Caring For Your Zen Garden

zen display with bamboo rocks and candles

Caring for your zen garden can be just as fulfilling and peaceful as creating one. Proper care will ensure that your zen garden is a refuge, whether you have a large sweeping garden or a tiny desktop version.

Protecting Your Zen Garden

Zen gardens do not generally mix well with pets and small children. Protecting yours from pets and children will be easier if you locate it in an appropriate spot, where you will be able to enjoy it in peace.

Weeds could also ruin your Zen garden’s peaceful atmosphere. The easiest way to prevent weeds is to place a weed retainer within the zen garden soil or mold, and then cover it with gravel or sand.

Zen Garden Maintenance

Some zen garden enthusiasts are constantly raking the gravel or sand in long, curving strokes. You can change the pattern as many times as you like, as long as you have at least 5cm of sand to work with. Shallow sand will start to look unsightly after a couple of days.

A zen garden that is kept clean and free of clutter will accentuate the placement of carefully chosen objects. Don’t be scared to change your zen garden items or raking patterns, adapt it to suit your mood and desires.

zen sand garden with rocks

Mistakes to Avoid

A Zen garden is a place of serenity and contemplation. Because it is meant to inspire meditative practices, Zen gardens need to be as perfect as possible regardless of the time of year. Any distractions will ruin the garden's purpose and therefore, the garden requires the utmost attention to detail.

Common Problems

Weeds will be a problem almost any time it is too warm for snow. Leaves, especially in the fall, are another major concern if you have nearby trees. Trees can also drop branches and other materials, especially during heavy winds. The wind itself can cause problems by blowing away the sand and leaving clutter or debris.

Common Solutions

Weeds should be pulled out by hand immediately when they appear. Be sure to pull the roots out as well to prevent weeds from growing back and spreading further. For leaves and wind, you can save yourself a headache by choosing a location with natural wind barriers (such as alongside your house, if the wind commonly comes from one direction) and away from trees.

If no decent location is available, outdoor shades can be put up over your garden to hold off leaves and other falling debris. A short wall or fence can also be constructed along the side of your garden that the wind usually comes from.

Even when all these precautions are taken or avoided, regular maintenance is still in order, often on a daily basis. Keep an eye out for major issues that may crop up, and keep a rack handy for daily cleaning.

Zen Flower Gardens

If you are searching for a creative and appealing alternative to a standard flower bed, consider installing a zen garden in your home. Zen gardens may be yard-sized or the size of a dinner plate and anything in between. Whether your zen flower garden is the prominent feature of your property or a simple and peaceful addition to a room or table, keep the following tips in mind.

Choose an Appropriate Foundation

Your zen garden depends upon the sand or gravel that makes up its base. One of the most beautiful features of a zen garden is its malleability, and an appropriate foundation material will help to make this process easier.

Don't Overcrowd

A zen flower garden is a calm and relaxing place that is free of clutter. Do not disturb this aesthetic by including too many features. A few small plants or rocks are appropriate, as is a bamboo fountain. However, a zen flower garden is easy to overcrowd.

Maintain Your Garden Carefully

Ensure that your garden does not become dirty over time. Purchase an appropriate rake to keep the garden groomed and free of debris.

Look to a home improvement store or a home furnishings store for zen garden supplies.

Zen Design Accents

In recent years, one of the trendy styles in modern day home designs incorporates the zen garden. With the calm, serene and balanced nature of zen-inspired home designs, it is not difficult to see why most people like them. Modern lifestyles deprive most people of the simple, yet important things in life. To attain serenity and balance at your home, you can create a zen garden that express the cosmic beauty in a worldly environment.

Plants, Flowers, Bamboo

If you have a garden already, you do not need to fully change the existing flower arrangement and design. You only have to modify some parts of it as to achieve a zen look. So, the first step to take is to check your garden decor and accents and see if some will work with a zen-inspired garden. By adding flowers like lotus, orchids and similar looking ones, a zen theme is already being established. Also, bamboos are one of the best accents to achieve a zen look for your garden.

Stones, Rocks, and Pebbles

Stones, rocks and pebbles are always present in zen gardens. These accents work as the stepping stones in certain parts or are used to line some areas of the landscape – especially white stones and pebbles. Having plants all over the place will make your garden look common and ordinary.

However, by just lining some white stones and pebbles in its base area, you will find that the garden design looks zen already. The combination of shrubs and rock groupings imitates a classic scene of waterfalls, mountains and valleys, adopted from the Chinese landscape painting. Some of these also incorporate hills and other existing "borrowed scenery."

Rocks and other larger-sized stones work well as accents in parts of the garden where it looks a bit bare. So, blending these rocks together with some greens plants sprouting beside them creates a whole new different look for the garden.

Little Zen Statues Add Personality

Zen gardens can go without statues, but these add a personal touch to the design. The kinds of statues chosen for the garden, such as humorous statues of animals in human meditating positions or traditional ones depicting dragons, frogs, and the likes, say something about the owner of the garden, thus adding personality to it.

Lights to Complement the Garden Decor

At daytime, your zen garden will look beautiful without any lighting, but lights are a necessary element of the garden décor at night. You have many options on what to use to light your garden—firefly lights, hose lights or lamps that you perch on the ground as permanent fixtures in your garden. These lamps usually have zen designs like four tiered pagodas or similar accents.

Basically, the zen philosophy is about balance, harmony and the attainment of enlightenment. In searching for the perfect accents for your zen garden, remember to pick those that promote balance, peace of mind, and serenity.