Use stones to create Zen garden

Published On: May 30 2012 04:12:47 PM CDT   Updated On: Jun 14 2012 02:17:50 PM CDT

By Harriette Halepis, Networx

The Nature of Zen

If you love the idea of Zen, but can't fathom taking hours to create endless sand patterns, understanding a bit about the philosophy behind Zen will help you choose the right items for your Zen garden. What is Zen? Where did Zen come from? Why would you want Zen in your garden?


Quite literally, the word "Zen" means "meditation." Zen is a branch of Mahayana Buddhism that is centered upon achieving enlightenment through meditation. Therefore, all things that are considered "Zen" are meant to help a person gain inner insight and tranquility.


By creating a garden space that incorporates elements of Zen, you may just find that inner peace you have always been searching for. Or, in the very least, you may just discover another way to turn your garden into a harmonic haven.


Elements of Zen

When you think of calm, what do you think of? Japanese Zen gardens incorporate lots of rocks, stones, and sand, but not much else. For these Zen gardeners, minimalist landscapes are the epitome of Zen. You can incorporate some of these elements into your garden too, though it's also fun to add a modern twist.


Here are some of the things that you can do to add a touch of Zen to your garden:



Plants and Trees

Everything placed inside of an authentic Zen garden has meaning. For Buddhists, Zen gardens are more than places to relax and unwind. These gardens embody the true spirit of Buddha, which is sacred, quiet, and restful.


Even the trees and plants that are grown in a Zen garden are important. You won't find a lot of flowers inside of a Zen garden, but trees and shrubs are quite common. Here are a couple of ideas:



When planting anything inside of your Zen garden, keep in mind that all elements of a Zen garden should be kept entirely natural. In short, skip the bright colored flowers, and stick to carefully pruned trees, shrubs, and plants.