Creating a Zen Garden in Your Backyard: A Meditative Space

Making a Zen garden in the yard is one approach to creating a calming environment. While some gardeners utilize color theory to benefit from the soothing effects of “cold” hues such as blue and lavender, you may accomplish the same goal with a more elaborate design for sitting back and relaxing in your backyard.

What Is a Zen Garden?

Zen gardens are intended to be peaceful areas where the mind may rest and you may experience a state of deep inner peace.  The gardens are designed to be simple, with few plants and rocks used as accents. The focus is on the process of creating and tending to the garden, rather than on the final product.

The History of Zen Gardens

Zen gardens originated in Japan over 900 years ago. At that time, Zen Buddhism was becoming popular and people were looking for a way to express their beliefs through art. The first zen gardens were created in temples, where monks would use them as a place to practice meditation.

Tools and Supplies You Will Need

What do you need for your own Zen Garden?  Not much, really. All you need is a patch of earth, some rocks, and a rake. You can use any type of soil you like, as long as it’s not too wet or too dry.

Best Plants for a Zen Garden

Zen gardens generally have a small number of plants, but you may modify this to your own preferences and style.  

If you’re going to be using a lot of plants, choose ones that require low maintenance. This way, your garden can feel more like a retreat and less like work! 

There are many great choices for plants in a Zen garden: bamboo palm trees, pines, water lilies, cacti, lavender. If you’re not sure where to start, consult with a gardening professional or do some research online.

How to Make a Zen Garden

Now that you have the supplies, it’s time to make your garden. The first step is to choose an area in your backyard that gets plenty of suns. Clear away any debris from the area and spread out a layer of mulch or straw. This will help keep the soil moisture levels consistent and also prevent weed growth.

Next, dig a square hole about two feet deep and four feet wide. If you’re using small rocks, place them in the bottom of the hole before filling it in with soil. If you’re using larger rocks, place them around the edge of the hole and fill in the center with soil.

Once your garden is complete, it’s time to add some plants! You can use any type of plant you like, but it’s best to stick with something that doesn’t require a lot of care. Bamboo, moss, and succulents are all good choices.

Water your garden regularly and enjoy the peace and tranquility of a Zen garden right in your backyard!

Garden with a stream

Even if water isn’t a component of a traditional Zen garden, the sound of flowing water may help to create a more soothing environment that is better for meditation.  If you have room in your garden, consider including a small stream or pond.


If you’re looking for a way to relax and de-stress, creating a Zen garden in your backyard is a great option. It’s easy to do and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.

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