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We’re all starved for serenity. Fortunately, there are ways we can make mindfulness and peace part of our physical spaces. And these small changes can infuse our with lives the calm we so desperately need. Take a few tips from traditional Zen gardens and make your yard a relaxing haven.


What’s Zen and what role can an Outdoor Space Play?

Zen is a school of thought that seeks illumination of the mind and spirit. It’s a diverse practice that emphasizes simplicity, interconnectivity and peace.

Basically, it’s the opposite of our hectic, harried, modern world.

Reconnecting with nature can encourage meditation and contemplation. Zen gardens, like the ones that originated hundreds of years ago in Japan, help practitioners avoid distractions and find serenity. These spaces tend to feature thoughtfully positioned rocks, minimal plants and a very calm vibe.

But you don’t have to rip out your yard and start from scratch to get the benefits of a Zen garden. There are easy ways to incorporate Zen aspects into your existing outdoor space – and reap the rewards. Here are three ways to make it happen.

1. Install a Stone Walkway

Pathways serve a purpose, like getting to a shed or patio. But consider a walkway that isn’t purely practical. A meandering path can encourage mindfulness and remind you to enjoy the journey.

Look for natural stone and plot curved walkways. Consider winding around a tree or a body of water. Instead of getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible, the goal is to be present in nature.

2. Create a relaxing water feature

The sights and sounds of water are soothing and right at home in a Zen environment. Whether you have space for a large koi pond or opt for a cluster of small spillway bowl fountains, there’s a water feature that can help you relax and get centered

Flowing water improves air quality and reduces noise pollution. The gentle cadence can also promote deep breathing and support meditation.

3. Make the most of stones and gravel

In traditional Zen gardens, large boulders are often surrounded by carefully raked gravel. The rake patterns can create waves that suggest water and can be incredibly soothing to both create and view.

But don’t limit yourself only to stretches of gravel. Create small areas of interest around your outdoor space with clusters of interesting boulders and rocks of different sizes. Embrace variation with materials like dark gravel, round rocks and boulders with contrasting shapes.

The Calm Outdoor Space that’s right for You

There’s no one way to create your Zen outdoor space. It’s a matter of what appeals to you and what works with your space and budget. But you can apply the principles of traditional Zen gardens just about anywhere.

Need help creating your perfect yard? Good Earth Water Gardens is here to lend a hand. We’ll take the time to learn about how you want to use your space and what you hope to see. Then, we’ll partner with you to design and build a yard that helps you live the life you want. Give us a call at 816-720-7577 to start making your dream a reality.