stopping by our website – packed with information on making a Japanese garden.

One of the most instantly recognisable things about Japanese gardens are the very effective and symbolic use of Stones and Rocks. Author Russ Chard has written on the subject of Japanese gardens for many years and his AMAZON Kindle articles on the subject are avilable for FREE download for the next 4 days.

FREE download of ‘Japanese Gardens – The Use Of Rocks And Stones

Claim your free download to learn about Rocks and Stones in Japanese gardens that will help with any design ideas you may have by CLICKING HERE to go the AMAZON PAGE.

Tomorrow his E books on Japanese Gardens – Revealed and Explained ( Over 100 pages long) will be available for free as will his latest and newest publication called Japanese Zen Gardens – both FREE download links on Amazon will be posted on this website, so please come back! Enjoy.

Making A Japanese Garden – Things To Bear In Mind

Japanese philosophy reasons that everything OLD has a value. This applies to

The Imperial Gateway and Japanese Garden At Kew in London

when you are making a Japanese garden.

Boulders overgrown with moss, old trees, stone arrangements are all examples of this mantra. ‘Nature’ in a Japanese garden is fundamental and it’s appearance should reflect natural looks rather than manufactured looks – even if the garden is designed in a specific way and by definition is not old at all.

Perennials and bulbs are sporadically planted to highlight the natural character of the garden rocks that are placed ‘naturally’ in the design itself. Stone and water go together in a Japanese garden and the water element can be anything from a shallow stone basis through to a pond or small waterfall. Water must be in a Japanese garden and it is something that you will realise is not only essential but pleasing on the senses.

Japanese gardens always stress the importance of the proportionate beauty of nature itself. They are very time consumng to look after but that is part of the dedication you will need to be a Japanese gardener. All Japanese gardens are designed to hide any form of human interference and to display a ‘natural world’.

Nature consists of Stone, Water and Plants and these are 3 of the principle ingredients of a Japanese garden for this reason. The history of these garden goes back hundreds if not thousands of years and embrace nature in all their forms.

I have put together a free video on the subject of ‘Making A Japanese Garden-Design and Landscaping’ to give you a real flavour of what you will be looking for – irrespective of whether you have a larger patch of land, a small yard or even a rooftop area. All are possible in the world of Japanese gardens!

My Japanese garden design site is the home of the video and you can find out all about the subject by going to this webpage- there is NOTHING like this available online or offline so please enjoy …..and it contains a nice suprise if you want to make a Japanese garden toward the end of the video too!

To access the free video go to:  http://makingajapanesegarden.com/making-a-japanese-garden-design-and-landscaping-video/

Have a great day and keep coming back to this website as it is constantly updated on the wonderful creations that are JAPANESE AND ZEN GARDENS.

Japanese Zen Gardens – Amazon Kindle Version

Hi ,

Thanks for stopping by my website – I recently designed and built my own Zen garden ( a small space one I in my rear garden.

Here is a shot of my simplistic Zen garden – all but finished!

I have just finished writing a magazine for iPad and iPhone that will be published in 3 weeks time . BUT if you have a Kindle from Amazon I have uploaded the edition today. It is ALL about Zen gardens. What are they?, What is there history? What ingredients? Rocks, Stones, Sand, Gravel, Plants and Shrubs. There are some great images and EVERYTHING you would want to know if you have ever wondered ‘WHAT IS A ZEN GARDEN?’. I also take readers through the process of building a Zen garden – design tips, how it is constructed, what to use, where to pace your garden and much more! It has been a labour of love for me and it is available now JUST CLICK HERE and below is the cover:

Japanese And Zen Gardens Book

CLICK HERE for more information and I have kept the cost very low!

PS there is also a Chapter on COURTYARD GARDENS a sort of home interior Zen garden – they are beautiful!

Making A Japanese Zen Garden – update


Thanks for visiting my website, I have just returned from a very pleasant break in Sweden. I now have the 4th video in a five video series that takes you step by step through making a small space Japanese Zen garden.

It is fairly easy to do and takes very little time – once you have planned it you could build it withing 2 or 3 days but a lot of folks like to take their time and that is what I did!

You can watch VIDEO 4 by CLICKING HERE

I have put all four video’s for Making A Japanese Zen garden on my Youtube channel and you can see them all by CLICKING HERE. Each video is hopefully easy to follow and they range between 2 to 3 minutes for each one.

This is a shot I took earlier today that shows it 75% done, today I will be making an ‘Island’ of grass around the single stone.

A small space Zen garden that I have 75% completed at my home

I will post some more photos very soon and hope you check out the video’s! The reason the sand is not yet raked is because we have once again had so much rain that it is a solid mass and very wet!

Enjoy your day.




Making A Japanese Zen Garden – Video’s



Thanks for visiting my website, the weather held and I have added two more videos to my Youtube channel taking you through more preparation work and the ‘edging process’ and setting in concrete.

There will be more videos to come and these will be filmed over the next few days and I hope you get a sense of the simplicity of a Zen garden and that you DO NOT have to have a big space to design and build one.Did you know over 150,000 people around the world per month search on Google the term ‘What is a Zen garden?’…hopefully this website and these videos can help them with some answers.

I have set up a Youtube playlist for you, just CLICK HERE and they will play one after the other.

STOP PRESS: I week to go to London 2012 and The Olympic games and the weather is set for a significant improvement whcih is great and it means the Zen garden project will race ahead so please do come back and watch the new information I will be putting on this website.