Friday, March 21, 2014

Guest Post - How to Create a Zen Garden

How to Create a Zen Garden.
Your home is your sanctuary.

You need a space – no matter how small – where you can find peace.

That space can be tiny (about notebook size) or huge (several acres). A Zen garden can fit anywhere.

But the theme is always the same. Simplicity.

Creating a Zen garden is easy if you follow these 6 steps.

Step 1: Decide on the scale

Do you want a small desktop Zen garden? A corner of your outdoor yard or garden? All of your garden? It can be wherever works best for you.

A Zen garden is traditionally made only of sand and stones. Larger gardens have trees or small plants as well.

Just remember that there is a little maintenance involved in an outdoor Zen garden. You’ll need to water any plants, weed, and rake the sand to remove debris and animal droppings.

Step 2: The Fun Part! Design your garden

Before you start work on it, plan how you want your garden to look.
How to Create a Zen Garden
For example, a simple rustic Zen garden might use old railroad ties for the frame.

Remember that your frame must support at least two inches of sand.

Google “photos Zen Garden” for some design inspiration.

Step 3: Gather your tools and equipment

If you want an indoor Zen garden, you’ll need:
  1. A sheet of plywood for the base.
  2. 4 pieces of lumber for the frame (or buy an old picture frame (at least 2 inches / 5 cm thick) from a thrift store – then all you have to do is fill it!).
  3. Wood screws or nails and wood glue or string.
  4. How to Create a Zen Garden
  5. Sand – it should be 2 inches / 5cm deep. Measure the length x width x height of your frame, to determine how much sand you need. Buy small bags at a local pet shop of aquarium supply store.
  6. Small stones.
  7. A wooden sand rake.
For your outdoor Zen garden you’ll need:
  1. Plastic sheeting for a “groundsheet” to protect your Zen garden from weeds.
  2. Lumber to create a frame for the garden – you need to contain the sand to keep it looking sharp.
  3. Wood screws or nails and wood glue.
  4. Sand – it should be 2 inches / 5cm deep. Measure the length x width x height of your frame, to determine how much sand you need.
    How to Create a Zen Garden
    Buy it from your local quarry or landscaping centre.
  5. Rocks of an appropriate size for the garden. Consider old, mossy rocks, or rocks with interesting colours, shapes or textures.
  6. Plants and trees if you wish. Consider moss, evergreens, shrubs and xeriscape plants like Mountain Laurel which don’t require much water.

Step 4: Prepare the area

Indoor garden: find a flat surface and cover it with newspaper or plastic to help contain the sand while you work.

Outdoor garden: remove any existing grass, plants, weeds or other items from the area.

Step 5: Build and Fill

Join your corners together. For smaller gardens wood glue may be fine, or reinforce if necessary with nails or wood screws.

How to Create a Zen Garden
Fill the garden with sand. Decorate with your chosen rocks and plants. Place them off-centre and partially submerged. Never clutter your Zen garden.

Also consider space for candles or a stone lamp, so that you can enjoy the stillness after dark too.

Step 6: Enjoy

Enjoying your Zen garden is easy. Sit down beside it and simply enjoy the peace and simplicity. Rake it to create pattern and lines. Use long, curving strokes to represent water ripples.

Find quiet, solitude and peace in its simplicity.

Make visiting your Zen garden a daily ritual.

Clare Delaney lives green on a tiny tropical island. Get a fabulous free ebook “Live Well, Live Green” from her site EcoFriendlyLink, and get a daily green tip of the day as well as up-to-the-minute environmental news by following @EcoExpert1 on Twitter.

Sneak Peek: Join us on Monday when I'll be sharing some of my favorite home remedies and cures.