How great would it be to have a really nice place to relax and feel at peace. Well, when you visit a Japanese garden that’s what you get. It’s also what you can get if you create your own Japanese garden. It’s important to note that you should know a few things about Japanese gardens before you start putting one together.
The main goal of a Japanese garden is to create a space or spaces for both meditation as well as reflection. At one time these gardens were spaces that were meant only for Japan’s ruling class so they could find calm away from the country’s strife or from wary, now over time these gardens in Japan have actually become part of their culture and a way of life for them.
Knowing this, it’s easy to see why just the idea of having a Japanese garden can bring excitement for some people when you consider all the stress people seem to be bombarded with in today’s society. So having a place where you can unwind and relax and maybe even be inspired is important.
Even though each individual is going to be different and have different ideas about how they want their Japanese garden to be, there is still a common theory behind this kind of garden that should be consistent and that is creating your own haven of “Zen”.
Before jumping right into it, you should at least know the basics behind a Japanese garden.
The first kind of Japanese garden that you might want to focus on or consider would be the rock garden. This will often include elements of sand as well. This type of garden contains no water element and it is specifically designed to try and portray the scenes from mountains and rivers without the use of water. Sand gravel can be raked into certain patterns to symbolize the movement of a river while the rocks that are placed on that same sand can represent the mountains.
Another kind of Zen type garden that you can make is called the moss garden. Moss really thrives in Japan everywhere naturally because of its humid and rainy climate in most areas, but moss really doesn’t need a bunch of rain for it to flourish. So, this means that you can easily use it and incorporate it into your garden in a variety of different ways and different places. A moss garden will help to establish a very soft and well balanced feel in the garden that is meant to help bring comfort to your mind and body and help alleviate the feeling of being burdened.
You can also have a pond garden where you might be able to incorporate parts of both the rock and moss gardens along with adding a pond or ponds and other water features that will help you bring a more relaxing feeling to your Japanese garden.
You need to realize that a true Japanese garden does not tend to be filled with bright hanging flowers, tons of bridges over babbling streams because in reality that is more the Chinese version of a garden and not the Japanese. Instead more subdued colors are used sticking with monochromatic greens and colors from the primary color palette. There is nothing wrong with flowers in a Japanese garden however, even though they can be colorful they shouldn’t be so colorful that they can be distracting. Flowers in a Japanese garden need to work toward highlighting the natural green in the garden and to help balance out the color of the Japanese garden and not overpower it.
The most important thing to remember about a Japanese garden is to try and keep it somewhat small and simple. There’s no creating the biggest and the best going on here so get rid of the glitz and glamour. This type of a garden is based on simplicity. So you need to use the kind of materials that can incorporate simplicity like a bamboo fence or screen made from bamboo is a great accessory for this kind of garden.
Make sure there are small stone paths that maybe wind around statures or icons you might want to display in your garden. For the Japanese winding stone paths represent anticipation for what’s coming in the future while at the same time respecting ones past.
When you create a garden like this don’t feel like you have to have a big variety of plants. If you stick with three or four different varieties of mossy or crawling style plants will not only be lovely but will make the garden a lot easier for you to maintain, so keep it simple because a simply designed garden will let you unclutter your mind easier.