Zen Garden Ideas on a Budget

Establishing a backyard oasis to relax and unwind in is an excellent way to reduce stress, but you don’t need an expansive space or vast budget to craft a gorgeous Zen garden. Just using elements from traditional Japanese gardens – plants, gravel, sand and statuary – to make an inviting space is enough to inspire meditation and reflection.

Raked sand is an integral component of a Zen garden, using just a simple rake to make lines and patterns in the sand that resemble ripples on water, then add rocks and sculptural elements such as miniature Buddha statues. Large river stones also often play an integral part in these gardens to add stability and contrast with the sand; you can find these rocks locally at garden centers and online retailers; alternatively you could make your own using concrete mix and molds to save money and add personalization.

Zen gardens often include a simple pond for contemplation and meditation purposes. You can build one out of any large container or old bathtub and fill it with stones and sand for an elegant setting, then add water lilies or low maintenance plants as the finishing touch to complete this peaceful scene.

Cherry trees are an iconic feature of Japanese gardens, known for their delicate pink and white blossoms that add a soft splash of color. You can plant one in the ground or in a container to add focal point to any zen garden design, while their low maintenance foliage makes caring for it all season easy.

Implementing waterfalls or fountains into Zen gardens is another popular feature, and creating your own water feature on a budget doesn’t need to be difficult! Start by gathering all of the materials needed, such as a pot with small bamboo spout, pump and river stones – available at home improvement stores – that you need for this water feature and the design of your garden design.

Gravel and pebbles are affordable materials used in many zen gardens to build walkways between plants or mark specific zones and areas. You can display various stones in your zen garden, such as smooth pebbles, petrified wood pieces and found rocks that you may have collected on vacation or from a beach day trip; adding a unique, personal touch to this backyard retreat space.

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