A Zen garden traditionally is considered to be a dry landscape because there is no tangible water present. Instead, the water is symbolized by the wavelike shapes that are raked into the sand and gravel that make up the foundation of the garden. Many western landscapers like adding a waterfall or a pond to their Zen gardens. The presence of moving water is very relaxing and helps the meditation and relaxation processes. When adding a water feature to a Zen garden it is important that it becomes an organic part of the garden.
Adding a Waterfall
A waterfall is a common feature in western Zen gardens. Waterfalls can be added in several ways. The first option is to buy a hanging waterfall. This kit will include a wall mount, hoses and a basin. To install this type of waterfall you will need to sink anchors into the exterior wall of your home or the structure where the fountain will be located. The anchors will be used to support the weight of the waterfall and the water. Once the anchors have been installed, hang the waterfall body on them. Then connect the tubing and the water pump, fill the waterfall basin and plug the electrical cord in. This pump will move the water from the basin through the tubing and out of the spout.
Another option is to build a waterfall into your pond design. This can be done simply by building up a rocky area at one end of your pond and then threading a hose for returning the water through the rock so the head of the hose pokes out of the rocks near the top. This will allow the water to trickle through the rocks and fall into the pond below. You can create spill-overs by positioning flat slabs of slate and argillite in tiers which will create small waterfalls that will direct the returning water from your filtration system into your pond.
Planning Around a Pond
If you already have a pond in your yard and you are interested in adding a Zen garden to your landscaping, then consider the arrangement of your outdoor space. When planning around a pond you need to decide whether you want your pond to be at the center of your Zen garden or whether you want it to be located at the edge of your Zen garden.
If your pond is the focal point for the garden, you can add a large, flat stone next to the point for sitting and meditating. Surround the meditation rock and your pond with a sea of sand and extend the essence and movement of the water in your pond throughout your Zen garden by raking in wave patterns into the sand.
If you decide to position your pond at the edge of your Zen Garden, the position of your pond will determine what reflections are created and what energy is transmitted from nature to your Zen garden.