How to Create a Zen Garden

When you hear the term "Zen Garden" the picture conjured up is of a dry landscape with rocks surrounded by carefully raked gravel which invites you to withdraw from the noise of the world outside and to enter into silent meditation. Some say that zen priests adopted the dry landscape style in the eleventh century as an aid to create a deeper understanding of the zen concepts, but others hold that the Japanese Zen Garden is a myth. They claim that it is a late 20th Century western creation that has nothing to do with the Japanese Garden Tradition and that the dry garden style is not unique to zen temples but can be found associated with many other buildings.

Whatever your view it is undeniable that there is something rather special about this dry landscape style which is generally known as a Zen garden. The main elements consist of rocks representing mountains or islands surrounded by flowing water in the form of sand or gravel.

Recently scientists used computer analysis to study one of the most famous Zen gardens in the world, at the Ryoanji Temple in Kyoto, to discover why it has a calming effect on the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come every year. The researchers found that the seemingly random collection of rocks and moss on this simple gravel rectangle, when viewed from the right position, created the image of a tree in the subconscious mind.

Not all Zen gardens are restricted to dry stones and gravel, but often include plants and mosses as well as shrine lanterns, bridges and water features. A Zen garden should be equally attractive and inviting throughout the year, which is why evergreens play such an important role in their design. Black pines and bamboo, moss and other evergreen ground covers provide seasonal continuity which is always green and alive.

Construction of a Zen garden starts with the selection of suitable rocks. It is important that you find rocks in shapes that appeal to you since these will form the backbone of the design. It may take some time for you to find the right stones and gravels to blend together to form a harmonious picture, but taking time and making careful choices is an important part of transforming simple gardening into an act of "meditation".

Zen gardening means that design, construction, planting and cultivation is all part of the garden itself. A Zen garden is a continuing process in which the creation and maintenance of the design is as much a part of the meditation as contemplation of the completed garden.

Hugh Harris-Evans is the owner of The Garden Supplies Advisor where you will find further articles, gardening tips and product reviews.

http://www.garden-supplies-advisor.com

In The News:


pen paper and inkwell


cat break through


Hummingbirds ? Attracting Those Little Flying Powerhouses

It's early in May a beautiful fairly warm day so... Read More

How to Grow Cooking Herbs

Grow your own cooking herbs to add fresh zest and... Read More

Come With Me To The Casbah!

A ripe persimmon is a thing of beauty ? sweet,... Read More

Planting Roses in Pots

In years past, serious rosarians would never consider having a... Read More

Tarragon: A Favourite of French Chefs

Long a favourite of French chefs, the herb Artemisia dracunculus,... Read More

Gardening Vertically: Fad, Emerging Frontier or Long-Overlooked Art Form

Sure, it makes sense that there's a buzz about vertical... Read More

Fake Grass

The history of artificial or fake grass is to say... Read More

Beauty With Indigenous Species

A garden a serves a man's every day need for... Read More

Plan for Winter Plantings

Part four in a seriesIt's hard to think about winter... Read More

Teak Furniture: The Premier Outdoor Furniture

When selecting furniture for their outdoor spaces, many people purchase... Read More

Ten Considerations Before You Buy A Bird House

When you decide to buy one bird house or more... Read More

Italian Vegetable Seeds

Some might ask, "Why grow Italian vegetable seeds?" Why bother... Read More

Why Teak Coffee Tables Are Essential For Your Outdoor Space

One of the best ways to bring together the many... Read More

You Say Tomato I Say Mosquito

Gathering tomatoes or other fruits of the garden might not... Read More

Escape to Sunny Mexico - at Home!

Can't get away for a southern vacation this year? Don't... Read More

Hydroponics Gardening - An Introduction To Hydroponics Gardening For Beginners (part 4) Environment

THE BASICS OF HYDROPONICS.The Success or Failure of Your Plants... Read More

The Protea Family (Proteaceae)

The protea family (Proteaceae) includes a wide range of ground... Read More

Garden Sheds - More Than Just Storage

You may already have a garage or shed in your... Read More

Rose - The Flower of Love and Romance

What is the flower that everyone visualizes and associates with... Read More

Hydroponics Gardening verses Organic Gardening: Which Grows the Best Cannabis?

Copy-write 2005 Jan Money.Hydroponics gardening offers many advantages to the... Read More

Rosemary: The Herb of Remembrance and Friendship

Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly called rosemary is an aromatic herb indigenous... Read More

How to Grow Avocado

Fruit gardening and vegetable gardening is a very exciting venture.... Read More

Garden Makeover On A Budget

There's been a huge increase in the popularity of garden... Read More

Outdoor Furniture: Exploring the Benefits of Teak

Of the many types of materials that are available for... Read More

Herbs: Growing Your Own

The first thing you need to do when deciding to... Read More

Orchids Plus More Newsletter - December, 2004

Newsletter Name Change?After several of you made suggestions to me... Read More

Getting Started with Garden and Patio Design

The art of managing outdoor space Designing a patio -... Read More

Fall Flowering Bulbs

Deciduous trees dazzle us with the brilliance of the golds,... Read More

Mosquitoes in Your Garden? Try Planting These

If you are a serious gardener, you spend lots of... Read More

Orchid Care What The Flower Tells

In Orchid Care The Flower Will Tell You About Some... Read More

The Heralded Teak Furniture Manufacturer: Kingsley-Bate

With an average lifespan of 75 years, teak wood has... Read More

Storm Damage and Mature Tree Pruning

One winter evening I was working on the computer when... Read More

Gardening For Birds

What a cruel trick the weather is playing on us.WE... Read More