Japanese zen gardens

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

Free for a LIMITED time
Claim Your Free Copy Now



North America’s TOP 25 Japanese Gardens

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The highly influential Sukiya Living Magazine ( The Journal Of Japanese Gardens) has done a detailed survey of all of America’s 300 plus Japanese gardens.

They have settled on a top 25 list that satisfy a number of criteria. The primary reason for the survey , which has been in exsistence since 1999, is to give pointers to journal readers on which gardens are worth visiting. Another facet of the judging is to recognise gardens where a lot of care and attention as well as effort has been displayed.

Last summer JOJG distributed a questionnaire to 41 Japanese garden specialists. The letter posed the question :”What are the highest-quality public Japanese gardens located in America?”

Judges felt natural beauty and subtleness were very important as well as human scale and moderation.

Sukiya Magazine wrote:

The race for the top two positions was nearly a dead heat. In the end, Anderson Gardens (photo above) nosed out the Portland Japanese Garden as North America’s highest-quality garden. This will be earth-shaking news for many people. Seven new gardens appeared on the list, with Arkansas’ Garvan Woodland Gardens being the top-ranked newcomer. Maine’s Asticou Garden and The Bloedel Reserve both rose sharply in the rankings, demonstrating an increasing willingness among pros to emphasize quality over size.

So well done Anderson Japanese gardens as it is no mean feat to push Portland Japanese garden into second place in anything!

AndersonJapanese garden

Here is the complete Top 25 Japanese gardens in America poll results for 2013:

1. Anderson Gardens

Anderson Japanese gardens

2. Portland Japanese Garden

3. Shofuso (Philadelphia)

4. UBC’s Nitobe Garden

5. The Bloedel Reserve

6. Seattle Japanese Garden

7. JACCC Los Angeles

8. The Morikami Museum

9. Carleton College

10. Tillman Water Plant

11. Asticou Garden (Maine)

12. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

13. Missouri Botanical Garden

14. San Mateo Japanese Garden

15. Garvan Woodland Gardens

16. Amherst College

17. San Diego Tech Center

18. Denver Botanic Gardens

19. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

20. Montreal Botanic Garden

21. Hakone Gardens

22. Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden

23. East-West Center

24. Nishinomiya Garden (Spokane)

25. Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Do You Dream Of Your Own Japanese Garden At Home?

Japanese gardens are nature in minature and that is exactly why they are perfect for small spaces and areas at your home. You can change the whole llook and feel of your yard with a calming and serene Japanese style garden. They are not as complicated as you may think and having one will not break the bank!

Find out more at ‘The Japanese Garden Club’  CLICK HERE for more information and how you can easily get started! CLICK HERE

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

Claim Your FREE Copy OF My New Book ’11 Simple Ways To Turn Your Garden Japanese’

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Well it’s FREE so it can’t be worth anything! I forgive you for thinking that if you did…

My new book has launched in the last 24 hours and it is for a limited time yours for no cost. I will naturally be charging $14.97 a copy in the near future so this is a great opportunity for you to get your copy now.

’11 Simple Ways To Turn Your Garden Japanese’ is for people like you who are interested in Japanese gardens and who want a Japanese garden style space at their home and don’t want to break the bank!

I have built my own garden and I am extending it with some of the techniques in my book this spring. Japanese gardens are beautiful, balanced, serene, tranquil and hugely satisying to have. It is in plain English and you get specific ideas and plans and even a whole project idea.

If you only have a small space this is the perfect book to inspire you to finally have your dream space in your garden or yard. This is the book for you…

Free for a LIMITED time
Claim Your Free Copy Now

CLICK HERE to find out more and get my book. PLUS you will automatically be sent my newsletter ‘The Japanese Garden Bulletin’ which includes a few more surprises over the coming weeks and features articles, videos, design tips, access to  Japanese garden and Zen gardens magazines and that is just for starters!

CLICK HERE TO GET THE BOOK ‘ 11 Simple Ways To Turn Your Garden Japanese’

“Thankyou for your new book, it will help many Japanese garden enthusiasts for a wide range of reasons” – Martin (Australia)

“Thanks so much, Russ. I am really looking forward to reading your book this weekend. I have long aspired to creating a Japanese style garden in my small Johannesburg town house garden but to date have been paralysed by indecision! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and passion” – Elaine (South Africa)

We are on Pinterest – Take a look at our Pinterest Boards

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Japanese gardens on Pinterest
Japanese gardens on Pinterest

Hello and welcome to our website.

We love all things JAPANESE GARDENS !

We have boards on Pinterest and hope you will take a look at them , we cover simpley beautiful Japanese garden pictures and videos through to Japanese garden design and books!

Take a look, simply click on the links! Enjoy…




Feel free to PIN and REPIN! We update these boards regularly so please check them out for beautiful Japanese garden and Zen garden photo’s and videos!

The North American Japanese Garden Association

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This is  a society of Japanese garden enthusiasts from all over America and Canada – a part of the world that has a real passion for Japanese gardens. Here is proof as the NAJGA has this map on their website that shows over 250 Japanese gardens in the continetal US and Canada.








Japanese gardens are really appreciated in the US and this organisation has been set up for like minded individuals and enthusiasts alike. There are a few different membership levels ranging from sudents and individuals through to green organisations and businesses who are involved in Japanese gardening.

The NAJGA has a regular newsletter that I have had the pleasure of reading over the Christmas period and it is informative and easy to read. I know from my websites statistics that a large percentage of my readers are from North America and I reccomend you check out the NAJGA ‘s website by CLICKING HERE.

The purpose of the association is to ensure the sustainability of Japanese gardens and very importantly they have vision. This is from their website and explains succinctly the aims of the NAJGA:

Key Operating Principles:
  • To acknowledge the diversity of the field that includes professional public garden managers, gardeners, designers, contractors, independent business owners, academics, students, cultural arts practitioners and individuals affiliated with public gardens including board members or others with a passion for the art form.
  • To appreciate the essential grassroots nature of the field through a decentralized organizational approach that recognizes regional requirements.
  • To respect existing North American perspectives while fostering greater connectivity and exchange with Japanese expertise through an affiliation with our Japanese Consortium Partners.

I have been in communication with the associations Diana La Rowe who is keen to spread the word about North America’s often beautiful and serene Japanese gardens and I am happy to assist in this! Hopefully, Diana and her colleagues will be guest posters on my website in the near future as the subject of Japanese gardens becomes ever more popular around the world and as you know for good reasons!

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.