Creating a Zen Asian Garden

Creating an Asian inspired garden setting is becoming a very popular trend across the country. Asian gardens offer a peaceful respite from everyday life. The oriental style fosters feelings of tranquility and simplicity. Asian gardens can be created virtually anywhere, whether your space is small or large!

As you begin the process to creating an Asian inspired garden, there are specific elements you need to consider including. The basic elemental factors include earth, water, metal, fire and wind. These are the basic principles of feng shui, an instrumental factor in creating a peaceful Zen garden. The idea is to create flow in you space, keep the design simple and do not overanalyze or overfill the garden. If your garden is large, consider breaking it up into smaller design schemes, with one feature as the focal point for that location.

Nest, we will break down the elemental items, and show you how to incorporate each element to create the perfect peaceful garden!The first element is wood. This is rather easy to incorporate through the addition of plants, especially trees. Plants need to be arranged in a neat and simple form, and should be well tended. Pathways should be added that lead from one area to the next. Nothing should be done in excess, but everything should be kept as simple as possible.

The next element is fire. This can be done without using actual fire. The color red denotes fire. Adding a bridge that is painted red, is often considered a symbol of luck, and by incorporating even a small red bridge as a decorative feature will fulfill this element. You can also incorporate the actual use of fire in the form of a fire pit or candles.

Earth is the next element that should be included. An Asian garden often features spaces filled with sand or gravel. This is also rather maintenance free. The sand will need to be raked clean, and this also helps create patterns. If you have children, you may choose gravel instead, so they do not play in it! Bringing the element of water into your Asian garden can be done by simply adding a small fountain or water garden. If your property already has a pond or stream running through it, just be sure and keep the area well trimmed and orderly.The last element, metal, can be easily added by adding wind chimes or bells to your landscape. This a simple touch, but can also add a melodic and lovely sound to your setting. These features are calming and peaceful as well.

The main goal, when trying to complete an Asian garden, is to keep it carefully controlled. There should be no elements of randomness or confusion. The idea is to make each and every area a work of art. For instance, the bonsai tree is a testament to this well tended control. Adding a bonsai as focal point is perfect for creating an Asian feel.

This garden theme is not a low maintenance project. Plants and pathways will need to be well maintained in order to keep the setting controlled. If the overall project is a bit much for you, considering only adding a part that greatly appeals to your aesthetic and create a small section of your garden in the Asian theme. This will give you the style, without all the upkeep.

By: Susan Soler of the Team