What is a Zen garden?

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

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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

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See How I Made My Small Japanese Garden AND Watch My Plans For Phase 2

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After years of studying Japanese gardens and Zen gardens as well as running webistes like this one . I put into action my plans for a relatively small space Japanese garden in my rear garden at home. I sketched the plans to approximate scale and got on with making my dream a reality!

YOU can do the same with ANY size space at your home and the peace and tranquility that it will bring to your life will be well worth the effort I can assure you.

Here is a picture oh the first phase of my Japanese garden.


I filmed all of my building processes , explaining EXACTLY what to do in each stage of the gardens development. You can watch my garden take shape in the video series below, it’s a SHORT CUT to learning about Japanese garden design and I have kept it very simple for you:

AFTER thinking about the other elements around my Japanese garden area and using my Japanese garden design knowledge I came up with a plan that I am really excited about for PHASE TWO of my Japanese garden space.

It will be a HILL and DRY Water garden ( sometimes called a Hill and Pond garden). It will feature bamboo, boxus shrubs, lily’s, Crab apple, Azealeas, oriental grasses, rocks – large and small , a lantern and a dry river bed that shows the flow of the water downhill – a really neat trick within Japanese gardening for those people who do not want a ‘wet’ water feature. You can easily adapt what I am going to do for your garden too!

In this video I take you around my exsisting garden and tell you what I am going to do in PHASE TWO – I hope it inspires you and that you find it interesting! Take a look:

Hopefully, I have shown you that to have your own Japanese garden space, however large or samll, should not be anything to worry and stress about. Make a start after you have sketched a plan first – thats my first big tip! It really focuses the mind and the eyes.

You can grab a free copy of my latest Japanese garden design book by CLICKING HERE , the book is called ’11 Simple Ways To Turn Your Garden Japanese’ and is full of neat tricks and ideas for turning a bare and barren spot in your yard or garden into a haven of tranquility and peacefulness.There is a nice short video for you to check out as well.

You will also get free access to my Japanese garden newsletter called ‘The Japanese Garden Bulletin’ where I and many experts in the field share tips and information on Japanese gardens and their design.  Why not try it? CLICK HERE FOR INSTANT ACCESS.

OR to SIGN UP for just my newsletter CLICK HERE

2012 Review For Another GREAT Year – Thanks For Visiting And Keep Coming Back In 2013!!

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Hi, and thanks for visiting my Japanese garden blog – it’s been another great year and I can promise you a lot of really great information and exciting developments on all things Japanese gardens in early 2013. I KNOW you will love them …..sorry to be mysterious but I am pretty close to being able to tell you exactly what these ventures are.

Please keep visiting my website and my other Japanese garden and Zen garden websites listed below:








Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 28,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 6 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Video : What Is A Zen Garden? Interesting Facts To Know…

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A few months ago I built a small space Japanese Zen garden at my home. Zen gardens are amazing gardens with a rich and significant history.

If you have seen a Zen garden or Japanese Rock garden as they are sometimes called then you may have quite naturally wondered ‘What is a Zen garden?’.

We have put together a short video to give you some really useful information on the types of Zen gardens and what they actually are. Please take a look:

Thanks for visiting my Japanese garden website!

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I am REALLY keen to give you exactly the information that you are looking for and LOTS of it too. Please vote in this poll to help me give you what you want in terms of Japanese garden information.

I look forward to your vote – which really counts!

To take the short Survey – you DO NOT have to leave contact details either please CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY  – Yes there is a reason for it ! I just want to check that the suprise I have for you on Japanese gardens is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!! ( it will be FREE Too!)


Thanks very much


Japanese Zen Gardens Book for KINDLE Users

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I am delighted to say I now have my new publication on Zen gardens available for Kindle users on Amazon. If you have ever wondered ‘What Is A Zen garden?’then my book WILL tell you everything that you need to know.

Japanese Zen gardens book for Kindle

It is in plain English and just over 50 pages long with photo’s and lots of information that will make you an expert on the subject in a pretty short period of time!

Contents include – the meaning of Zen gardens, Zen garden history, types of Zen gardens, Japanese courtyard Zen gardens, the ingredients in a Zen garden, How big do they need to be?,Where should you build one, How to design one ( step by step instructions with pictures!) PLUS Stones, Rocks ( their use and meaning), Ornaments, Mosses, Bamboo, Plants, Shrubs, The world’s most famous Zen gardens and lots more!

Take a look by CLICKING HERE to see my Kindle listing.

It’s been a labour of love and as I have just finished building my own small space Zen garden at my home you can follow exactly how I did it and see the project from strat to finish. Relax and de-stress in a Japanese Zen garden its good for you!

The regular Ebook version of this book ( as an Adobe PDF download) will be avialable from August 19th from my website : http://www.whatisazengarden.com and on iPad and iPhone on Newstand as part of my soon to published ‘Japanese And Zen Gardens Magazine’.

What Is A Zen Garden?

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A Zen style Japanese garden

That is a question that is posed over 150,000 times a MONTH on Google by people searching for information.

In simplistic terms a Japanese Zen garden is also knows as a Japanese rock garden. The sort of garden that you can see above with its rocks, stones and raked gravel or sand.

Zen gardens have religious significance, are steeped in history, have meaning and are relaxing spaces to contemplate or meditate . They can be very large or very small – one was even made in an egg shell.

As a self confessed Zen garden lover I am in the process of building one in a fairly small space in my rear garden – it is about 80 per cent done and you can see a recent image below:

My nearly completed Zen garden – in a small space and constructed for comparitively little cost. Why don’t you build one?!

I have loved designing it , sourcing the materials and discovering the best way to actually do it simply and quickly – although you should never rush a Zen garden project , relaxation is part of the experience whilst building it and when it is finished.

I have made a series of short video’s to take you through the whole process and each video is a couple of minutes long – you will be able to pick up lots of good tips! Take a look at the videos by going to my Youtube channel for making a Japanese garden by CLICKING HERE

I will be filming a 5th video once the finishing touches are done and also am putting together a comprehensive manual on ZEN gardens and how to build one step by step. Watch out for more information on it as it will be in Ebook format, on Amazon’s Kindle and available for iPad and iPhone.

Thanks for stopping by my website ,


PS My brand new Japanese Zen Gardens Book has NOW just been published for Amazon KINDLE – if you have thought to yourself ‘What Is A Zen Garden’ ALL the answers and how to build your own step-by step is here CLICK HERE

Japanese Zen Gardens – for Amazon Kindle