Site Loader

Creating a Japanese Zen garden might seem like a daunting task, but it is a highly fulfilling one. By following these five essential steps, you can create a peaceful and beautiful Japanese Zen garden that you are sure to enjoy for many years to come.

Choose a Spot

The first essential of creating your Japanese Zen garden is to determine where you are going to place it. Zen gardens typically do best outdoors and can have a major impact on the appearance of your lawn, but you can also create a miniature Zen garden inside your home if you prefer. If you choose to place your Zen garden outside, you will want to choose a nice, quiet spot for it in order to enjoy the most relaxation.

Add Rock and Stone

Rock and stone are two of the main essentials of any Japanese Zen garden. You can use rocks and stones of various sizes and shapes to create a unique path, to square off sections of your garden and to otherwise build, shape and decorate your new Zen garden. When choosing rocks and stones for your Zen garden, take a look at the overall appearance of each rock. You should look for unique, interesting and visually appealing rocks and stones. You should carefully place them for the best look, but try not to make them look too staged. Instead, you want for your rocks and stones to look as if they occurred naturally. In fact, you should consider partially burying large rocks so that they look as if they have been in place for a while.


Water is another essential in any Japanese Zen garden. Having a nice pond with large, beautiful and colourful Koi fish can add a whole new element to your garden. If possible, consider building a waterfall or stream that will create a relaxing ambiance for your Japanese Zen garden and that will keep the water in your pond fresh. Having water in your garden will also help to keep the area moist and will help to keep your plants fresh, bright, green and healthy.


Evergreen shrubs and trees are a must for any Japanese Zen garden. In fact, you can use these plants to make up the bulk of your greenery in your garden; not only are they easy to care for, but they stay pretty and green year-round, meaning that your garden will look nice at all times. Ornamental grass and bamboo are also an essential for your Japanese Zen garden. Mosses, ferns, cherry trees, azaleas and other beautiful plants can also be used to create your look. Vines can be used to soften the look of sharp architecture, and you may choose to add a few flowers. However, you do not want to use too many flowers, and you don’t want to let them take over the focal point of the garden.


Ornaments should be sparse in your Japanese Zen garden, but you may want to add in a few in order to achieve the look that you are going for. Sculptures, lanterns, bridges and other decorative items should be used sparsely and should have a natural look to match the rest of your Japanese Zen garden.

Jamie is a gardening enthusiast who works for PPG Brisbane in Australia. Like most other Aussies, Jamie loves to spend his weekends in the backyard with his beautiful wife, three boys and a golden retriever.