A Comprehensive Guide to Making a Zen Garden

Zen gardens increase the curb appeal of your house and benefit your health. Yes, that’s right. They can help you relax and meditate for a stress-free, peaceful mind, providing several health benefits associated with it. Zen gardens are miniature gardens initially developed by Buddhist monks to aid in meditation. These monks used rocks, sand, plants, and other natural elements to reflect nature in the gardens.

Due to the immense health benefits and beauty, Zen gardens’ popularity among modern-day gardeners has increased significantly. If you are fond of yoga and meditation, here’s how you can create your Zen garden for optimal relaxation.

Planning and Designing 

Every DIY project needs appropriate planning and design. Hence, start with creating your Zen garden on paper to get a rough idea. While choosing a site, go for a location that is leveled. There shouldn’t be any obstacles in the area. If you plan to have plants in your Zen garden, select a place that receives adequate sunlight.

Remember that the garden’s area will be made of white gravel. So accordingly, decide whether to let the shrubs or trees in the location stand because it may require regular cleaning off of debris. Once you have finalized the site and design, prepare your estimated budget.

Clearing the Area and Marking It

Based on your decision about the shrubs and trees, you need to clear the location. If the size of the trees is significant, take professional help. Also, pick any twigs, pebbles, rocks, or debris lying around. The next thing is to mark the area for sticking to your design. You can easily buy a line marking paint online for the purpose.

Dig Holes for Plants and Lay Landscape Fabric

Lay a landscape fabric and use pins to hold it in position. It will help prevent the growth of weeds and twigs in the gravel layer. If you want to install plants in the garden, it’s time to dig holes for them. You can also dig for deploying larger rocks so that only the tip is visible over the ground. Cut the fabric where you plan to have the plants.

Once the holes are ready, insert the plants and organic matter, and cover them up. Remember that Zen gardens usually don’t feature many plants. Some plants you can use for your Zen garden are:

  • Azaleas
  • Moss
  • Camellias
  • Junipers
  • Ornamental cherry trees
  • Japanese maples, etc.

Once you have put the plants into the holes, use a rake and tamper to level up the garden.

Lay the White Gravel

Start layering the garden with two to three inches of white gravel on the landscape fabric. Once done with that, use a hoe or similar tool to even it across the area.

Put Everything in Place

Lastly, you need to put all the other elements like sculptures, pebbles, benches, small water elements, artificial bridges, etc., in place. Also, you need to go creative here and create ripples. But remember that they should not be too distracted or loud as you create a Zen garden to help with meditation.

Creating a Miniature In-Door Zen Garden

If you don’t have a lawn or garden to create a full-scale Zen garden, you can choose a small in-house one. You’ll need a container, a mini rake, and the natural elements you want to fill in. The container selection solely depends on your preferences. You can have a basic large-sized bowl or a decorative planter.

To create a mini Zen garden:

  • Fill the container with sand
  • You can also use layers of different sand colors to create patterns
  • Use, at most, only one plant because that should be enough for a mini garden
  • Place stones, pebbles, or small sculptures at appropriate location and distance
  • Use a mini rake to create ripples and different sand designs
  • Place essential oil in a smaller container to trigger the sense of smell (Optional)

That’s all you need to do to make a small Zen garden to help you meditate and relax.

What’s Next?

Creating a Zen garden is a simple DIY project that you can complete successfully with little to no expert help. However, you might have to seek assistance from a professional while clearing the area, especially to get rid of large trees. Even maintaining a Zen garden is not a big headache. Removing debris and redoing the ripples will be the most challenging thing during maintenance because the gravel needs to look clean to maintain peace and appeal.