4 Zen Garden Ideas to Consider For Your Home

May 14, 2024

Also known as Japanese rock gardens, Zen gardens can offer you a serene retreat in the comfort of your own backyard. If this sounds like something you want as part of your backyard design, a Zen garden might be perfect for you. Here are a few Zen garden ideas to consider for your custom home:

What is a Zen Garden?

A Zen garden, which is also known as a Japanese rock garden, is a type of garden that has its roots in Zen Buddhism principles. These principles include simplicity and a focus on the natural world. This idea of using design to create calm environments is very similar to Japandi design style.

This type of Japanese garden style goes back thousands of years to the mid-14th century, known as the Muromachi period. They began at the Zen temples, which have a specific layout of buildings and gardens. Temples usually featured main pavilions with flat white gravel areas where people would sit when the emperor visited the temple. There came a time in history when emperors no longer visited the temples in the same way; after which, the monks of the temples began using the open spaces for meditation.

Throughout the years, the principles and features common to Zen gardens evolved and expanded into new interpretations and variations of the style. Eventually, the typical design elements, such as rock placements and specific raked patterns in the gravel or sand, were included. Not all Zen Gardens feature all of these elements, but they are common design features in the Zen style.

Japanese Zen gardens incorporate raked sand and gravel to create a minimalist garden rather than lots of lush shrubbery and greenery. Zen gardens tend to be separate and may even be walled off from other areas of a garden to create a calm environment.

4 Zen Garden Ideas to Consider For Your Home

If you’re thinking about adding a Zen garden to your custom home, here are a few Zen garden ideas to consider:

1. Design a Labyrinth

Labyrinths can be very meditative as they force you to concentrate as you weave through a specific design pattern. To incorporate one into your own Zen garden, you can build it up with shrubbery or carve it into the grass. Line the path with sand or gravel. Using natural stones for gravel is not just a Zen garden idea, but is a popular rustic garden design idea as well.

2. Incorporate Peaceful Colors

While sand or gravel can add peaceful elements, colors can bring peace as well. Add in a dash of color by planting calming plants like lavender or mint. These plants can not only bring some soothing color but are also useful herbs. Just make sure the mint is in a container as it can be fast-growing and invasive if not managed well. Planting herbs that are also beautiful is often used in farmhouse landscaping ideas.

3. Anchor the Garden With a Large Rock

Zen gardens often have large rocks because rocks represent eternity. Anchor your Zen garden with a large rock that can be used as a seating area and meditation spot. If you want more seating or other meditation spots, add more stones that are just a little bit smaller.

4. Use Bamboo for Privacy

If you truly want your Zen garden to feel private and relaxing, you might want to think about planting some bamboo. Not only does bamboo fit well in a Zen garden, but it’s one of the best plants for backyard privacy. This is great for establishing your Zen garden border but is also another way to add some privacy to your backyard.

These are just a few Zen garden ideas to consider for your home. Zen gardens are just one of the best ideas for outdoor living spaces for your home. The landscaping around your home is important for curb appeal and it can make your house a home. However, if no amount of updates outside or inside your house make it feel like home, it may be time to consider a custom home built to fit your needs and taste. Contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090 to start bringing your dream home to life!