Outdoor Designs

Zen garden: how to make, used elements and decoration pictures

If an ordinary garden is already synonymous with relaxation and tranquility, what about a Zen garden? Just by name you can feel the calm and peace, right? This particular type of garden is also known as the Japanese garden, since its origin is directly linked to the Buddhist monks of the country.

The Zen Garden is an ancient tradition dating back to the 1st century AD. This green space was designed for the purpose of ensuring well-being, inner re-connection, inspiring vitality and serenity, and of course being the ideal place for meditative practices.

But in order for the Zen garden to actually achieve these goals, some details are essential. Want to know what they are? So be sure to follow the next topics in this post:

How to make a zen garden?

First of all you need to know that a Zen garden carries the characteristic of simplicity, so the idea here is that of the classic “less is more”. The Zen garden also advocates fluidity and freedom of movement. Another strong feature of this type of garden is its versatility, it fits anywhere, literally. You can build a Zen garden in the backyard, taking advantage of all the available space, or build a miniature Zen garden for your desk.

After defining the location and size of your Zen garden, it is time to think about the elements that must be present in this space in order for it to fulfill its role.

Elements You Can’t Miss in a Zen Garden

Sand / Earth

Sand or earth are key items in a Zen garden. These are the elements that represent the solidity and the foundation upon which everything exists. Sand or earth, within the Zen garden concept, further symbolizes the transmutation of energies and the neutralization of all negative thoughts and emotions.


The stones serve to remind us of the obstacles and setbacks of the path, no matter how large they may be, will always be there teaching you something. Stones – which can be rocks or crystals – also represent life-accumulated experiences and act as energy generators helping to balance the environment and people. They say that to be lucky, the ideal is to use stones in odd numbers.


Garden without a plant is not a garden, is it? Only in a Zen garden, the ideal is a few plants that are practically arranged in the environment and that allow for fluidity and movement. The most commonly used plants in a Zen garden are bouquets, pines, bamboos, azaleas, orchids, as well as grasses and mosses. Another good option is to use bonsai in the composition of the Zen garden, especially in those smaller boxed models.


Water is the generating element of life and needs to be present in a Zen garden. You can insert this element with a small lake or a font. In the small Zen garden, in turn, the water is represented by the sand used inside the box, as this element symbolizes the sea.


The rake, that kind of wooden rake, is the instrument of interaction with the Zen garden. Its function is to help relax the mind as the designs are created in the sand. The straight lines represent tranquility and the curved lines agitate, similar to the movement of sea waves. Both small and large zen gardens can and should make use of the rake.

Incense sticks

Incense is the representation of the air element and represents the fluidity of thoughts. In addition to aromatics, incense sticks help the mind relax, leading meditation more easily.


Lighting is of great importance in the Zen garden, both aesthetically and functionally. You can choose to use lanterns, lamps, candles and even a bonfire area to bring the light into your garden.


Other accessories that can be used in the Zen garden are Buddha statues, Ganesha and other sacred entities of the Eastern religions. It is also common to use bridges if the Zen garden is large. Some pillows and futtons help make the space more cozy and comfortable.

Check out a video tutorial on how to make a mini Zen garden to decorate small spaces and help you relax after a long day.

Zen Garden – DIY

Have you jotted down everything you need to create your Zen garden, big or small? So now get inspired with 21 beautiful Zen garden images:

Picture 1 – Miniature Zen garden with a small buddha statue, succulents and the space reserved for sand and rake; Notice that the stone container where the garden was built forms the sacred symbol of the Tao.

Picture 2 – In this house, the Zen garden with bamboos assumes the same characteristics of a winter garden.

Picture 3 – Candle lighting does a spectacular job in this mini zen garden.

Picture 4 – Bathtub within a zen garden: total relaxation.

Picture 5 – Large zen garden with path of stones, statues and mini bridge.

Picture 6 – Zen garden at the back of the house and with direct access through the home office; pure quiet work near a corner like that.

Picture 7 – Simplicity and minimalism are basic premises of a Zen garden.

Picture 8 – Zen garden in the external area of ​​the house; The proposal here has a mini lake and even a small gourmet space.

Picture 9 – Mini lake and white stones characterize this garden within the Zen concept.

Picture 10 – Access to the gourmet space must pass through the Zen garden.

Picture 11 – One of the great advantages of the Zen garden is that it does not impose sizes or limits; Here, for example, the small masonry tank became.

Picture 12 – In a Zen garden, the less visual distraction the better; This facilitates the practice of meditation since the mind is not distracted by the external.

Picture 13 – You can quietly adapt your home’s conservatory to the Zen garden concept.

Picture 14 – Waterfalls are extremely relaxing; If you can invest in one, do it!

Picture 15 – Mini zen garden for table or bench.

Picture 16 – In this Zen garden, the welcome has become the highlight; The interesting tree in the back is also another big point of attention.

Picture 17 – External zen garden with small buddha statue.

Picture 18 – A comforting corner! Here the little cottage rests on the Zen garden.

Picture 19 – Larger scale reproduction of small wooden box Zen garden; Note that the space even has the rake.

Image 20 – Another possibility is to set up the Zen garden in pots, as in this image.

Picture 21 – The minimalist proposal of the zen garden ends up fitting perfectly also with the modern style of landscaping.

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