Zen Gardens: Serene Outdoor Spaces

Considered by many as the epitome of minimalist design, Japanese Zen gardens were created in ancient Japan to assist Zen Buddhists invoke deep meditation by closely manicured sand and strategically putting rocks to evoke serenity and beauty. The raked gravel signifies flowing water and the rocks represent mountains; together attaining a slick look perfect for garden design.

Although a Zen garden is rooted in monastic life, you can make the most of its curative powers by incorporating a few straightforward materials: gravel, stone and wood. Exotic gardens are simple to create and require little upkeep. See how Houzz designers employed the Zen garden aesthetic to those houses, and create your own respite of peace and calm.

Daryl Toby – AguaFina Gardens International

Try to observe rocks as islands and gravel as water which surrounds them. With just a little creativity it is possible to get a sense of water flowing around the beautiful rock in this relaxing Zen garden made by AguaFina Gardens International.

Daryl Toby – AguaFina Gardens International

This”combination garden” is just another project by AguaFina Gardens. When designing your Zen garden, always look for ways to create meaning with your design. Rocks can signify many things, and dirt gives you the freedom to mould the landscape with designs you can later change for another appearance.

Urban Earth Design

Let your Zen garden glow through your house with this clever design idea made by Urban Earth Design. This window inset adds dimension and light to the interior design while letting the relaxing atmosphere of a Zen garden traveling inside.

Bamboo is frequently the tree of selection in a Zen garden. It is simple yet elegant; exotic yet attainable. Complemented by gray gravel and rocks, this backyard — made by Ververka Architects — reveals how a modern house can benefit from a centuries-old concept.

Wind & Weather

Wind Gong – $49.95

This delicate wind chime adds yet another Japanese component to your garden while de-stressing your life with its soothing sound.

kim E. rooney

A Japanese message carved into a rock completes the serene spirit of this Zen garden designed by Kim. E Rooney.

Frank & Grossman Landscape Contractors, Inc..

This alluring Zen garden, made by Frank & Grossman Landscape Contractors Inc., features an ultra-modern fire pit, which makes good use of this garden’s space.


Kichler 15071 Zen Garden 1 Light Outdoor Post Lamp – $261

A Japanese-inspired outdoor place lamb does its job without disrupting the Zen mood.

Laidlaw Schultz architects

This version of the standard Zen garden design, made by Laidlaw Schultz Architects, incorporates other components such as seats and a fire pit to create a Zen garden more livable.

Carson Poetzl, Inc..

You can mould the notion of a Zen garden into one which shows your imagination. Rather than Zen stone, designer Carson Poetzl created a soothing appearance with ice-like sculptures and onto a bed of sand.

More: Browse Asian-inspired landscapes

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