Japanese Zen Gardens

Zen Gardens ….Serene And Perfect Beauty….Our Latest Japanese Garden Podcast

Posted on Updated on

If you ever wondered why a Zen garden is like it is OR what they mean and their historical background then my monthly Podcast should interest you as the latest episode is all about Japanese Zen gardens or Karesansui gardens as they are known in Japan. You can listen to it for free ( of course!) by clicking on the player below:

http://www.podbean.com/media/player/atuse-563f3c

Zen gardens come in all shapes and sizes but follow very rigid principles.

They can be built in a large or small space and are ideal for meditation. Peaceful sanctuaries in a hurly burly world.

The smallest one that I have seen was actually so tiny that it fitted in an egg shell! Other Zen gardens that you may have seen include the small desktop ones that people like to have to keep them stress free at work for example.

Nice as they may appear it is much better to make a Japanese style garden in a slightly bigger space.

In Zen gardens wooden dowling rakes create swirls and shapes that are used to create the illusion of water in ‘dry’ water lakes and seas usually made of sand or gravel.

Zen gardens typically imitate actual landscapes. You will see from the picture above how the land and ‘sea’ replicate an actual panorama of landscape. Sometimes in Japanese gardening this principle is used and it is called ‘Borrowed scenery’ – the copying of real or for that matter imaginary landscapes.

Got a small area in your yard or a roof terrace? Why not create your own ‘Zen’ space? It’s easier to do than you think!

www.turnyourgardenjapanese.com
http://www.turnyourgardenjapanese.com

Our FREE book ’11 Simple Ways To Turn Your Garden Japanese’ will give you lots of inspiration and ideas to really invigorate an unused area in your yard or garden. CLICK HERE to claim your free copy today…and of course a big part of it is how to create a stunning Japanese Zen garden!

The ultimate way to create a Japanese garden in a small space!

Japanese Garden Boundaries – Turn Your Garden Japanese Podcast

Posted on

Thanks for stopping by our Japanese garden blog.

We have a free podcast that is published every 3 or 4 weeks on all sorts of aspects of Japanese gardens and Japanese gardening at home in a garden or yard.

Courtesy of www.coolgarden.me
Courtesy of http://www.coolgarden.me

Boundaries are very important in a Japanese garden or a Zen style garden and this edition of the podcast is all about the importance of boundaries in a Japanese garden – essential to distinguish the garden itself from the outside world.

Take a listen here….

http://www.podbean.com/media/player/wnpyt-5588b9

To get more help, ideas, tips and practical examples on how you can easily and quickly create a stunning Japanese garden space at home please take a look at The Express Japanese Garden Club.

Making A Japanese Garden – Water Features…

Posted on Updated on

Hi,

Thanks for reading my Japanese Gardens Blog once again.

Water sources in Japanese gardens should appear as natural as possible and blend in with the surroundings. Riverbeds, streams, ponds and larger areas of water are common.

A pond for example has to be natural in shape – if you have a rectangular Koi pond then this would appear out of place in a Japanese garden landscape. Koi and Koi ponds is a very important section of The Japanese Garden Club which I set up last year.

Fountains do not exists in Japanese gardens, waterfalls yes, but fountains no. They are man made and not ‘natural’ in appearance. Don’t get me wrong I am not ‘fountainist’ it’s just with Japanese gardens there are certain rules that have to be observed. If you really wanted a fountain in a Japanese garden, it’s not a heinous crime but your garden would not be wholly authentic!

Streams– nearly always man-made are a big part of Japanese gardening, they often are built with curves giving them a more natural appearance. The positioning of lanterns is more often than not by streams or ponds within a garden. This represents the female and the male elements of ‘water’ and ‘fire’.

This concept is known in Japanese tradition as YIN and YANG.

photo (6)

Dry water is also very common in Japanese gardens, and they are equally eye catching too.’Dry’ gardens are sometimes referred to as Japanese Rock Gardens but their real name is Karesansui.

Sand and gravel are the principle ingredients and depict ‘wet’ water within an often miniature landscape making this type of garden ideal for indoors and outdoors. Everybody finds water and water features soothing and de-stressing so why not learn how to have your own – simply, cheaply and effectively. You won’t regret it either I can assure you!

To find out more about water as an element of a Japanese garden and the use of ‘dry’ water take a look at my book – it’s a compendium of everything you need to know about these beautiful gardens and will show you exactly how to have your own STUNNING Japanese garden space at home can be found at http://www.turnyourgardenjapanese.com.

cover-example2a

Grab your copy absolutely FREE by CLICKING HERE it’s perfect for anyone keen on making a Japanese garden.

