Super-Chill Zen Garden Ideas

A zen garden provides the perfect spot for some relaxation and meditation. It gives the sense of tranquillity and peace, recreating the essence of nature.

It’s a space with a minimalist landscape with natural elements of rock, gravel, sand, and wood. Usually with plants, some water features and outdoor pieces around.

A pond, sand garden and big stones, moss and lots of green will help you to create a Japanese-inspired garden atmosphere. But where to start?

We’ve collected a range of ideas to inspire you, from simple gravel and rock placement to water features and Japanese-style entryways. Here’s our calm and peaceful Zen garden ideas and designs to embrace.

1. Dry waterfall

With a Zen garden, the sand or gravel represents water, so use a rake to create some waves in your ‘waterfall’.

banner content
A garden composed of an arrangement of pebbles.
Image Credit: Pxhere

2. Rock sculptures

Carefully placed rocks are used to imitate mountains in your zen garden. This rock garden idea makes a great decoration!

A rock sculpture positioned on a big flat rock.
Image Credit: Pxhere

3. Grass islands

Include some grassy shapes within your gravel or sand to portray beautiful islands.

A small rock lizard resting on a rock
Image Credit: Pxhere

4. Wooden deck and pebbles

A wooden path and pebbles from the beach create a relaxing coastal vibe.

5. Bamboo and stone

You can turn a small, lifeless corner of your garden into a miniature zen garden with some bamboo fencing, a stone water feature and leafy greenery.

Mini stone sculpture with bamboo trees in the background.
Image Credit: Pixnio

6. Spiral rock garden

Get creative with different coloured stones to produce an artistic but low maintenance bed. 

Spiral rock garden arrangement.
Image Credit: Flickr, Rick Harrison

7. Stepping stones and fountain

A simple stone water feature and some matching stepping stones transform this space into a serene spot.

Bamboo garden fountain with pebbles.
Image Credit: Pxhere

8. Ring entrance

An opulent entrance makes the perfect starting point for exploring a beautiful zen garden. This ring entrance will also look great in a Chinese garden!

Zen garden moon gate in white.
Image Credit: Flickr, Sheila Sund

9. Grey path

Light-coloured stone pathways complement the white gravel or sand needed to create your zen garden.

Grey pathway with small pebbles.
Image Credit: Pxhere

10. Zen small garden

You don’t need a huge garden to create a tranquil meditation space. 

Small zen garden with white sand and gravel.
Image Credit: WikiMedia Commons

11. Grass islands with rocks

Add some rocks to your grass islands to represent hills and mountains in your meditative space.

12. Minimalist garden with bench

If you’re short on space, create a miniature zen garden in a plant bed. 

A bench in a Zen garden near a small pond.
Image Credit: Flickr, Guilhem Vellut

13. Modern zen garden

Wooden benches and buried concrete stepping stones are all it takes to create a modern garden.

Modern Zen garden entrance with white sand and rock sculptures.
Image Credit: WikiMedia Commons

14. Pebble river

Get the beauty of a river without the hassle – use pebbles to fill your riverbed and add cute bridges and stepping stones.

Pebble river with crystal clear water.
Image Credit: Pxhere

15. Bright small garden

Don’t let the size of your garden hold you back – divide it into segments to give the illusion of space. 

16. Zen corner

Zen gardens are usually meant to be seen while seated from a single viewpoint outside of the garden, so a corner is the ideal place for it to be admired.

17. Pagoda lantern

A Japanese pagoda lantern is a great addition to any garden, whether you have a Japanese water feature, rock garden, or just want a few decorative pieces to remind you of the Far East.

Stone carved Pagoda lantern.
Image Credit: Rawpixel

18. Indoor zen garden

Keep your Zen garden in tiptop condition by building it indoors where it’s safe from bad weather.

19. Japanese step garden

Make the best of a steep garden by adding different tiers to your zen garden. Add some of your favourite plants and flowers and enjoy the results.

Japanese Zen garden with rock steps.
Image Credit: WikiMedia Commons

20. Yin-yang small pit

It’s all about the balance with Yin and Yang – perfect to add some Asian influence into your garden design. 

21. Modern fire pit

A fire pit with a pebble path provides an amazing oriental look for you to sit back and enjoy.

BillyOh Phoenix 3 in 1 Square Metal Fire Pit, BBQ Grill and Ice Pit
BillyOh Phoenix 3 in 1 Square Metal Fire Pit, BBQ Grill and Ice Pit

22. Zen front yard

Don’t hide your amazing garden, share the love with your neighbours.

Front yard Zen with pebbles and rock sculptures.
Image Credit: Flickr, David McKelvey

23. Indoor Japanese fountain

Small, simple and easy to install; it not only looks great but the calming sound of the water trickling will also help you relax.

24. Peaceful bridge

If you’re looking for a more realistic river scene than a zen garden representation, add decorations to your pebble river, like a small bridge and edging stones. 

