Are you someone who idolizes nature and who likes to interpret the world symbolically? You’re probably a good candidate for a Zen garden then! But lovers of low-maintenance landscaping should think twice before installing such a design. Zen gardens may look simple, but they can be a lot of work. Here’s what you should know before you begin:

What Is a Zen Garden?

Developed by Buddhist monks in ancient Japan (with some Chinese influence), Zen gardens are often dubbed “miniature landscapes” because their components symbolize aspects of nature.

Most notably, the expanse of white gravel raked to have ripples represents ocean waves, and the tall, narrow boulders jutting out vertically represent mountains. Short, green plants may be grown on or around the “islands” to represent island vegetation, and architectural plants can serve as accents.

Tools and Supplies

  • White gravel
  • Rocks in a variety of sizes and shapes
  • Steel garden rake
  • Wooden Zen rake
  • Shovel
  • Hoe
  • Tape measure
  • String, string level, and stakes
  • Tamper
  • Landscape fabric
  • Edging stones

How to Make a Zen Garden 

  1. Clear the selected space completely of anything sticking up out of the ground like plants, weeds, and stones. Also remove the top layer of the existing soil.
  2. Check for level by pounding stakes into the ground end-to-end (both lengthwise and widthwise within your rectangle), stringing between them, and utilizing your string level.
  3. Rake out uneven spots, tamp down the soil, and run stone edging around the space. This edging will retain the white gravel.
  4. Dig holes for the rocks you’ll be using to represent mountains and/or islands. Arrangement is subjective, but try not to use symmetrical patterns, circles, straight lines Also, dig holes for any shrubs you’ll be planting.
  5. Install the rocks and plants in their holes. A significant portion of those tall, thin rocks (which represent mountains) should be hidden. They will appear more natural if you insert them like this at the end of the iceberg.
  6. Lay landscape fabric over the soil, making cuts to accommodate rocks and plants.
  7. Apply a thin layer of white gravel. With the hoe, spread it out. Using the wooden Zen rake, shape ripples or circles in it. After the elements have scrambled these patterns, maintain them by raking them back into the gravel with a Zen-garden rake.

Maintaining your home’s landscaping can be an arduous task, but Elite Development Group makes it easy with upscale monthly maintenance services for your home and garden. Contact us today and let the professionals keep your garden looking fresh.