Zen Gardening – Key Elements

There are two main elements to creating the perfect zen garden. Of which are rocks and sand. The rocks represent mountains and grounding, while the sand helps to represent flowing water. However, this sand shouldn't be just any ordinary beach or garden variety sand. Instead you should purchase enough crushed granite sand to fill your space. Whether it be outside or in. Of which can be found in three different shades white, gray, or beige. You should try to avoid using light tinted granite sand in sunny areas, as it will produce glare and cut back on the zen-like feeling you wish to achieve. Instead use these lighter colors in shady areas or within your office or other indoor gardens. While you don't need a container for an out-door zen garden, you can find many different platforms for an office-sized zen garden. Whether it be online at websites such as this one, or at a local Feng Shui shop. The best planters or containers to use for a zen-garden will be flat, with a slight lip around the edge. Of which is meant to contain the sand and stones. You may also wish to obtain a small wooden zen-rake. Which will allow you to create beautiful flowing designs of water within the sand.

The addition of stones can be that of sculptural weathered rocks, or other well-designed dry landscape rocks. Remember to choose the perfect spots for these beautiful stones within the sand. As these rocks help to symbolize the earth, as such they are considered to be a symbol of good health and longevity. It is common to both have few or plentiful rocks placed within your zen garden. Some may choose to have a single rock island, or built-up islands within a zen garden by piling your stones.

Before you begin to think of creating your perfect zen garden, it is time to think of the perfect space for your garden. Determining the space that is available, and the amount of dry landscaping goods that you will need. Whether it be a small one pound bag of granite sand and a few small stones for an office-sized zen garden; or a few ten pound bags of sand and boulder-like stones for your out-door garden outside the home or office. All of these different factors will depend on the size of your yard, and how much you are willing to dry-landscape. Not to mention the time that it will take to maintain your zen garden. While you aren't caring for many plants in a zen-garden, you should still take care in smoothing the sand and keeping the area free of debris from near-by trees.

Now that you know about the history of zen gardening, you are now ready to learn how to create that perfect garden of your own. You should have chosen the perfect spot within your yard or home for your zen garden, and purchased the appropriate amount of supplies that you will need to be creative. Below is a small list of items you will need to achieve your goal of a zen-garden. Along with instructions on how to begin the creation and maintenance of your garden.

* Granite sand in the appropriate amounts for your zen-garden space.
* Stones or boulders depending on th size of your zen garden.
* A small plate-like planter for office-sized gardens.
* A small rake for miniature zen gardens
* A Shovel for out-door zen gardens
* A few friends to help you get it done!
* A way to contain your sand for an out-door zen garden. Whether it be stones, bricks, or plastic. It will save you the headache of brushing sand off of your back or front yard.
* A weed-barrier or plastic flooring for your sand

For an indoor garden you will need to follow these steps:

1. Clean and dry your planter thoroughly.

2. Cut a small hole in your granite sand bag to control the flow.

3. Pour a thin layer of granite sand across the base of your zen garden container. (Make sure the
entire base is covered, but you have enough room left on the lip to prevent spills.

4. Place your small stones throughout the zen garden in any manner that you please.

5. Use your zen-garden rake to pull wave-like patterns through the granite sand.

6. Enjoy!

For an outdoor garden you will need to follow these steps:

1. Create an outline of your zen-garden by using your bricks, stones or plastic. These will help you to keep the sand contained. You may also consider using lumber or even railroad ties (depending on what is available in your area).

2. Lay down your plastic weed barrier. Of which can be found at almost any hardware store. This will help to keep the weeds out of your new zen garden. You may also substitute the plastic weed barrier with a thick layer of newspaper or cloth as well.

3. Fill your form with the sand, spreading it as evenly as possible.

4. Add your stones, and other elements of decoration. Such as garden statues or pebbles to add some texture, color, or shape to your zen garden.

5. Place lighting around your zen garden. Solar powered lighting is particularly helpful to enjoy your zen garden at night.

6. Rake your zen garden's sand in long curving lines like you would a miniature version. This will help to represent water.

Remember to keep your zen garden simple!

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