A Zen garden entrance with connecting red bridge.
Image Credit: Flickr, Nick Kenrick

25. Modern slim garden

The oblong water feature and tall trees elongate this garden to make the space feel bigger.

26. Japanese entrance

A traditional Japanese gate makes the perfect entrance to a relaxing zen garden.

A Zen garden temple entrance.
Image Credit: WikiMedia Commons

27. Zen entrance with pond

Enjoy an indoor zen garden all year round – you could even add a pond and stepping stone bridge!

Zen garden pebble pond
Image Credit: WikiMedia Commons

28. Small oriental corner

Dedicate a corner of your garden to meditation. You can sit nearby and enjoy the calming influence. 

29. Rock fountain

If you prefer less fuss, go for a natural, rustic looking fountain to help you relax.

30. Sandy backyard

Sand makes a great base for a zen garden as you can use a rake to create patterns that imitate the essence of the sea. 

Zen sand spiral shapes with stones
Image Credit: Pxhere

31. Meditation space

No space is too small to create your own meditation zone. 

32. Serenity garden

A beautiful oriental door provides the perfect entryway for your peaceful plot.

33. Small bamboo fountain

The sound of running water helps create a calming atmosphere for meditation.

34. Wood path

A wooden walkway over a pebble river provides a great base for a relaxing garden. 

Wooden steps leading to the forest
Image Credit: Pxhere

35. Sustainable slim Japanese garden

Make the most of every inch of your garden, even small spaces at the side of the house! 

36. Sand shapes

Use a rake to create your own design in the sand. It’s meant to represent the essence of the sea, whilst the rocks depict the mountains. 

Spiral sand shapes with rock steps and sculptures.
Image Credit: Flickr, Nina

37. Minimalist wooden garden

You can go heavy on the wood, that looks amazing in almost any garden and helps you create that zen atmosphere.

38. Stone garden

Arranging rocks and pebbles in the pattern of a river is a great addition to a zen garden.

Stone Zen garden
Image Credit: WikiMedia Commons

39. Japanese fence

It’s more for decoration than privacy but it makes an attractive centrepiece.

A Japanese garden with red fences
Image Credit: Public Domain Pictures

40. Garden spiral

Create a spiral design around your trees for a flower bed with a difference!

41. Grass spiral mosaic

Give your lawn some extra charm by adding stones in a spiral pattern. 

42. Small zen backyard

You don’t need a huge garden to feel zen – just leave yourself enough space for a seat from which to admire your handiwork.

43. Dry creek

You can create a creek of pebbles that borders your backyard. Add some logs to avoid stepping in the “water”.

44. Oriental vertical waterfall

This stunning man-made waterfall looks amazing and is much easier to maintain than a natural one. 

45. Ying-yang bowl

An easy-to-make, relaxing decoration for your garden or even in the house.

46. Small ponds

Individual bowls are easy to maintain and make a great addition to any patio.

47. Open simple zen garden

Enjoy your serene meditation space from the comfort of your porch. Keep it simple with a large sandy area and tidy hedges.

Simple mini Zen backyard
Image Credit: Flickr, Wally Gobetz

48. Cosy Japanese indoor garden

You can leave your worries at the door when you have such a stunning place to relax. 

49. Indoor slim garden

Don’t let a small garden hamper your creativity!

50. Small Japanese bench

A simple spot in your garden to rest and watch the sun go down.

51. Mountain landscape in miniature

This Japanese-inspired oasis is such a scene-stealer! Its simple yet elegant design mimics the look and feel of a mountain landscape in miniature.

52. Minimalist modern pavilion and rattan furniture

A sheltered spot is a must-have for every Zen garden. It’s where you can enjoy the garden being close to it.

Take a look at this open pavilion with unique structures. The peaceful environment makes the rattan chairs more inviting to sit on!

Red modern Zen pavillion
Image Credit: Public Domain Pictures

53. Water features, cherry blossom tree, and bridge

This concept gives off that authentic Japanese garden. The wooden bridge makes a beautiful feature, especially when placed beneath the cherry tree.

The water features, such as fountain and pond, and the plants make the place so serene.

Zen garden with a blooming pink cherry blossom tree.
Image Credit: Flickr, Patrick Vierthaler

54. Cloud-pruned conifers

Conifers are common in most Asian-inspired gardens because of their elegant looks. But the cloud-pruned ones create that wow factor.

Surround the plant with several rocks and on a mossy green base to mimic a mountain’s landscape.

55. Use sandpit over regular sand

If your kids love to hang out in your garden, this Zen garden style with a sandpit will make a great choice. Rake the sand over after their play session and it would look like a small zen-garden.


A Zen garden can give you the peace and quiet you need to take a step back from the world and relieve the stresses of the day. 

We hope we’ve provided some inspiration so you can start planning your own Zen garden. 

Shop Rattan Garden Furniture