Zen is a school of Chinese Buddhim which emphasises self control and meditation. Modern western civilisations have adopted these principles and applied them to our modern way of life.
Zen, when applied to a garden setting indicates an area of quiet contemplation, and there are many things we can do to bring those qualities into a modern setting
The Zen garden is built predominantly with gravel and rocks with a lesser emphasis on plantings. Raking and swirling gravel serves to imitate the natural ripples of calming streams, whilst a variety of sizes of rocks and boulders imitate the mountains and islands of the landscape. The key emphasis being upon an absence of formal structure, more a reflection of natural form.
Consider adding a still, shallow pool with surface lillies and a shallow gradient edge made of fine gravel. Ideally, the garden should undulate and form a flowing natural extension of its surroundings
The best materials to use to create the Zen garden would be entirely natural and include pebbles and grit, weathered stone and boulders with naturally formed shapes and wood in its natural form. Avoid anything man made or formally shaped. Lichens, mosses and heathers are a good addition, but they should compliment not dominate the garden
Whilst planting is not strictly necessary in a Zen garden, it can be added. Low lying plants with muted shades are ideal as are shrubs that are fully formed but dwarfe
Thought will need to go into the design of a Zen garden, but once complete, you should find that maintenance is minimal.
Article by Osborn Fencing, Landscaping Suppliers Milton Keynes