Outdoor Living

Japanese Zen garden

Australian’s tend to live busy lifestyles that can be stressful and the number of stressed Aussies has jumped by about a third to 4.9 million during the past decade, research by health fund Medibank reveals.

Having a place to disconnect and unwind can be all the more valuable for both your home and mental health.

The Zen garden creates a private retreat in your yard using a low maintenance design that encourages natural escapism and disconnect. Experience a full transition when you step outside and move from an environment of artificial light, screens and gadgets to a relaxing area that provides both hands off and hands on opportunities for meditation including practicing samon, the ancient Japanese art of raking gravel to aide concentration.

Creating your own haven that will become a place of reflection, peace and stillness is achievable in most backyards regardless of size. Here’s how you can create your own Zen garden:

  • Taking inspiration from Japanese culture, the Zen garden offers a stylised landscape and combines many elements of landscape design including ambient water features, deep greenery and low maintenance plants, gravels, stepping-stones and feature rocks. Keep your design simple and opt for a coloured stone as a base component, it is cost-efficient and requires minimal maintenance. Decorative gravel is also commonly featured throughout Japanese gardens.
  • Placing rocks of various shapes and sizes around the garden is symbolic in Japanese culture and represents mountains and natural water elements – rocks will add depth and different layers to the scene.  Try incorporating plants that exude a rich colour palette of green and a pond or water feature for ultimate tranquility. Avoid rocks placed in a straight line or symmetrical patterns.
  • Stepping-stones are a good choice for a pathway through the garden, though follow the general guideline and stagger these too. “Consider Euro Stone in the Zurich colour to bring in a gentle grey tone which is understated in its aesthetic but complimentary to the environment which adds to the tranquility. They have an exposed aggregate texture, which shows the stones within the paver. In the right light, these inner aggregates will sparkle adding subtle movement to the garden,” advised Jason.

Source: Adbri Masonry