Ah, Zen…that state of total focus, total relaxation and total togetherness…that so very few of us experience on a regular basis. If you are in need of some relaxation and you just don’t have time to visit the spa, why not build your own Zen garden? I have a list of 10 of the most relaxing DIY Zen garden features that you can add to your backyard to give it that Zen garden look, and many of these aren’t time consuming or expensive additions.
You can completely transform your backyard into a peaceful paradise by just adding a new element or two. In some of these cases, you can just move some things around or maybe change up an element or two. Whether you want to turn your entire backyard into a Zen garden or you just want to create a small peaceful place to sit and unwind at the end of a busy day, there is definitely a way for you to do that. And, you are going to be surprised at how cheap and easy it is to totally transform your backyard. While you’re thinking of redoing the backyard, why not check out these 30 backyard succulent gardens that you can plant yourself, too?
So, if you are ready to build your own little piece of paradise, I’m ready to show you these amazing Zen garden features that you totally need in your life right now. These are all such simple ideas but they make a profound impact. Not only will they help you to relax, they will improve the look of your property and permanent features will raise your property value. If you have ever wanted to add some Zen to your life, now is the time and I have the perfect Zen garden features to help you to get there. Plus, you know you really want to check out these 80 DIY backyard furniture projects to go along with your new relaxing outdoor spaces.
1. Rocks And Sand
Rocks and sand or gravel are at the heart of most Zen gardens. You can add a bit of Zen to your own backyard by simply creating a spot for your sand and adding in larger rocks wherever you want. You can keep a small hoe or rake to move the sand about from time to time or give it a ripple look so that it resembles ocean waves. After all, ocean waves are the most relaxing things, aren’t they?
2. Add Plants And Paths
Part of creating a Zen look and feel is having paths to walk through and admire the many plants. You can create this easily with some DIY stepping stones and then add your various plants – moss and other greenery work really well. This is a really simple step that you can do over time or spend a weekend completely overhauling your backyard, and it is one that will instantly transform your backyard into a Zen paradise.
3. Add Some Moss
Just like rocks and sand, moss is an important aspect of your Zen garden. Moss is one of the most important plants in a Japanese Zen garden and you can easily incorporate it into your own little backyard Zen garden. Plant moss in the center of your sand or rock path or just have containers with moss sitting around your relaxation area. Moss also grows well where other plants and flowers do not, so it’s a great ground cover for areas with poor soil quality. You could even go so far as to add a DIY bed of grass.
4. Keep It Simple
There are so many ways that you can build your own outdoor Zen garden. You can add so many different elements, or leave some of them out. If you really want to get that Zen feeling, a bench is a must. Plus, you might want to add in some pagoda lanterns and other elements that both beautify your space and make it the perfect place for relaxing. The key is to keep is simple – you won’t get that Zen feeling if you overload your backyard with too many elements.
5. Turn A Narrow Side Yard Into A Zen Garden
If you have a narrow side yard, that is the perfect place to build your own Zen garden. This is an easy job, although time consuming and you do have to make sure that you pay strict attention to getting everything even and squared. I love the idea of turning an otherwise too small yard into a place where you can relax and watch the world go by. You’ll need to build a foundation, which requires 2X4s and other materials, but you can definitely do this one in a weekend.
6. Build A Low Water Zen Garden
Zen gardens and water go hand in hand, but you don’t have to use a lot of water to get the same result. You can build a low water Zen garden, which definitely saves you time and money and you will have the perfect place to relax and unwind after a busy day. Plus, this is a great solution for small backyards where you maybe don’t want to have to mow but you want something that is aesthetically pleasing.
7. Add Planting Pillars
Sometimes the simplest changes can make the biggest impact. I love the idea of putting plants into tall pillars to give off that Zen effect. A simple wooden walkway with pillared planters will instantly transform your otherwise dull backyard into a peaceful paradise. And, this is a really simple undertaking that you can finish in a weekend or less. If you build the pillars yourself – complete with lighting – you can even save money on the project. This is a good chance to try out some DIY concrete projects.
8. Add Some Color
You don’t want to add loads of color if you want to create a Zen garden, but a bit of color is a good idea. Think peacefully colored perennials and maybe some white mixed in for a relaxing effect. Japanese cherry blossoms are the most gorgeous and relaxing blooms and if you can’t add a Japanese cherry tree, think plants that offer the same color scheme for that Zen effect.
9. Add Some Bamboo
Bamboo will definitely give you the feeling of being in Japan, where Zen gardens originated so adding it to your backyard is sure to give off the same effect. Add a DIY bamboo water feature, which is a pretty easy thing to make. Or, you could add bamboo fencing around your garden or any number of other bamboo creations. And, bamboo is not nearly as expensive as you may think. A rather large bamboo water feature can be built in a weekend and costs just a couple of hundred dollars, depending on how extravagant you want it to be.
10. Add A Japanese Stone Path
A stone path, built into wooden squares, is a great way to add that Zen effect to your backyard. This is also a really easy project, depending of course on how large you want your path to be. Create a path between your plants or just make a small one from your backdoor to the area where your Zen garden stops. You will need 2X4s and a few stones – or river rocks – to create the path and you can build it into any design that you want.
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