How to Create a Japanese Inspired Garden in Your Home


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If you’ve ever experienced the tranquility of a Japanese garden, you’re familiar with the meditative calm it can inspire. Fortunately, you don’t need to travel to Japan to connect with nature; you can create your own Japanese-inspired garden right in your backyard!

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Japanese gardens emphasize tranquility, minimalism, and the incorporation natural elements. By keeping in mind these three features, you can begin building a Japanese style garden in your own home. Here are a few more tips to help create the zen garden you’ve always wanted: 

Before landscaping your yard, you’ll want to decide on the natural elements you will highlight in your garden. Each natural element has a different meaning for tranquility. For example rocks can represent stability. 

Japanese gardens usually feature a balance water, rocks, green plants, and other elements. 

  • WaterWater is the main feature of this design, whether it’s a small pond or a gentle stream. It can also be represented symbolically with gravel. Ponds come in all shapes and sizes, and are often adorned with koi and aquatic plants that add color and life.
  • Rocks: Rocks contribute to the garden’s structure and spirituality. Place a rock at the entrance of your garden to set a tone and welcome visitors into a world full of meditation. Use flat stones to create paths. Place them in a staggered arrangement to encourage contemplative, slow walking.
  • Plants:Plants should complement the scene, not dominate it. Bonsai, Japanese maples, azaleas and bamboo are all popular choices. Evergreen trees and moss are also suitable plants. 

Place Lanterns Around Yard

Include moss, or low-growing plants, around the base of your lantern to make it feel like an organic part of your garden. This will allow it to blend in and enhance its sense of permanence. Stone lanterns are used in traditional Japanese gardens, but wooden or metal lanterns can also be used. 

Build Reflective Pathways

You can add earthen or gravel pathways to your Japanese Garden in addition stepping stones. For a serene path, fine gravel or decomposed gray granite in earth tones or grays works well. Wood chips are great for a rustic, natural feel. 

To edge your pathway, use natural materials such as bamboo, low shrubs, or rocks. This not only helps define the paths, but also integrates them in the landscape.

Add Seating and Viewing Areas 

Your Japanese-inspired garden wouldn’t be complete without a comfortable bench to enjoy it on! You can strategically place a simple wooden bench or stone seat with a view to the entire garden. This is not only a seating area, but also a place to reflect and practice mindfulness. Consider arranging different seating styles around the garden to create an asymmetrical finish that will suit the diverse perspectives and experiences of each.

A Japanese garden can never be truly finished. It changes over time and with the seasons. The journey includes regular pruning, adjusting your space, and reassessing it. Enjoy every moment spent tending to your garden as it is a path towards inner peace.

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