Home Garden Designs How to make a ZEN garden in 7 steps

How to make a ZEN garden in 7 steps


Within the three types of Japanese gardens, there is one called Karesansui, perhaps better known as “rock garden” or Zen garden. This type of garden with roots in Zen Buddhism, is basically composed of gravel, pebbles, boulders, sand and moss.

Specifically, the rocks have a very simple way to perform. The first thing is to delimit the space that will cover; Square spaces are used a lot, but can have other shapes. It is delimited with rocks of greater size, although bamboo could also be used, remember that you can be creative always remembering certain basic parameters. Within the delimited space, a first layer of sand or gravel is given, which is raked giving shapes to taste, as in the image. In between rocks are placed decorating the garden. Many Buddhists change the shape of it daily, it is not necessary to keep it intact.

What is the meaning or purpose of a ZEN garden?


The Zen gardens aim to meditation and reflection, and according to the design of it, it can bring to mind landscapes as diverse and relaxing as mountains, rivers or islands in the sea. It can be created on a portion of the office desk, up to the entire yard of the house.

Yin Yang

The Japanese garden manages the elements of Yin and Yan, seeks balance in its structure. The object of it is to look like a virgin terrain, which awakens a reflection in the visitor, each rock is placed in a position for a special reason and not by simple chance; everything depends on the objective of who created it for those who visit it.

Transport the mind

You probably never thought about it, but when you see a bonsai, do not you imagine the tree in large proportions? Well, here it is the same, suddenly a big dark rock simulates a small island lost in the sea of ​​small smaller boulders, with light tones and a light layer of moss, which generates the same reaction in you as bonsai. If that happens to you, the rock garden fulfilled its objective and managed to transfer it to you momentarily in your thoughts.

How to make a ZEN garden step by step

Evaluate the available space

Decide how big you want the garden to be. Evaluate the available space. Are you going to make a garden that occupies a part of your patio, the whole patio, or do you want a Zen garden for your desk? The steps are the same, only the scale will be different.

Delimit space

You must define the space to use. You can delimit this space using the garden soil, or you can also create a mold to contain the sand and / or gravel. Sand and gravel generally form the matrix of a Zen garden, and they need a matrix that holds these materials firmly. If you plan to make a large garden, consider using large planks. If it’s a desktop garden, a few small tables will suffice.

Build the frame

If you use boards or planks, arm “the frame” with nails, screws and glue. You can decorate the wood, painting, dyeing or varnishing it.

Cover the base

Place an antimalar covers on the base, such as black plastic. Zen gardens should be totally clean, free of weeds. If you build it in outer space, the weeds will grow among the gravel, which will remove the beauty of your garden.

Place sand or gravel

Over the floor cover, place the sand or gravel in a uniform and as level as possible. If it is a desktop garden, with sand it will be enough, if it is an outdoor garden, use gravel or small pebbles.

Create landscape

Once you have made the base of the garden, you must create a stimulating landscape. Consider using old trunks covered in moss, rocks with interesting colors, shapes or textures, or other objects. Place them outside the center and partially submerged for the best effect. Zen gardens usually include natural elements of wood, rock and vegetation, but do not be afraid to add statues or other objects. Just keep in mind a golden rule: it must be orderly, peaceful and simple, so it is advisable that you design the garden in an emotional and mental state of total tranquility and harmony.


Rakes sand or gravel in long, curved motions to represent water waves. The good thing about this is that you can change it as many times as you want!


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