Zen Gardens: Which Sands Are Best for Meditative Raking?

People create Japanese zen gardens for their simple beauty and the meditative experience of raking the sand into different patterns. These dry landscapes are also known as “Japanese rock gardens.”

You must take extra care to construct your zen garden carefully. Many homeowners painstakingly select and place the large rocks that represent landmasses. They must also pick the perfect sand for raking to make the zen garden experience as effective as possible.

To help you find the right material for meditative raking, we’ve listed a few suggestions!

Know Your Options

If you’ve seen a zen garden on television, you may have noticed that it was made with very fine sand. This is usually white or beige in color and looks like what many people would call “beach sand.”

However, if you’ve seen zen gardens locally, you may have seen a variety of other materials used for raking. Here are some of the top options for sand:

Fine Sand

This is fine, soft sand that contains very small, smooth particles. There are many types of sand that fall into this category, including river sand, beach sand, white sand, or mason sand.

Fine sand has a very refined, finished look to it. It is also very comfortable to walk on.

Fine sand can work very well with indoor zen gardens or small outdoor gardens.

Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks to fine sand, too. This sand is often light and reflective, which can create a glare in intense sunlight. This can impact your enjoyment of your garden. Also, the fine sand may not hold the patterns from raking very well over time.

Round Pebbles or Fine Gravel

Another option to consider is a very small, round pebble or fine gravel. Like sand, these materials are rakeable. H

Round pebbles are easier to walk on but don’t hold their shape when you rake them. Fine gravel has a rougher surface, but those angles help the stones stay in place after you’ve raked, keeping your designs alive.

Crushed Granite

Crushed granite stands out as the best possible material for your zen garden. It’s what is commonly used by professional landscapers and offers a great raking experience. It can be a bit expensive, but the results are well worth it.

Materials for Your Zen Garden

No matter what you select, at Tigard Sand & Gravel, we’d love to supply the materials you need for your zen garden. Please contact us for information on pricing, availability, and delivery options.