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How to create a unique Japanese rock garden in your yard

Japanese rock gardens – or Zen gardens – are meant to be oases of tranquility. They recreate nature in miniature, and often have elements of sand, stone, water, or plants. Rock gardens are meant to be representative of the ocean speckled with islands.

Zen gardens are a wonderful project for the home gardener because they’re inexpensive and fairly easy to put together. Here’s how to create your own unique Japanese rock garden.

Frame it

Your first step is to figure out what space you will dedicate to your rock garden. Fairly flat ground works best, with a mix of sun and shade. Perhaps it abuts an already existing outdoor seating area so you can enjoy the garden when you’re relaxing. After you have marked out the area, dig it out to a depth of four inches or so.

Level it

Next you will want to make the ground as flat as you can. Using a carpenter’s level and a soil tamper, work your way around your garden, leveling the ground as best you can.

Place it

Now it’s time to channel your creative juices. Figure out where you would like your biggest rocks to go, and any plants. For the large rocks, dig a hole of about six inches deep and across the diameter of the rock, and settle them into their sockets at symmetrical intervals. Their placement is entirely what feels right to you.

Fill it

Some people mistake the sand in a Japanese rock garden for beach sand, when in fact it’s crushed granite, but you can use fine gravel or beach sand if you’d like to keep your costs down. Fill your garden with your chosen material to a depth of three to four inches.

Rake it

The ridges and whorls in the sand of a rock garden represent waves and tides of the sea. Using a rake, create designs in the sand. There’s no wrong answer to this, however you think it should look is the right way.

Now you have an oasis in the middle of your busy life. Your new Japanese rock garden is a place for reflection and serenity. One of the best elements of this type of garden is you can alter it depending on your mood.

If you’re thinking of creating a Japanese rock garden in your yard, visit the experts at Tigard Sand and Gravel. They’ll have what you need.