Skip to content

Adding a Zen Garden to Your Landscape

Adding a Zen Garden to Your Landscape

Creating a zen garden is a great way to reduce stress, improve your focus, and develop a sense of well-being. One great addition to any home is a Zen rock garden.

What is a Zen Garden? Zen gardens, also called Japanese rock gardens, appeal to people who like carefully controlled settings of raked sand or rocks and precisely clipped shrubs. The design and structure of the gardens have been refined over the years, but the basic structure remains the same. The result should encourage introspection and meditation. The health benefits of rock garden landscaping include stress relief, alleviation of anxiety, and a lovely boost in mindfulness.


Choose the Right Area

What part of the yard would be suited to a meditation space? How big will it be? Choose a flat, out-of-the-way corner or narrow side yard that is suitable to build a comfortable area to meditate. Make preliminary measurements to help visualize the finished room. Use materials that are in scale with the size of the garden room as well as the rest of your yard. Bigger stones can easily overwhelm a small space, while small rocks can get lost in a more sweeping landscape.

Research The Guiding Principles

To get ideas for how you want your space to look, peruse various resources such as the internet, books, and visit local gardens with Zen spaces. Make an idea board or wish list of attributes you want to include. Zen gardens are structured around different guiding principles including; asymmetry, mystery, stillness, and simplicity. Your Zen garden should promote most or all of these concepts.

Choose a Design

Create a rough sketch to visualize your finished space. For a more elaborate project, you may want to consult a professional landscape designer. Don’t be afraid to experiment! This is ultimately your space and should be a meditative space that works for you.  A Zen space should be simple and uncluttered, which will elicit a feeling of calm. Use a muted color scheme to relax the mind and create a soothing environment.


Individual elements hold deep symbolic meaning. Sand or gravel raked into patterns represents water, while larger rocks suggest islands, mountains, animals, or natural elements such as fire and earth. The emphasis on abstract concepts is intended to spur the imagination and allow the mind to wander, a crucial part of the meditative process. 

Include at least some of these primary features that are used in a traditional Zen garden:

  • Rocks
  • Gravel
  • Sand
  • Neutral Colours


If you need residential landscaping services in Edmonton, Earth and Turf Landscaping can help. Our team of expert staff has been providing landscaping solutions in Edmonton for years and would love to help transform your dream project into reality. Contact us today to learn more.