Relaxing in Your Very Own Zen Garden

A Zen Garden is not only a delight to the eyes – it can also give a sense of tranquility and relaxation. Having a Zen garden is one way to calm your spirit and soothe it in the midst of the hustle and bustle of your busy life. And you can emerge from your space of tranquility renewed and ready to face the word!

If your budget, space and inclination cannot afford you a lush green garden, the stark beauty and elegance of rocks and sand may be a good alternative. Zen gardens don’t cost as much to create and are also relatively easy to maintain. They also don’t have to dominate your whole landscape; you can just choose a small section of your home, such as the area underneath the stairs, a corner of your living room, or just about anywhere.

Unlike the common notion, Zen gardens are not made up of just stone and sand, although these are some of the key components. The elements of a Zen garden include:
– Sand. The sand that is used in a typical Zen garden is white or beige in color, laid out at about 4-inch in depth. This layer of sand represents water. This sand should be routinely raked to form ripples and waves. If you are in an area with wet climate, though, sand may be hard to manage and maintain. Small stones or gravel can be excellent alternatives.
– Rocks and boulders. Landscaping rocks in Utah can be used to make formations and groupings. For instance, these rocks can take the form of a crane (for happiness) or a tortoise (for long life).  Meanwhile, Utah pavers and boulders can represent islands or can used as stepping stones.
– Water. Utah waterfalls, ponds and streams add another tranquil element to the Zen garden. The sound of water lightly falling on the rocks can be very relaxing. You can also add koi fish to the ponds, as well as water plants – lilies and bamboos. There are also some who would rather have a water feature without the water – by imitating the flow of water on the surface of the rocks.
– Plants. Zen gardens do not require a lot of plants. You can let the moss to grow on the rocks. To hasten the process, you can put a fist-sized clump of the moss you want, and mix this with a cup of beer (yes, beer!) and half a teaspoon of sugar. Some also use equal measures (2 cups each) of buttermilk and water. Use a blender to mix the ingredients. Using a brush, apply the mixture on the rocks. It will take around 2 weeks to one month for the moss to richly cover the rocks. Other plants include ferns or a low-growing evergreen. To add color, you can also put in azaleas and cherry blossoms. However, keep plants at a minimum.
– Bamboo panels. To add to the effect, line the concrete walls facing the garden with bamboo panels. You can also use these to delineate the area you have assigned for your Zen garden.
– Bridges. If you have enough space, you can add a bridge over the sandy area. This way, you can go near the area without needing to step on the water and ruin the rippling effect that your rake creates. This bridge can be made using Utah boulders. You can also add wooden lanterns at focal points in the path.
– Chimes. Another element you can add would be the soft tinkling of wind chimes.
– Bench or sitting area. Of course, you need to provide a place for you to sit and relax as you enjoy your Zen garden. Place a wooden bench near a stroll path so that you can sit down with a good book or a hot cup of tea.

A reminder

It can be tempting to cram all these in a small space. But remember, with a Zen garden, less is the way to go. Once everything is in place, use a rake to daily form the wave patterns and as you do, take time to meditate on the ripples and flowing lines for a truly relaxing and refreshing experience.