A Guide to the Key Elements in a Japanese Zen Garden
Japanese Zen gardens have become increasingly popular nowadays. This can be due to its graceful mixture of rocks, plants and water all carefully ordered to give a feeling of calm and tranquility. If you are considering building your personal Japanese Zen garden at home, here would be the essential elements to remember.
Ancient Japanese mythology puts a lot of emphasis on stones and mountains as the earth’s foundation; therefore, the Japanese consider this as one of the key elements when designing their Zen gardens. They believe that when the stones are ordered properly, the other areas of the garden will follow as the rocks form the frame of the garden. If you are designing your Zen garden, some ideas would be laying out gray river rocks that are uniform in size to form a stream bed or including raked gravel around islands.
Water is viewed as an essential part of every Japanese Zen garden as it reveals the continuous and steady flow of time. Components of water in the Zen garden are clear in their thin cords flowing through stone, their pond installations along with the gravel, stone, and sand where water appears to have run dry to symbolize the time past. It may be a great idea to introduce bamboo fountains or falling water in your garden design to enhance the Japanese garden flavor.
The gardens are created to take the guests by way of a route that is carefully designed, since the Japanese culture puts lots of importance on life being a path. Aside from meeting cultural demands, the principal purpose of the path in the Zen garden is the union of the components of the garden. They also place lots of emphasis In designing architecture that enhances the path. All these are made from natural materials like metal, wood, and rock. Traditional Japanese architecture includes pavilion rock lanterns and wells. You can even have a tea house in the middle of the garden. By incorporating bamboo garden fences or stone water jars to give the impression of lightness and grace you can also add your personal touch to the Zen garden.
Each Japanese garden is designed to ensure that the stone layout is followed by the plants. Therefore, instead of letting the plants to dictate the appearance of your design, always remember your stone layout in choosing the plants that will create the background and soften the lines. You can select several types of garden plants to complement the stone layout from conifers to shrubs and blooming trees and perennial forest blooms, to evergreens and local hardwoods.
Aside from the minimalism of the Japanese gardens, what many folks do not know is that the design tries to show the unique relationship between man and nature.