7 Small Backyard Zen Garden Ideas for 2023

The beginning of warm weather and spring inspire us to think about how we will arrange our yard in which we can spend time until late fall. If you have a small yard, do not neglect it just because you do not have enough space for a large lawn and some basic yard furniture.

An ideal backyard is one that is designed to be a corner to enjoy and relax. And in order to do this, it must meet several basic requirements. Plus, the yard is the first thing anyone sees when they come to visit you, so why not try to make a good impression? If we have convinced you to get to work, follow our tips and enjoy your favorite place to relax, especially during hot summer days.

As most of you already know the general tips for tidying up your yard, today we are going to introduce you in a slightly different way. And that’s Zen.

1. Zen gardening is an ancient idea

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To start studying and practicing it at all, you need to delve into a meditative state or in other words to return to yourself, the peace and simplicity that Zen worshipers say is the meaning of life.

Zen garden, whether small or large, is there to give you a sense of peace, stability and remind you how beautiful it is to be in the present moment.

The beginnings of this were in Japan, between the 14th and 16th centuries of the new era. The rulers of the period sought to reach, with the help of Zen Buddhism, all classes of society and the wider teaching of Zen Buddhism, both religiously and artistically.

2. It can serve as an introduction to meditation

Zen monks have designed this kind of oasis as a way to mimic the essence of nature and to find inner peace by combining different elements. Although initially they were made for upper classes of Japanese, many others later were able to discover the benefits of escaping into the peace of your backyard.

The whole space should be carefully arranged in this spirit.

3. Meditation tools in your garden

Meditation tools have been used for thousands of years and are a great addition to a Zen Garden. They aren’t essential for meditation. However, you may find that specific meditation tools can help you reach the level of concentration you seek.
Here are some tools you might want to use when you meditate in your garden.

  • A Meditation Pillow

Sitting in a fixed position for so long can become quite challenging, especially if you’re a beginner. Discomfort is fairly common, even for experienced individuals. Many enjoy using a particular seat or cushion while they meditate. A great seating option is a meditation pillow, such as those offered by Pinetales.

  • Incense

For a long time, incense has been used in spiritual practices, including meditation. The purpose is to help you aid your concentration, much like some of the other tools here. If you choose, you can even decide to focus on the scent.

  • Essential Oils

These are often used to support meditation, used similarly to incense. There are various oils to choose from, each with its own unique scent and benefits. You can use these in an essential oil diffuser, an oil burner, or dilute and apply them to your skin.

  • Meditation Mala

Malas are beaded meditation necklaces. They usually have 108 beads. The purpose of a mala is to help you count breaths or mantras. These are some of the most historic and recommended tools used by Buddhists centuries ago. If nothing else, this is probably the one tool on this list that you should definitely get if you’re serious about meditating.

4. How to make?

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In order to create your own, you do not need much space or money, only basic, patience, and attention. With a few simple details, you can help yourself and space you live in look more open and flowing.

For a Zen garden, or what is also called a Japanese stone garden, one must first think about where it will be placed. It is important that the position of it allows it to be fully visible from one location, preferably slightly higher than the yard level. Imagine that this is the place, a place where a Buddhist Zen monk sits and can gaze across the entire space.

The procedures for creating it is identical, whether you choose a small zen garden that will stand on your desk or something larger that can occupy the entire yard.

You need to prepare a rectangular mold of wooden size, of your choice, and fill it with sand or gravel that is there to mimic the sea or the ocean. In the beginning, it is important that the sand is nicely aligned so that you can start adding other elements.

5. The meaning of the things in your garden

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In a large zen garden, you can put colorful stones of various shapes, pruned trees (in right proportions), a variety of moss or creepers. If you want it to look more exotic, you can also add palm trees. Allaboutpalmtrees.com will help you with lots of tips and explanations about all kinds of palm trees.

The rocks are especially important here because they represent mountains that seem to be rising from the water. While for a smaller Zen garden, it is advisable to contain only a few things: a base of sand or gravel and stones – as a symbol of earth, wood, metal or fire.

Make sure all elements are slightly immersed in the sand or gravel that forms the basis of your garden. It is thought that the positive effects of your garden will be exacerbated.

Once you start adding content to your zen garden, make sure it is not cluttered with things and that you do not place objects in the center of the garden. Remember that the idea of ​​this space, small or large, is to be as simple and peaceful as possible.

Once you’ve filled the space with the necessary “ingredients”, don’t forget to get a rake to flatten it, drawing lines that resemble waves.

6. Essence more important than form

These are special places because they should not find “living” beings. Although grass may be added in some cases, do not include flowers or other herbs in creating a classic Zen garden.

As it has become very popular over time, there are many examples where the “glamor” of visual receptivity has diverted from the simplicity that adorns Zen gardens and which is its greatest asset.

Remember once again the Zen philosophy and its simplicity that makes up the purpose of a lifetime before reaching for superfluous flowers and decoration that at first glance may seem like a great solution even though it is counter to the essence of Zen.

7. Improve your concentration by staying in an oasis

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By daily raking the surface of your little oasis, you can achieve both your inner peace and better concentration. The procedure itself has been used early on as preparation and getting you into a state of meditation, and even if you do not practice meditation, it can help calm your creativity to flourish. It is even claimed that you can cope with insomnia in this way.


Whether you choose to treat yourself or others with a peaceful oasis, be sure that a real and simple Zen garden is always on your side. It will give you peace, a reminder of the essence of life, of nature, without asking for anything in return. Just occasionally arranging everything to be tidy. You can also take advantage of your creative side and add something that will give a personal touch to everything.