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’.

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A dry waterfall with sand or gravel that represents as water

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2. Rock sculptures

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

Rock sculptures imitating mountains

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3. Grass islands

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

Grass islands within gravel or sand

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4. Wooden deck and pebbles

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

Wooden deck and pebbles

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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.

A miniature zen garden with some bamboo fencing, a stone water feature and leafy greenery

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6. Spiral rock garden

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

Spiral rock garden

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7. Stepping stones and fountain

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

Stepping stones and fountain

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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!

An opulent entrance in a zen garden

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9. Grey path

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

Light-coloured stone pathways

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10. Zen small garden

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

Small zen garden space

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11. Grass islands with rocks

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

Grass islands with rocks

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12. Minimalist garden with bench

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

Minimalist garden with bench

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13. Modern zen garden

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

A modern garden zen with wooden benches and buried concrete stepping stones

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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.

Pebbles filling a riverbed

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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.

A zen corner garden

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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.

A Japanese pagoda lantern

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18. Indoor zen garden

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

Indoor zen garden

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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 step garden

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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. 

Yin-yang small pit

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21. Modern fire pit

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

A modern fire pit with a pebble path

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22. Zen front yard

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

Zen front yard

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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.

Indoor Japanese fountain

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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 pebble river with a small bridge and edging stones

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25. Modern slim garden

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

Modern slim garden

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26. Japanese entrance

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

A zen garden with a traditional Japanese gate

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27. Zen entrance with pond

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

Zen entrance with pond

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28. Small oriental corner

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

Small oriental corner

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29. Rock fountain

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

A natural, rustic looking rock fountain

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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. 

A sandy backyard imitating the essence of the sea

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31. Meditation space

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

A zen garden with meditation space

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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.

Small bamboo fountain

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34. Wood path

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

A wooden walkway over a pebble river

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35. Sustainable slim Japanese garden

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

Sustainable slim Japanese garden

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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. 

Sand shapes

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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.

Minimalist wooden garden

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38. Stone garden

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

Stone garden

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39. Japanese fence

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

Japanese fence

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40. Garden spiral

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

A spiral design around a tree

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41. Grass spiral mosaic

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

Grass spiral mosaic

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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.

Small zen backyard

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43. Dry creek

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

A dry creek of pebbles

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44. Oriental vertical waterfall

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

Oriental vertical waterfall

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45. Ying-yang bowl

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

Ying-yang bowl

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46. Small ponds

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

Small ponds with individual bowls

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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.

Open simple zen garden

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48. Cosy Japanese indoor garden

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

Cosy Japanese indoor garden

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49. Indoor slim garden

Don’t let a small garden hamper your creativity!

Indoor slim garden

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50. Small Japanese bench

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

Small Japanese bench

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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.

Zen garden design that mimics the look of a mountain landscape

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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!

Minimalist modern pavilion with a rattan furniture set

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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.

A Japanese garden with water features, cherry blossom tree, and bridge

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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.

Cloud-pruned conifers in an Asian-inspired garden

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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.

Zen garden style with a sandpit

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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. 

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