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A flower sitting with a group of dark rocks, bamboo, grass and the LawnZenGarden logo. A flower sitting with a group of dark rocks, bamboo, grass and the LawnZenGarden logo.

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by Carole Schwalm An outdoor landscape rock decoration in the shape of a yin yang.

Zen ~ Inspired by ‘the Spirit of Nature'

When we look at the desk-top Zen gardens see two things. First, the gardens miniaturize the much larger but similar art-forms (and they are extremely artistic). Second, the Zen garden is somewhat in the mode of bonsai. Both are a part of the Asian culture for hundreds of years.

Imagination and wisdom invented small gardens in overly-crowded Japan. The love of nature, for example, its trees inspired gardeners to grow the very small, real, trees in equally tiny space. The art pleasured the gardener. Also it is not unusual for plants to live centuries just as magnificent and proud of their less than 12 inch height as they might be being taller. They thrive in small forests or all alone.

Picture of clear rocks against a white background. Your Zen or bonsai garden should be a silent encouragement to pause, to look, mediate, contemplate and achieve calm. You clear your mind and with that achieved you re-attain balance. The sand and the rake in the Zen garden are creative. They provide a blank piece of paper upon which to concentrate on a pattern. Concentrate on round configurations if your garden container is square. If your container is round accentuate square. In this way you recreate yin and yang.

Continuing with that theme, water is yin. The sand replicates water. Rocks are yang. If you incorporate figurines, each piece should have a reason for being there and should bring you a sense of calm and peace.

**A chapter title from Sunset Bonsai – (in its ninth printing in 1985) is titled: “The Spirit of Nature – The Hand of Man".

Share your Zen Garden experience or if you'd like more information.