Although I love my garden and the greenery that surrounds it, I hate how 'normal' it looks. I would say that it was an average British garden with flower beds on both sides and a green lawn right in the middle. After trying to create a visually unique garden by experimenting with different plant types, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to re-do my entire garden. I did some research on various garden types and fell in love with the Japanese garden, also known as the 'Zen Garden', which just oozes serenity. With my busy and hectic lifestyle, this is exactly what I need. With some helpful tips and advice I have created a simple guide to help you achieve this beautiful, serene garden.
- Researching the Japanese garden is vital. You will need to make sure that this Japanese style is for you, as its simplicity relies more on garden features rather than plants.
- Once you understand the concept, you can start planning. The more images and ideas you collect, the more you will be able to envision how you want your end garden to look. Once you understand the concept and 'image' of the Japanese garden, you can finally start to visually plan what you want and where you want it.
- One of the most important parts of achieving this 'natural' look is by working with what you already have in your garden. If you have a hilly area then work with it and surround the area with miniature rocks and maybe a small pond at the bottom to create a sea and sand effect. If your area is flat (like mine) then there are also many Japanese garden ideas available. Just make sure you plan according to what you already have!
- A pond is not essential, however having some kind of water feature is recommended. Not only does this complement the theme but the sound of water creates a soothing atmosphere. Before you start adding any kind of water feature to complement your garden, make sure that you have enough space to accommodate it. After all, you will probably want to accessorise once you've added your water feature.
- Start deciding what kind of plants and features you want in your garden. A few suggestions you could have are bamboo, maples, cherry blossom trees, azalea, camelia, and iris.
- This garden theme, although beautiful, can be very hard to achieve by yourself. To get the most out of your garden I would recommend hiring a contractor. However, if it's just a small change, you could buy various accessories such as lanterns, pavilions, pagoda, water bowls, fencing or screens, stepping stones & gravel, and create this wonderfully serene atmosphere.
If you're feeling brave and wish to add a bit of spontaneity in your life, I would definitely recommend re-designing your backyard to create your very own Japanese 'Zen' garden.