What is a Zen garden? And why you need one in your life!
21 June 2018
A Zen garden is the escape within your property. You’ve heard of “staycations” where you holiday within your own city, well Zen garden takes that up a notch and encourages escapism at home.. It is an easy to maintain and easier to enjoy living space within your abode where you can relax and reboot. The Zen garden is perfect for those with a busy lifestyle, providing a breakout area away from air conditioning, artificial lighting and the endless screens and distractions of the other rooms in the house.
What are the key features of a Zen garden?
It wouldn’t be very zen if you needed to spend hours each week working in it! The key feature of the zen garden is that is it easy to maintain.
Minimalism is a popular look for Zen and Japanese inspired gardens but don’t mistake minimalist with bare. The garden will have lots of features and contrasting textures like stones and pebbles, greenery, often plants in pots as well as concrete paver stepping stones to ensure they perform well in an outdoor environment.
You don't need a lot of space
Out of all of the trends identified in the Adbri Great Australian Backyard Survey, the Zen garden is perhaps the most versatile as any existing canvas can be used to create the look. The Zen garden lends itself to smaller spaces and asks for an appreciation of space with good design ideas that is reflective of true Japanese style gardens. While flat land will be easiest to work with for putting down your pavement or steppers, fantastic Zen gardens can be created with subtle level changes. If you’re working with slopes, consider retaining walls with step downs to create different levels.
How to get the look
Like every well planned and classy themed garden, you need a space from which to enjoy it! Set the scene with a series of stepping stones, surrounded by decorative stone or mondo grass, that leads you to a simple paved patio area featuring a small dining setting and some green tea to enjoy the view.
What type of plants should I use?
When considering a Zen garden DIY project, you want to keep it as simple and effective as possible. Try to aim for a patterned look, whilst avoiding straight lines in paving step stones and embracing odd numbers and sizes. Utilising mid to dark grey concrete pots or black feature pots of all sizes can help to create this look and makes aftercare a breeze. As for the plants, think of planting green and gold foliage, and look for a variance in tones and textures of the greenery, i.e. take a look at the leaves.
I need to create a paved area to enjoy my garden
While a solid patio area is great for practicing yoga in your garden, the stepping stones are the most important part to get right in creating the overall masterpiece! Stepping stones are on trend and uphold the traditional Japanese style of the Zen garden. When laying the stepping stone pavers try to avoid your desire for neat, formal lines, and stagger the stepping stone pavers for an 'offset' feel.
When choosing an appropriate stepping stone, a solid concrete paver is a good choice. Pick a product with a light texture so it exposes the aggregates (small stones), within the paver, and sets off the decorative stone used throughout your garden. Personal preference suggests that you take a look at the Euro Stone pavers as they provide a great slip resistant surface.
Finish the look with some trendy furniture
When styling your furniture to suit the Zen feel of the garden, keep a minimalist mindset. Small settings work best in Zen gardens, as it’s somewhere to relax, recharge and escape - not the entertaining hub of the entire neighbourhood. Try to reserve this space for you to enjoy with family or smaller gatherings to keep the peace in your garden.
Some sweet inspiration
Check out this handy DIY video on how to build your very own Zen garden at home! Om Shanti.
If you have any questions about your project, get in touch with our team on 1300 230 633 or check out our social media pages for more masonry inspiration.