Modern times can surely be stressful. There is always so much going on in our lives, making it extremely important to take a breather and relax. Doing so, however, isn’t always the easiest thing to do, with constant distractions within the house, ranging from the television, social media, screaming children or otherwise. That’s why, especially in the summer months, your garden can act as a sanctuary, away from all of the hustle and bustle.
If you design it right, then it can be the perfect place to relax. One way to do this is by creating harmony between the natural and man-made elements of your garden, something which is known as Zen. Originally a Japanese design, Zen gardens tend to incorporate the following elements:
- Statues: Simple, yet calming statues such as that of a Buddha or a Japanese lantern can serve as a focal point in the garden, providing one with the reminder that the garden is a calm, peaceful place to be in. Zen gardens often include a small Buddha statue at a point in the garden that is visible from all angles. Don’t overdo it with the statues, though, as an abundance of statues might take away attention from the garden’s natural elements, which you certainly wouldn’t want.
- Focus on garden furniture: When it comes to metal and plastic tables and chairs, it’s unlikely that harmony with nature is likely to be achieved. That’s because these elements appear very manufactured, and the contrast, while appealing to some, isn’t generally included in Zen gardens. On the other hand, rattan garden furniture works as the perfect alternative, providing a very natural feel to the furniture and helping it blend in with the garden surroundings. If you’re feeling really creative, then you might even decide to make a seating area and tables out of rock.
- Rocks and gravel: These two elements represent the core of Japanese zen design. Both smaller and larger rocks should be incorporated. Larger rocks, however, should draw attention, and thus should be placed first in the areas that you choose fit. Gravel, on the other hand, can be used to create pathways in your garden. Traditionally, many people in Japan would create patterns in the gravel in their gardens with rakes and other objects, describing it as a meditative process.
- Water: Although it isn’t used in all Zen environments, flowing water can be the perfect addition to your garden space if you’re the type of person that likes to listen to natural noises as a means of relaxing. On top of that, a small fountain or stream running through your garden might help drown out sounds coming from the street, while also encouraging local ecology to prosper.
All in all, creating your own Zen garden is the perfect way to help you get some much-needed relaxation, especially during the summer months. So, create your own zen garden before the weather starts to turn!