Sometimes we just want to get away from the homestead life for a little while, don’t you agree? But sometimes it can feel like there’s just not enough time to really get away, especially during those busy summer months full of building, gardening, preserving, animal husbandry etc. That is why I think it is super important to look for ways of relaxing and enjoying some downtime right on the homestead. What better way to do that than to carve out a little space and create a totally different “world” with a Zen Garden?
A Zen garden can be used to help you meditate, find quiet and solitude. You can also enjoy a Zen garden for its simplicity. Traditionally, a Zen garden is comprised of sand and stones. Depending on the scale, you might also choose to plant a few trees or small plants.
Step #1 Decide on the scale.
Zen gardens come in all shapes and sizes. You can create a desktop Zen garden. You can also convert your entire back yard into a Zen garden. The choice is yours. Keep in mind that there is some maintenance involved in a Zen garden. (You’ll need to water plants, weed, and rake the sand to remove debris and animal droppings. Kitties love Zen garden sand.)
If you’re not up for maintaining a large scale garden, you might choose a smaller, portable size. Your garden’s location will help determine the size. For example, if you choose to create a desktop garden, how much space do you have on your desk?
Step #2 Gather your tools and equipment.
For your Zen garden you’ll need:
* Lumber. For indoor use you’ll want a piece of plywood for the bottom of the garden. For outdoor use you simply need to create a frame for your garden. Plastic sheeting will work for the bottom. The sheeting helps protect your garden from weeds.
* Wood screws or nails and wood glue
* Plastic sheeting
* Sand. (Two inches deep. Determine the volume of your frame, length x width x height, to determine how much sand you need.)
* Rocks of an appropriate size for the garden
* If you’re creating an outdoor Zen garden and you want plants, add your chosen plants to the list. Consider:
* Xeriscape plants like Mountain Laurel which doesn’t require much water.
Step #3 Design your garden.
Before you start hammering and nailing your lumber plan how you want your garden to look. For example, a simple rustic Zen garden might use old railroad ties for the frame. You’ll want your frame to support at least two inches of sand.
Step #4 Prepare the area.
If you’re creating an outdoor Zen garden, prepare the area. You might want to remove any plants or grass. If you’re building an indoor Zen garden then find a flat surface and cover it with newspaper or plastic to help contain the sand while you work.
Step #5 Build the structure.
Glue your corners together. Reinforce with nails or wood screws. For smaller gardens wood glue may work just fine.
Step #6 Fill the garden with sand.
Decorate with your chosen rocks and plants.
Step #7 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. Meditate, relax, enjoy.
Creating a Zen garden is a nice way to landscape your yard or adorn your home. It’s also an effective means of calming your body and mind. You might make visiting your Zen garden a daily ritual to “get away” from the homestead, without going anywhere.