A Guide to the Key Elements in a Japanese Zen Garden
Japanese Zen gardens are becoming 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 arranged properly, the other parts of the garden will follow as the stones 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 regarded as a critical part of every Japanese Zen garden as it shows the continuous and steady flow of time. Components of water in the Zen garden are clear in their thin cords flowing through their pond facilities, rocks and the gravel, stone, and sand where water seems to have run dry to symbolize the past time. It can be a good idea to introduce falling water in your garden design or bamboo fountains to enhance the Japanese garden flavor.
The gardens are designed to take the guests by way of a trail that’s carefully designed since the Japanese culture places a lot of value on life being a path. Apart from fulfilling cultural requirements, the main purpose of the path in the Zen garden is the unification of the elements of the garden. They also place lots of emphasis In designing architecture that enhances the path. These are made from natural materials including rock, wood, and metal. Traditional Japanese architecture has pavilion rock lanterns and wells. You can even create a tea house at the center of the garden. You can also add your personal touch by integrating bamboo garden fences or stone water jars to provide the impression of grace and lightness.
Each Japanese garden is designed so that the plants follow the stone layout. 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 pick various kinds of garden plants to complement the stone layout from conifers to evergreens to local hardwoods, to blooming trees and shrubs and perennial forest flowers.
Apart from the minimalism of the Japanese gardens, what many people don’t know is the layout attempts to show the unique relationship between man and nature.