There’s something about Zen gardens. It could be their beauty, composition, serenity, but to me they are pieces of art.

Also known as a Japanese rock garden or “dry landscape” garden, they are made up of rocks, water features, moss, pruned trees and bushes, gravel, stone ornaments and sand, though they don’t have to include all of the above.

A Zen garden is normally small, surrounded by a wall and is meant to be viewed from a single area outside the garden such as a porch or deck, so that it screams out to me that a villa like the ones in Arabian Ranches would be a perfect location for one. Classic Zen gardens were created at temples of Zen Buddhism in Japan. They were meant to imitate the intimate essence of nature and to be an aid to meditation. The design and placement of rocks and gravel determines what your Zen garden is to be imitating. Rocks placed upright are mountains, while rocks laid out can represent hills and ravines. Sand and gravel are water and can be used to cover a wide area, often raked to show water movement. Zen gardens should be asymmetric, simple, natural, they were created to generate peace, calm and to relieve anxiety and nervousness.

To create your own Zen garden you will need: Wood, sand, stones, rocks, boulders, polished pebbles, other stone ornaments, a garden rake and optional would be a water feature.
1. Decide on the size for your Zen garden.
2. Create a wooden frame which can be nailed or screwed together. This will hold the sand and any other materials used in the garden.
3. Lay a weed barrier down inside the frame. This can be black plastic, thick newspapers, shade material or weed barrier cloth. Keeping weeds out is a must. See the following to find one of the most effective ways to get rid of them.
4. Fill the frame to the top with sand or gravel, spread it to make it level with the rake.
5. Place your rocks, pebbles water fountains, polished stones, statues, buddhas etc. Don’t use too many items, keep it simple and asymmetrical. You can submerge some in the sand, have fun moving things around to get it looking right.
6. Rake the sand or gravel in long, running designs to represent rippling water.
7. Relax and enjoy your Zen garden.

A Zen garden is literally no maintenance. It looks amazing and it will have a great therapeutic effect on you. The Dubai Garden Centre stocks all items needed to make your Zen Garden and has a carpenter to help make the frame.