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Gorgeous Ideas for Turning Outdoor Space into a Zen Retreat

Do you want to boost mindfulness and relaxation in your life? Are you sick of spending all your free time in front of the TV? It’s time to improve your garden and give it that relaxing Zen feel. Here are a few ideas that will help you turn your garden into a Zen wonderland. 

Create a gravel garden

gravel garden
The gravel garden is the centerpiece of every Zen space. Tiny gravel stones will serve as a base for your entire design and will look great accompanied by larger stones or grass and moss. Pro tip: You don’t have to cover your entire area with gravel. Find an area for your gravel garden, put down the edging and lay down a weed barrier (those last two steps will make maintenance much easier). Opt for gravel that’s round and small so it can be easily raked. 

Add some moss

moss in backyard
Like rocks, moss is a must-have detail of any Zen garden and luckily, it’s very easy to incorporate into your design. A mossy patch can be planted in the center of your rock creation or surrounding your seating area. Moss is also very resilient and will grow where no other plant will, so it’s a perfect replacement for under-the-tree flowers or grass on poor-quality soil. Plus, its softness will feel very nice on your feet. You can even use it as a natural yoga mat for your sun salutations and daily yoga sessions

Boost privacy

In order to truly relax and unwind in your Zen backyard, you need to screen it from unwelcome view. Horizontal slats are perfect for this task since they look clean and simple. Boost privacy with a large pergola covered in climbing plants or breezy curtains. Your pergola is also a perfect place to hide heaters that will provide you with some warmth when the weather outside gets colder. 

Provide comfort

sitting area
In order to enjoy your garden any day and any time, you need to provide it with some comfortable seating. It’s best to cover your seating area with some quality concrete that’s easy to keep beautiful, clean and functional. Today, you can choose from various different types of concrete like decorative, general and premium, and basically any type is perfect for your space. No matter if colored, polished or exposed, find your perfect concrete pick and cover your seating area. Finish with some simple yet sturdy furniture and some soft pillows and you and your family will be able to Zen out in peace. 

Invest in low-maintenance plants

plants in backyard
In order to add life and color to your garden, you need plants. However, shrubs and local greenery are much more practical than flowers and they allow you to enjoy your space throughout more seasons. This way, you won’t have to stare at barren pots half of the year! Also, you can create that fairytale-like Zen effect by putting your plants in tall pillars. A wooden walkway with tall pillar planters will add interest to your space and transform it from boring into beautiful. And, this is a perfect chance to try out some DIY projects with concrete and save money on planters and decoration.  

Shade the area

Having plenty of sunshine in your garden is important, but too much will ruin your comfort and make you run away inside. So, make sure to shield the hottest spots in your Zen garden with some cheap yet attractive shade sails. These can be erected in a day and taken down very quickly. Plus, their very modern and attractive look will add a sense of style to your garden. If shade sails are too modern for you, you can arm yourself with some patience and plant a few trees. Select kinds that are usually found in Japanese meditative gardens like Japanese Red Maple, Japanese Black or White Pine or Flowering Cherry. These will not overpower your garden but serve as an attractive yet modest focal point. 

Include bamboo

bamboo fence
Bamboo details will instantly transport you to Japan, the home country of Zen gardens, so make sure to incorporate it into your design. The easiest way to add some bamboo to your space is with bamboo fencing around your garden. Or you can incorporate it with a water feature. And don’t worry about the price! A water feature made of bamboo can be built in a few days and with a few hundred dollars. 

Add running water

running water
Achieve Feng Shui in your backyard by providing it with some running water. The water will not only provide you with peaceful sights and sounds, but it will also drown out the sounds of outside traffic and neighborhood activity. Set your water feature next to your gravel garden and equip the scene with a place to sit. A small bench for one will fit your Zen aesthetic to the T and provide you with a peaceful and private place to meditate and practice mindfulness. 

If you really dedicate your time to your garden, your entire project can be done in just a few weekends. Later, you’ll have a lifetime to enjoy your peaceful Zen garden!

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