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Zen garden: what is it and how to do it

Zen garden: what is it and how to do it

Also known as Karensui or Karesansui dry garden, zen gardens are becoming more and more popular all over the world. This style of gardening, originally from Japan, owes the keys to its success to the low maintenance that its gardens need, as well as its pleasant aesthetic impact.

If you want to learn how to create your own Zen garden at home, join us in this EcologíaVerde article in which we talk about what is a zen garden and how to do it.

What is a zen garden

The Karesansui, which means arid landscape, is a style of garden with very marked guidelines and rules. They appeared in the 13th century in Japanwhen the gardeners there welcomed the currents of the chinese aesthetic then. A sense of control and moderation is sought in them, with a type of characteristic rocks that symbolize mountains rising between terrain covered by white sand, although sometimes brown or black sand is used, which represents the ocean or extensive and calm fields.

This style was quickly adopted by the zen templeswhich is why currently these gardens are usually called zen gardens. Buddhist monks believed that contemplation of these gardens helped achieve satori, a concept similar to that of nirvana, a moment of enlightenment. However, dry gardens are not exclusive to temples and, in fact, they are easily found next to venues, such as inns and restaurants, and even in homes.

In Zen gardens it is also very important to sand rakingwhich must be shallow and represents the curved shapes and rings of water movement.

Zen garden: what it is and how to do it - What is a zen garden

How to make a zen garden

When creating one of these gardens, the most vital thing is to maintain the vision of represent nature from a minimalist point of view. They are gardens that do not need an irrigation source, so they can be adapted from fairly large spaces to very small ones and even be both indoors and outdoors. For make a zen garden follow these steps:

  1. Find the space for your zen garden: The important thing to start with is to get an idea of ​​the space you want to dedicate to your Zen garden. Delimit it by separating it from the rest of the space with wood or stones, as it is important that the borders of your Karesansui are very clear.
  2. Protect the area and add the sand: Once the space is delimited, cover the bottom with a waterproof layer, such as plastic or some garden insulation, and fill the space with gravel or sand. This sand is the base of the garden and what will represent the water of the ocean or the relief of the earth. An anti-weed mesh will also help keep the garden simple and clean of weeds that we do not want in this area, something essential.
  3. Add the stones: Once its borders have been delimited and the basic element, which is sand, has been provided, it remains to add the stones. These are placed seeking to represent the relief of mountains in a distant landscape. In this way, both large rocks and smaller ones can be used, as long as they maintain that landscape spirit. In addition, to achieve different effects, they can be placed separately or stacked.
  4. Add moss to your zen garden: mosses are also very important, and can be placed in some spaces to add a touch of color. In fact, there are types of zen gardens that are based on the use of these.
  5. Decide if you want to put water: the water can be added or not depending on the type of zen garden we want to reproduce. Many do not have it at all, while others are home to fountains or ponds.
  6. Avoid the excess: the most important thing is never to fall into overloading. If we fill our Zen garden with an excess of rocks, moss, fountains or statues, we will be breaking their main characteristic, which is austerity and simplicity. Focus on that kind of aesthetic, which is clean and simple.
  7. Use the rake on the sand: finally, the raking of the earth, sand or gravel is necessary. Draw in the sand concentric rings or curves that mark the natural movement of your represented landscape.

If you like this type of Asian practices that seek relaxation and balance and you also like gardening, do not hesitate to discover kokedamas. Here we explain what it is and how to make a kokedama step by step.

Zen garden: what it is and how to do it - How to make a zen garden

Zen garden: benefits of having one at home

There are several benefits of having a zen garden at homebut we highlight the following:

  • The main benefit of having a Zen garden at home is the relaxation atmosphere that contribute. Most fans of this type of gardening go to Zen gardens to relax, meditate or escape, since the contemplation of a well-crafted one brings harmony, tranquility and balance. There are few better places to practice disciplines such as Yoga or Tai Chi, or simply to read a book. If you like this idea, we recommend this other EcologíaVerde article on What is Zen meditation and its benefits.
  • They are very simple to make and can be located in practically any space. So much so, that it is also popular to create miniature zen gardensin small drawers or centerpieces that can bring a harmonious touch to any room.
  • Last but not least, another benefit of having such a garden is the pleasing aesthetic impact of its settings. In most of the West we are more used to letting ourselves be carried away by crowds and abuse in decoration, and one of these minimalist and relaxed spaces so characteristic of oriental countries it is striking and elegant.

If you liked this style of garden and want to know more, we offer you this guide on 11 types of gardens, full of information and photos.

Zen garden: what it is and how to do it - Zen garden: benefits of having one at home

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