To get started EVEN quicker CLICK HERE our website that has eveything you need to get creating a Japanese garden easily and simply explained with plans, video’s and specific projects for Japanese gardens and Zen gardens ( Dry gardens featuring sand, gravel , stones and rocks)

 

Making and Creating A Japanese Garden PLUS FREE Design Book

Posted on

Absolutely FREE our Japanese Garden design book ’11 Simple Ways To Turn Your Garden Japanese’ is packed with ideas, inspiration and practical tips with specific examples and plans get your copy today CLICK HERE

Japanese garden 2

As you may be aware, there are several types of Japanese garden and a certain amount of traditional hard and fast rules but, there is absolutely nothing wrong with merging a couple of different types of Japanese garden into one area when you are making a Japanese garden. Japanese garden snobs may frown upon it, but don’t let it cloud your desires or vision. There is NOTHING wrong with this at all.

Learning and understanding at least the basics of Japanese garden design is a must, this will save you time and ultimately your hard earned money but, one thing is for sure if you get a good working understanding of what is required you will find the job a whole lot easier. The other alternative is to identify a space where you would like your garden and call in the professionals. With a little effort you can still do this but you will be armed with the correct information. Look at it like a little bit of enjoyable home work that can save you money in the long run.

There are many styles to choose from when planning a Japanese garden. You may want water- a central pond, bridges, rocks, a relaxation or viewing area, dry water…the list is endless.

Firstly, I would recommend photographing your space and making a drawing of it on a large piece of paper, note the space measurements, land elevations, tree cover etc and then simply start to allocate certain areas on the paper to the Japanese garden ingredients that you wish to include in your garden. Be prepared to move things around on your garden drawing until you get a feel for what you are happy with. As long as you have remembered the basics you should find this fairly easy.

The good news is that average sized yards or gardens are ideal for a Japanese garden. If you have a smaller area a ‘Zen’ garden may be more in keeping with the aesthetics of your space. These gardens were designed and used by Buddhist monks and in general comprise of boulders and rocks and gravel/ or sand. A rake is used to mark the sand for a water effect. Zen gardens are supposed to be places of tranquillity and help ‘clear’ the mind. Meditation is common and effective in a Zen garden which should be viewed from one place.

For Japanese gardens you have numerous choices with many historical and design facets and many of these are easy to grasp and simple to execute but you must acquire knowledge first! Study photographs and designs online and see what catches your eye and use your imagination as to what can go where in your garden space.

Japanese style gardens are unique, very ordered and havens of peace and tranquillity. They provide a window on a type of gardening and design that stretches back for hundreds of years and is steeped in tradition, history and strict rules to follow for very specific reasons.

To understand much more about the development of Japanese style gardens it would be worth finding out about their history and the subsequent metamorphosis of early designs into the types of Japanese gardens that we can see all over the world today.

Essentially Japanese style gardens fall into the following categories:

Pond Gardens where viewing is often done on the water itself by boat. Tea gardens which are always enjoyed from a path through the garden which leads to the tea ceremony pavilion, house or a gazebo. Sitting gardens are exactly what the name suggests, they are viewed from inside a building or from a veranda for example. In the early history of Japanese style gardens these were very popular with the rich and wealthy who commissioned their construction.

Strolling gardens are designed so a path will circumnavigate the garden to give many different areas to view the garden from and there are some magnificent examples of these types of Japanese style gardens all over the world today from Japan itself to the United states , Europe and Australasia. Viewers have the opportunity to choose their favourite ‘vistas’ to take in the views and the design.

Another type of Japanese style garden is the Karensui which is a dry garden that uses Zen techniques to create ‘mimic’ landscapes and uses ‘dry’ water , this is essentially sand that is raked to look like the sea or a large body of water. It’s very effective indeed.

www.lushgardendesign.co.uk
A domestic ‘dry’ garden from http://www.lushgardendesign.co.uk

Karensui gardens are heavily influenced by Zen Buddhism so they tend to be peaceful, simple and waterless but there is a very significant use of stones and rocks in a Karensui garden. This particular type of Japanese style garden is fairly easy to construct in small areas and so is popular with people who want an authentic Zen experience at home.

