How to create a ZEN garden

No matter how small your garden, and no matter how little time you have to devote to it – you can still create an exquisite Zen garden. Sometimes called a Japanese garden, this delightfully calming style of garden is the visual representation of the principles of Feng Shui. So it’s all about calm, peace, harmony and the uninterrupted flow of the life force. Best news of all – Zen gardens are very easy to create and maintain.

The characteristics of a Zen garden

There are a number of motifs that will help you create your Zen garden such as: a metal sculpture of a turtle in the north part of your garden, some wind chimes and lots of natural wood. You can also incorporate some natural grasses, such as bamboo, which keep positive energy flowing. Glass or mirrors can be used to reflect good energy, metal to revive a stagnant area. Glazed ceramics will allow the garden to reflect positivity. Natural stone is key to the creation but a few polished stones will help reflect good energy, whereas rougher surfaces will scatter it and spread it wide. Mirrored surfaces, including water, are a wonderful choice for any Zen garden

What to plant

Ideal plants include: bamboo, peony, maple trees, orchids, lilies, jasmine, gardenia, grasses and chrysanthemum.


It’s important to keep your space pure. Water your plants regularly and ensure that NO weeds grow up between your stones or amid your graveled areas. Fertilize your flowerbeds regularly, to keep the life energy topped up. Finally, remove all unsightly clutter and keep your household rubbish hidden out of sight.

Tips on growing bamboo

Most bamboos are happiest in moderately acidic loamy soil. If your soil is very heavy simply dig in some organic material when you’re planting. The best way to do this is to place the bamboo plant in the hole so that the top of the root-mass is level with the top of the soil.  Make sure the hole is 1.5 to 2 times as wide as the bamboo root-mass.  Mix the remaining compost in with the local soil when back-filling the hole. This will provide a nutrient boost and improve the drainage in the soil around the bamboo roots. Water the new planting thoroughly.

 The indoor Zen garden

If you don’t have any outside space, why not create a mini Zen garden inside your home or office? The two basic ingredients are sand, which represents the ocean, and stones, which represent islands or mountains. Fill a wide bowl with white sand then add some decorative touches such as small stones and glassy rocks. You can draw concentric designs in the sand and, if you like, plant a few miniature cacti or grasses. Choose a positive location in which to place your new garden and enjoy the effect it has on your mood and your home.

Article By Jane Barsby