How To Make a Mini Zen Garden in Your Yard

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How To Make a Mini Zen Garden in Your Yard

Calming products are becoming more and more of a priority nowadays. From weighted blankets to essential oils to fidget toys, people are looking for ways to help them relax.

You’ve probably driven by a house or visited a friend’s house that has a mini zen garden in their yard and said to yourself, “That is gorgeous! I want one, too!”

However, you have no idea where to start.

“What supplies do I need? Is my yard big enough for a mini zen garden? Can I make a zen garden?!”

First of all, relax. That’s the point of a zen garden, overall. And keep reading for tips on how to make a mini zen garden.

What Is a Zen Garden?

Zen gardens were originally created as a tranquil place for Buddhist monks to meditate. More recently, modern Japanese zen gardens are meant as a place for people to rest their minds and experience a state of calm in a nonverbal setting. 

The word zen is actually the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word ch’an, which means “thought” and “meditation.”

A zen garden is a place for you to go to calm your mind, body, and soul, and we’re going to teach you how to make a mini zen garden.

Mini Zen Garden vs Zen Garden

Let’s talk about size, shall we? That’s the only difference between a traditional-sized zen garden and a mini zen garden.

The largest zen garden is located in Japan and covers over 7,600 square feet of space. Of course, most of us don’t have that kind of space in our yard. Luckily, though, the size possibilities for a zen garden are endless.

A mini zen garden can be small enough to fit on your coffee table, or big enough to cover half of your yard. It just depends on what you’re looking for.

How Big Should a Zen Garden Be?

You can use a small corner of your yard with a fence behind it as a mini zen garden in your yard.

The key elements of a zen garden are simplicity, subtlety, and asymmetry. So, whether you’re setting aside a plot of land in your yard or using a gardening box, adhere to those key elements and your zen garden will be just perfect, no matter what the size.

You can use a small corner of your yard with a fence behind it as a mini zen garden, or even a narrow alley behind your house. If you want to go for a truly miniature look, you can surround an existing boulder in your yard with a zen garden.

What Should I Have to Make a Zen Garden?

Contrary to the word “garden,” a zen garden is mostly known as a “dry” garden. It should incorporate sand, rocks, some plants, and water.

Rocks are the heart-and-soul of a zen garden, and gravel is often used in place of sand because it is less likely to be tossed about with rain and wind. Crushed fine gravel is the primary choice of Japanese zen gardens.

Other items needed can include anything from moss, ferns, Japanese maples, or junipers. Don’t forget that zen gardens do not use a lot of plants; however, you can add a pop of color with azaleas or Japanese cherry trees.

Before you purchase supplies, make sure that you know what the care is for each plant that you’re using for your zen garden. For instance, moss is a great choice for a shady area.

If you are making a mini zen garden, all you need is a decorative planter, some sand, and a slow-growing plant like a succulent. You can accentuate it with a miniature Buddha statue or other decorative ornaments.

Now, let’s get to the meat-and-potatoes of how to make a mini zen garden.

How to Make a Mini Zen Garden

Clear a spot in your yard for the gravel or sand with a rake or a hoe. You can go as big or as small as you please, and make sure that you dig holes for your large rocks or plants beforehand.

After that, lay down some landscape fabric to prevent weeds from popping up and then lay down the gravel or sand. You can rake patterns into it afterward. If you have enough space, include a small pathway that you can walk on and/or a seating area where you can meditate.

Next, place your larger rocks, moss, plants, etc. where you’d like to see them in your mini zen garden. You can also include a small fountain for some tranquil water sounds as well, along with other yard ornaments of your choosing.

Put your own special touch on your zen garden. Make it a place that you will want to spend time in. Fill it with your favorite flowers, plants, trinkets, or garden statues. Wind chimes might even offer a relaxing ambient sound for you to find your inner “calm.”

You can find a lot of the items needed for your mini zen garden at the Franz Witte Plant Nursery.

Find Your Own Zen

Now that we’ve discussed how to make a mini zen garden, your job is to RELAX! The whole point of a zen garden, no matter how big or small, is to be calm. Be still. Be quiet. Meditate.

That can be a tough thing to do. The last year has been incredibly stressful for everybody, regardless of your situation; we’re all in the same storm, but we’re in different boats. Self-care and calming techniques are of the utmost importance right now, and a mini zen garden might be just what you need.

Did you find this article to be helpful in planning your very own mini zen garden? If so, make sure you read more from our home design category. Happy gardening, everybody!