Here are a few of the common ingredients together with their Japanese names that are found in Japanese style gardens which I hope you will find useful. Zen symbolism is ever present because of the history and traditions of Japanese gardens. Stones of Ishi in Japanese are not only used in ‘dry’ gardens or Zen gardens as they have a very significant place in Japanese style gardens history. There are good stones that are used for their positive effect and there are types of stones that are considered negative and they must never be used in Japanese style gardens.

Water is Mizu and Shokbutsu is Japanese for plantings. Bridges are called Hashi are they are a very important part of Japanese gardens especially in strolling gardens. Ornaments are Tenkeibutsu , fences and gates are also used in construction and a gate is a crucial part of the entrance to a Japanese tea garden . These types of Japanese style gardens are amongst my favourites as despite their man made construction you really wouldn’t be able to tell as they appear very natural with stepping stones, small clusters of tress and stone lanterns that are so effective and calming.

Japanese gardens speak volumes because of their serene surroundings and ordered designs. Everything is there for a reason and to understand the rules and traditions will make your job of designing and creating that much easier.

For more design tips and a full explanation Of Japanese garden design take a look Russ Chard’s free Japanese garden design book ’11 Simple Ways To Turn Your Garden Japanese’ here is the cover:

Free for a LIMITED time
Claim Your Free Copy Now

CLICK HERE to claim your free copy and Russ’s newsletter on making a Japanese garden in a small space called ‘The Japanese Garden Bulletin’

The Japanese Garden Bulletin Newsletter launches in January 2013
The Japanese Garden Bulletin Newsletter launched earlier this year.

Zen gardens – Small, Significant, Calming and Easy To Build!

Posted on Updated on

zengarden7

One of the most popular types of Japanese garden is called a ‘Karesansui’ garden. In English this word means ‘dry mountain stream’ and that is why these types of garden are known as ‘Dry’ gardens. they are heavily influenced by Zen Buddhism. They are peaceful, simple and waterless. Rocks are used and sand is raked to make it look like the sea.

Many hundreds of years ago this type of garden was built by ‘Senzui Kawarami’– in English ‘Mountain, stream and riverbed people’. They were master craftsman in building these Zen influenced agrdens, that originated according to most scholars in China.

The great thing is you can build one in a small space at home fairly simply and details of how to do it are in my book on the subject. It’s 54 pages of ROCK SOLID CONTENT including plans and video links , which means you can start Spring with a small Japanese style Zen garden at your home with the minimum of fuss!

Japanese Zen gardens book for Kindle
Japanese Zen gardens book for Kindle

CLICK HERE for my book ‘Japanese Zen Gardens’ on Amazon Kindle

You can also get our FREE Japanese garden newsletter ‘The Japanese Garden Bulletin’ by signing up for a FREE copy of our latest Japanese garden design book HERE

Free for a LIMITED time
Claim Your Free Copy Now

 

Japanese Garden Design in 2014…It’s Time To Consider Your Options!

Posted on

Happy New Year!

If you are tempted by the idea of a Japanese garden at home or have long had a desire to have one but never quite got round to it….take a look at all our free help here! From our Pinterest account here are ALL of our JAPANESE GARDEN PRESENTATIONS in one place.

Really useful help and tips and FREE books too. Enjoy! ……and get started.

CLICK HERE to see all of our Japanese garden presentations.

Pinterest

The Japanese Garden Club – Help For Your Japanese Garden At Home!

Posted on Updated on

Japanesegardenclubbannerfinal

For anyone who dreams of having their own Japanese garden in their yard or garden the thought can be quite daunting.

Where to start? What to put in it? Why are certain elements in Japanese gardens? How much will it cost me? Where do I find out about Japanese gardens? 

These are a few of the questions that you have probably asked yourself ….and maybe a few more!

FREE PRESENTATION……WATCH Now…

Here is a Presentation that I have put together for new members – it is not narrated but tells you all about ‘The Japanese Garden Club’ , it will take just a couple of minutes and should get your creative juices flowing and your imagination working overtime!

‘The Japanese Garden Club’ is the World’s first online community for people who dream of having a Japanese garden at home. Whether it is with bamboo and Maples swirling in the breeze.. right the way through to a Japanese Zen style garden for relaxing and contemplating in.

‘The Japanese Garden Club’ brings together all of the information, advice and expert tips in ONE place to help you achieve your dream garden. Interviews, Design plans, Video’s, Free books, Audio instruction and a lot more are waiting for you in ‘The Japanese Garden Club’.

Check out ‘The Japanese Garden Club’ website by CLICKING HERE