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Welcome to our gallery of tranquil Japanese gardens!

Japanese gardens are very different than Western gardens. There are specific elements, traditions, and philosophies that contribute to Japanese gardening. It takes a good foundation in these principles as well as practice to become a master of the Japanese garden.

There are various types of Japanese gardens that you can choose from. While there are different styles of Japanese gardens, each style has a few things in common. All Japanese gardens have a unique style that emphasizes different components than those of typical Western gardens.

 

Design Features of Japanese Gardens

One of the most important aspects emphasized in all Japanese gardens is balance. Components of the garden should be carefully chosen. Everything in a garden should be balanced, but not necessarily even. This balance is not so much an issue of symmetry as it is a concern of space. Space should be used as an element in its own regard, as much as any other element in the garden. Items should be included in odd numbers, such as one or three or five stones, trees, or other elements. There should not be an even number of items. The balance should not come from the symmetry of these items but rather how elements work with the other elements in the garden. (Source: Japan Orbit)

Japanese gardens also differ from Western gardens in how they are treated through the seasons. Many Western gardens are packed up, abandoned, and forgotten during off seasons. Japanese gardens should be designed so that they can be enjoyed in all seasons. A design that changes with the seasons offers different things each season to the garden goers. With spring comes the bright colors of the blossoms. Summer contrasts the lush greenery with the shadows and waters. Fall brings a splash of colors as leaves change, while winter brings a shroud of snow and the quiet solace of a winter’s night.

Space is another element that is used differently in a Japanese garden than in a Western garden. Western gardens are often full and blooming with large explosions of color and greenery. Japanese gardens utilize space and balance to create a complete look. Less is more in this style of gardening. With fewer components, each component means more and each has more weight and impact on the overall look. One thing many Westerners notice when they look at Japanese inspired gardens is that the gardens often seem empty. But in the Japanese style, space is a component which helps define the elements that it surrounds. This calls back to the idea of balance. Space defines the elements within and in turn is defined by the things in it.

In a Japanese garden, lines are important. You don’t want anything in your garden that has an overly man made feel. Square lines and harsh angles feel too manufactured. Your lines and angles should all be rounded, rough, and organic. The components of your garden should work together as in nature. This is also why things should come in odd numbers as it helps with that natural asymmetry. Aspects of your garden should be a representation of natural landscapes themselves. Large rocks become mountains and ponds are oceans.

Japanese gardens are also enclosed. Having the garden open to the rest of the world is rare in Japanese gardens. It is very common for a Japanese garden design to be surrounded by walls containing and enclosing the microcosm. It doesn’t let the outside world upset the carefully designed balance. (Source: Helpful Gardener)

 

Paradise Gardens

A paradise garden is a garden that is built to represent paradise. This kind of garden has lush plant life balanced with water and stones. Arching bridges and stone lanterns are at home in these gardens.

These gardens were originally designed for Buddhist monks to meditate and reflect within the beauty of the garden. With your own paradise garden you can have a spot to escape to and meditate in a tranquil and balanced space.

(Source: Jpn Gardens)

 

 

This balanced garden has a natural and asymmetric pond. Ponds are common in Japanese gardens. These ponds often have koi fish in them. These fish can bring even more wonderful color and life to your space.

This balanced garden has a natural and asymmetric pond. Ponds are common in Japanese gardens. These ponds often have Koi fish in them. These fish can bring even more wonderful color and life to your space.

 

 

If you have a water feature, an arched bridge is the perfect element to put over it. These bridges are emblematic of Japanese gardens. The arched bridge introduces some man made elements but keeps the lines smooth and organic.

If you have a water feature, an arched bridge is the perfect element to put over it. These bridges are emblematic of Japanese gardens. The arched bridge introduces some man made elements but keeps the lines smooth and organic.

 

 

The use of space and water in this garden are in line with the Japanese design. There is plenty of openness to let the aspects present have an impact on the space.

The use of space and water in this garden are in line with the Japanese design. There is plenty of openness to let the aspects present have an impact on the space.

Source: Zillow Digs™

 

 

Stone lanterns and bamboo features are commonly associated with Japanese gardens. Adding features like this is a way to instantly introduce Japanese influence into your space.

Stone lanterns and bamboo features are commonly associated with Japanese gardens. Adding features like this is a way to instantly introduce Japanese influence into your space.

 

 

Here is a stunning Japanese style garden. The space is organized but the lines are still organic and have a natural feel.

Here is a stunning Japanese style garden. The space is organized but the lines are still organic and have a natural feel.

