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Japanese Rock Garden Landscaping Ideas

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There are three main types of the karesansui garden – Japanese rock garden. Gravel, pebbles, boulders, sand, smooth stones and moss are used while creating these unusual gardens. They have their roots in Zen Buddhism and are specifically designed for meditation and reflection. Depending on its design, a rock garden’s form can bring to mind mountainous landscapes, flowing rivers or islands in the sea.

Japanese rock garden ideas

Zen Rock Garden

Zen rock gardens often incorporate the elements of yin and yang to strike a balance between opposite ideas within one place of reflection. They’re usually in-ground and sectioned off. Clear the area of all other rocks and plantings, shape and excavate until it’s even. A rectangular space filled with small, smooth, monochromatic pebbles and nothing else is an example of a very simple Zen rock garden. The rocks themselves are considered “Zen,” or meditative, but further aspects of Zen persuasion develop by raking perfectly straight lines into the rectangular bed. You can also rake stripes interrupted by untouched, solid sections of rock. Some Zen Buddhists re-groom their rock gardens daily, creating different patterns, including asymmetrically placed circles surrounded by straight lines. A Zen garden can be situated on flat ground, making use of perfectly straight borders, but they’re equally as successful contained by curved borders, or on a hillside. Design inside a curved-boarder bed tends to take its direction from the shape of the border.

Natural Rock Garden

The Japanese also make use of natural rock gardens. As the name implies, the garden is meant to look as though it occurred naturally, much like a wildflower garden. A natural rock garden has very few, if any, groomed elements and is characterized by a large amount of boulders. The boulders may seem to be randomly placed, when in fact they’re placed with great care to provide seating with specifically thought-out views. Like other Japanese rock gardens, the natural garden is meant to prompt visitor reflection. You don’t have to clear plantings and other landscape features to accommodate the boulders—the overall look and feel of the area is that of an untouched place. However, since most Japanese gardens have a heavy element of order, adding a winding, groomed gravel path to a natural rock garden will help balance its natural energy with Japanese order.

Rock Garden Landscape

A rock garden landscape is similar to a Zen garden in that it’s in-ground, requires space cleared of previous landscape features and is normally groomed. It takes further direction from Zen Buddhism by offering the visitor another dimension of reflection: the suggestion of grandiose landscapes in a small area. The concept behind rock garden landscapes is similar to the idea of a bonsai tree: the viewer is able to discern or imagine a full-sized tree and the landscape beneath it within a miniature, potted tree. A large boulder placed in the middle of a groomed rock bed may take on the look of an island in a wavy sea. Several large, well-chosen boulders carefully situated among smooth, multi-colored pebbles and partially covered in green moss can remind the viewer of a tranquil, mountainous region. Circular and swirling patterns groomed into the bed are reminiscent of water. Borders of larger, individually-placed rocks frame the landscape.

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