Landscape Designs: Create A Japanese Rock Garden

What You'll Need
Four pieces of lumber for the box, railroad or landscape ties work very well
Light colored sand, blue or beige are the most popular
5 landscape stones, in different shapes and sizes
Garden rake
Drill and weatherized screws

A Japanese rock garden can add charm and elegance to any landscape design project. They are relatively simple to make and will bring you much serenity and peace in your landscape design. Here’s what you need to know.

What Is a Japanese Rock Garden?
Japanese rock gardens have been around for centuries. They are used as stress relievers, and as meditation aides. They are also just awesome conversation pieces to have in your landscape. The rock garden is constructed with colored sand, rocks, and a rake. It’s designed to remind you of an ocean with islands.  

Step 1- Measure for Your Garden

Before you purchase any materials or instructions, you need to measure the space you are going to use. Try to use an area that is flat. The more level the ground, the much easier it will be to construct your garden. You will want to measure out a box area, as you will need to construct a box with lumber for the garden. Write down these measurements when you go to get your materials.

Step 2- Start by Building the Box

Using the ties or other lumber you purchased, construct a box. It’s best to do this in the place where you are wanting the garden to end up. This will eliminate the need to move an awkward box later. Set the ties down and make sure the ends are flush with one another. You might have to use a miter box to cut the corners if they haven’t already been pre-cut for you. Use the drill to secure the ties to each other.

Step 3- Filling the Box

Now that you have the box constructed, you just need to fill it with the lightly colored sand. It doesn’t have to be filled terribly high, but you will need enough sand to rake without exposing the bottom. Once you’ve poured the sand make sure it’s evenly set all throughout the box.

Step 4- Place the Rocks

The rocks are supposed to resemble islands. In a traditional Japanese rock garden 5 rocks are used. These rocks are also called Karensansui in traditional Japanese gardens. You can place these anywhere you’d like, but remember since they should resemble islands you may want to place them in clusters, or spread them out. Don’t make them too symmetrical or it will throw the look off.

Step 5- Rake the Sand

With the rocks in place, you can start to rake around the rocks. The idea is to rake in a circular motion around the rocks. The sand is supposed to resemble water, and the rake lines should resemble waves. You can get creative with this. Most people will rake their gardens periodically as this is part of the relaxation and meditation associated with the serenity of the garden.