 

 

A stone footpath is perfect in a Japanese garden. The stones help build upon that organic and natural feel. They pair well with rope fences and gravel beds.

A stone footpath is perfect in a Japanese garden. The stones help build upon that organic and natural feel. They pair well with rope fences and gravel beds.

 

 

Rocks are very important to Japanese gardens. They are often even more important than trees. The placement and number of rocks can have a big impact on your garden. Be mindful of where the rocks in your garden are placed.

Rocks are very important to Japanese gardens. They are often even more important than trees. The placement and number of rocks can have a big impact on your garden. Be mindful of where the rocks in your garden are placed.

 

 

Moss can be a good element to bring out the sense of age to your garden. The idea of sabi is not just about a worn look but the image of age and time. Moss can influence that essence of time very well.

Moss can be a good element to bring out the sense of age to your garden. The idea of sabi is not just about a worn look but the image of age and time. Moss can influence that essence of time very well.

 

 

Many times Japanese gardens can be quite spiritual in nature. To reflect this, statues and other icons of Buddhism are right at home in these spaces.

Many times Japanese gardens can be quite spiritual in nature. To reflect this, statues and other icons of Buddhism are right at home in these spaces.

Source: Zillow Digs™

 

 

Bamboo fountains are also a great addition to Japanese gardens. They provide a strong Japanese influence while also instilling movement and ambiance.

Bamboo fountains are also a great addition to Japanese gardens. They provide a strong Japanese influence while also instilling movement and ambiance.

 

 

Small buildings are not out of place in a Japanese garden. These kinds of buildings are ideal for sitting back and enjoying nature while sipping on a cup of tea. A perfect getaway.

Small buildings are not out of place in a Japanese garden. These kinds of buildings are ideal for sitting back and enjoying nature while sipping on a cup of tea. A perfect getaway.

Source: Zillow Digs™

 

 

Koi are a staple of Japanese ponds. These fish can be quite colorful and bring an abundance of life to your space. A koi pond has its own little ecosystem, which increases the organic feel of your space.

Koi are a staple of Japanese ponds. These fish can be quite colorful and bring an abundance of life to your space. A koi pond has its own little ecosystem, which increases the organic feel of your space.

 

 

There are many ways to create paths over your water features. You can even blend some together. Stone steps are an excellent option and pair well with other methods.

There are many ways to create paths over your water features. You can even blend some together. Stone steps are an excellent option and pair well with other methods.

 

 

Zen Gardens

The zen garden goes by a few names. They are sometimes known as dry rock gardens or landscape gardens. Rather than being filled with plant life, the zen garden uses little to no plant life whatsoever. The zen garden most often consists of dry rock, gravel, or sometimes sand. The bed of gravel is punctuated with a few larger standing rocks.

The gravel is then raked around the stones, making concentric patterns. In these gardens, the gravel or sand represents water and the larger rocks represent islands. Zen gardens are intended to be a personal project that reflects one’s own inner reflections. The patterns are best if they are original and from the owner. Copying the pattern of another zen garden goes against the spirit of the garden; though that does not mean you can’t get inspiration from them.

(Source: Jpn Gardens)

 

 

This small zen garden has a small feature in the center with a single tree and some moss covered stone. Zen gardens can have a bit of greenery, but the majority of the garden should be focused on the gravel or sand.

This small zen garden has a small feature in the center with a single tree and some moss covered stone. Zen gardens can have a bit of greenery, but the majority of the garden should be focused on the gravel or sand.

Source: Zillow Digs™

 

 

Here is a zen garden outlined by a large rock ring. It separates the garden from the rest of the space but keeps with the organic motif of the garden.

Here is a zen garden outlined by a large rock ring. It separates the garden from the rest of the space but keeps with the organic motif of the garden.

Source: Brian Yap / Flickr

 

 

A single tree is a great addition to a zen garden. It provides contrast but has plenty of organic and natural appeal.

A single tree is a great addition to a zen garden. It provides contrast but has plenty of organic and natural appeal.

 

 

Here is a zen garden with an interesting two-toned stone theme. This design has a very yin and yang feel.

Here is a zen garden with an interesting two-toned stone theme. This design has a very yin and yang feel.

 

 

Here is a classic, beautiful zen garden. The way the patterns radiate from the elements in the garden really show a water-like look in the gravel. This is the quintessential zen garden.

Here is a classic, beautiful zen garden. The way the patterns radiate from the elements in the garden really show a water-like look in the gravel. This is the quintessential zen garden.

Source: Selbe Lynn / Flickr

 

 

Source: homestratosphere

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