I have a new obsession; Japanese design/architecture/aesthetics, and particularly, Japanese Gardens. Earlier this year, I went with a friend to see a house designed by Tolulope Onabolu (of plastiqHaus) and while the house itself is everything I’ve ever dreamed of (almost) – high ceilings, huge windows and glass doors, fully equipped open-style kitchen, outdoor entertaining space, etc, etc – one of the features I was most fascinated by was the Japanese Zen garden out back which the architect explained had been opted for in lieu of a swimming pool. It was perfect! Everything from moss, to stones, to plants had been well thought out and so cleverly executed. I could have stayed out there all day. Which I guess is the point – with all of that zen.
Japanese gardens are generally influenced and characterized by rugged volcanic peaks, narrow valleys, mountain streams with waterfalls and cascades, lakes, beaches of small stones, rich variety of flowers and different species of trees. There are several elements to take into account when considering incorporating a Japanese garden in your home and because they are different types of Japanese gardens, one post will not do justice in outlining them all. This article is a good place to start though. It is important to note, however, that the basic elements of a Japanese garden include plants, water and rocks/sand, the combination of which gives any home a serene and soothing ambiance. Of course, you can amp things up by incorporating even more elements – garden architecture, bridges, stone lanterns, water basins, garden fences and gates, fish, trees and flowers… and so on. You can choose to follow sensu stricto the layout, plans and structure of the traditional Japanese garden with all of the rules in terms of arrangement and whatnot or decide to use the aesthetics as inspiration for one of your own.
Here are a few images as inspiration. Enjoy the tranquil visual feast…
And of course, a tea room. Because…
I think the great thing about this is that a Japanese/Zen garden can work in whatever space you have. So if you don’t have a large backyard to play with, a small space works just as well. You can also take the zen indoors – a courtyard would work beautifully. And you don’t have to do everything, incorporating a couple of elements in the space you have is more than enough to keep the calm with you. Hope you’re feeling inspired.
Love, light & all things Zen,