65 Philosophic Zen Garden Designs – DigsDigs

65 Philosophic Zen Garden Designs – DigsDigs

In Japanese gardens, rocks usually symbolize mountains while gravel or sand suggest ripples on the water surface.


Zen in Sanskrit or Mandarin dialect means ‘meditative state’, and a zen garden will really make your relax and reflect a little. Such a place is very calm and you can easily design it in your own garden just realizing some features. A pond with carps, sand garden and big stones, moss and lots of green will help you to create an atmosphere. Add wooden bridges, pebble covered areas, water lilies, classical Japanese lanterns, a fountain, some lights and voila – your inspiring and philosophic space is ready! Have a look at some great examples of zen garden designs below and get inspired!

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A bamboo water feature with a stone bowl would fit well even into a very small garden. Of course they would become a focal point there.

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If space is at a premium a Japanese-inspired oasis is an ideal solution. Such oasis is usually designed to mimic the look and feel of a mountain landscape in miniature.

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When there aren’t any colorful plants in a garden, the eye usually notice such things as shape, texture and placement.

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Courtyard is a perfect place for a little rock garden because it’s easier to create low-maintenence conditions there.

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A tall urn could easily become a centerpiece of a small garden.

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A minimalist pavilion would provide a sheltered spot where you can enjoy the garden being close to it.

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Minimalism is the main characteristic you should consider designing a Zen garden. A single rock on a rippled sand area is enough.

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Cloud-pruned conifers could be found in many Asian-inspired gardens because of their elegant looks. A conifer on a mossy green base surrounded by several rocks would definitely mimic some mountain’s landscape.

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If you have kids you can design a sandpit for them that would look like a small zen-garden if you rake the sand over after their play session.

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To make your garden look good during the night don’t forget to add a bunch lights. Playing with the lights and shadows is an interesting process that could bring your garden’s design to the next level.

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A bamboo screen is a perfect backdrop for your garden. Adding a water feature like a small waterfall is also a great idea because water gives positive energy to the space.

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A Japanese-inspired front yard is also a great idea. A crushed stone of the right color would make your house blend with the landscape better.

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Adding several blooming trees is quite important because we all know how Sakura is popular in Japanese gardens.

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Those of you who don’t like to 7add water features to your garden could imitate a river with pebbles. It would look even better but you won’t need to worry about insects living in water.

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A dry river bed and a faux waterfall is a great combo for dry landscaping.

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In sunny areas you could use succulents for a desert zen garden.

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The sound of flowing or falling water adds to the soothing nature of any Japanese-inspired garden.

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A pavilion, a carp pond, beautiful trees and garden paths should all be highlighted with lights to make the garden look gorgeous at night too.

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If there is a pond in your garden, plant lotuses there to create the ultimate Zen ambience.

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Pruned evergreens are great but little hills with groundcover plants are more creative.

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Create natural-looking paths in your garden to connect different areas you might want your guests to visit.

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This gorgeous garden shows variety of plants could be used at once.

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There are many kinds of Japanese maples that have different leaves colors and shapes. That make them as popular for designing a zen garden as different evergreens.

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Pagoda statues are quote popular fixtures in such gardens.

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If you’ve a moist, shady area in your garden where isn’t any foot traffic, grow moss there. It’s a beautiful groundcover.

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Lots of zen gardens are dry landscapes. That’s why you need a lot of small stones or sand to design such garden.

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Don’t worry if your backyard is small. With less area to cover you can spend more on materials so your landscape would look great.

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Addining stones and pebbles in different sizes is a great way to achieve this Zen look you’re craving for.

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Colorful koi and goldfish bring hours of enjoyment to the Japanese garden. You can make the process of feeding them a really fun activity.

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Subtle color contrast and bold textural differences can create an interest so necessary in a minimalist garden.

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Stone lanterns shaped as pagodas are quite popular features of zen gardens. If you have a pavilion or a tea house their the lantern could be designed to remind its shape.

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Adding an area with raked sand to your garden is a great way to represent water ripples. The cool thing about it that you can change it whatever you want.

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If you’re growing moss in your garden you might want to add some stepping stones because it doesn’t tolerate any foot traffic.

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A key element in Japanese garden style is creating layers that can’t be viewed all at once.

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If you’re landscaping with sand you need to separate it from other parts of the garden with at least small garden borders. Otherwise it would be everywhere.

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Evergreens are the most popular plants in Japanese gardens. They usually came in different sizes with different shapes carefully mixed together.

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A Backyard pond is a great addition to a garden if you aren’t going for a dry landscape.

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