Zen-Garden: Design ideas, inspiration & pictures

We all at some points in our lives have heard the term Feng Shui. Feng Shui is basically the ancient Chinese art aimed at peace, harmony, and balance of an entity with it’s surrounding environment. Feng Shui basically advocates arrangement of spaces and the built environment in such a manner that an optimum flow of Qi  or energy is maintained.

As a result, a garden which has been designed keeping in mind the principles of Feng Shui can help you in attracting positive energy, thus elevating the overall quality of the space. Size of a space is not a deciding factor when one speaks of Feng Shui. Even relatively smaller gardens built carefully on the principles of Feng Shui can provide you with similar positive results. The most important aspect here is to understand the energy map also known as Bagua of the space. Further, the space can also benefit from your understanding of the five elements of the Feng Shui theory. These five elements are Earth, Fire, Water, Wind, and Metal.

How to create a Zen garden?

The tools that are required to begin working are the same that are used to develop a normal garden or a front yard. When one looks into the energy map, installing an outdoor fountain with golden bells could be a wonderful addition that can attract financial luck and prosperity. On the other hand, a metal sculpture of a turtle installed at the northern end of your garden can lead to an elevated sense of security and protection in your life. Sound is one of the most underrated of elements when it comes to designing any space. Similar to their effect in indoor enclosed spaces, sound producing wind chimes can prove to be a nice addition to your Zen garden.

Apart from the different forms and sculptures, individual materials also have a strong impact on the overall Qi flow. Installing wood is believed to have a neutral effect on Qi, thus leading to spaces which display a rich and calming ambiance. Further, natural fibres such as straw, bamboo, reed, etc. too assist in providing outcomes that are similar to wood.  Contrary to wood, glass and polished stones can lead to speeding up the flow of Qi. Fabrics, especially the natural kinds such as cotton, silk, etc. can be extremely useful in creating a positive and relaxing ambiance. However, it is recommended to not overuse them since they can lead to an obstructed Qi flow. Finally, it is important to note that plastics should be avoided as much as possible since they have a tendency to create negative effects by blocking  the flow of energy.

Which kinds of plants should I opt for?

This depends heavily on the local climate, availability of space, as well as your financial considerations. For this step, we would recommend that you opt for professional guidance in order to make the most of the resources at hand. Few of the most commonly used plant types are Bamboo, Peony, Palm, Lotus, Maple, Pine tree, etc.

How can I protect my garden?

This aspect is not different from any other landscaped area. Ensure that the basics such as periodic watering, removal of weeds and adding fertilizers is done regularly.  Further, you will also need to be careful with overexposure to sunlight, rains, as well as from pets and small children.

How can I create an indoor Zen garden?

Indoor Zen gardens are one of the most effective ways by which you can develop a relaxing and calm ambiance in your house or work space. Such a setting can be quite easily developed without excessive space or financial investments. Perhaps one of the best advantages of an indoor Zen garden is that you can simple place it on your work desk or near the entrance door of your house without too much trouble.  You can begin with filling a large wide bowl with sand or gravel and then adding on other items such as river rocks, decorative glass, etc.. Gravel is relatively easier to maintain than sand as well as adds a nice texture that can complement other elements. Further, you can opt for a combination of black and white coloured sand or gravels that could be symbolic to opposite energy forces or yin and yang. If it is possible, you can also experiment with adding small plants to enhance the overall setting. It is recommended to choose the type of plants that can survive with low levels of sunlight since it might not always be possible to position the garden near a window or an opening that draws in sunlight. Finally, water is a very common element in Zen gardens, however, owing to space restrictions and ease of maintenance, you can choose not consider water and only focus on the easy to maintain elements.