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A Guide to the Key Elements in a Japanese Zen Garden

Japanese Zen gardens have become very popular today. This can be due to its graceful mixture of rocks, plants and water all carefully ordered to give a feeling of calm and tranquility. If you are considering building your personal Japanese Zen garden at home, here would be the essential elements to remember.

Ancient Japanese mythology puts a lot of emphasis on mountains and stones as the world’s foundation; thus, the Japanese consider this as one of the crucial components when designing their Zen gardens. They believe that when the rocks are arranged well, the other parts of the garden will follow as the stones form the frame of the garden. If you are designing your Zen garden, some ideas would be laying out gray river rocks that are uniform in size to form a stream bed or including raked gravel around islands.

Water is regarded as a critical part of every Japanese Zen garden as it shows the continuous and steady flow of time. Components of water in the Zen garden are clear in their thin cords flowing through stone, their pond installations along with the gravel, stone, and sand where water appears to have run dry to symbolize the time past. It may be a great idea to introduce bamboo fountains or falling water in your garden design to enhance the Japanese garden flavor.

Because the Japanese culture places a lot of significance on life being a path, the gardens are designed to take the guests through a path that is carefully designed. Aside from meeting cultural demands, the principal purpose of the path in the Zen garden is the union of the components of the garden. Additionally they put a lot of emphasis in designing architecture that improves the path. All these are made from natural materials like metal, wood, and rock. Traditional Japanese architecture comprises of stone lanterns, pavilion, and wells. You can even create a tea house at the center of the garden. By incorporating bamboo garden fences or stone water jars to give the impression of lightness and grace you can also add your personal touch to the Zen garden.

Each Japanese garden is designed so that the plants follow the stone layout. Thus, rather than letting the plants to order the looks of your design, constantly remember your stone layout in selecting the plants that will create the background and dampen the lines. You can choose various kinds of garden plants to complement the stone layout from conifers to shrubs and blooming trees and perennial woods flowers, to evergreens and local hardwoods.
Besides the minimalism of the Japanese gardens, what many individuals do not know is that the design tries to show the unique relationship between man and nature.