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Everyone can appreciate having a scenic garden where they can spend time outside of the house. While some might choose a more traditional route for their outdoor space, a rock garden is an excellent option for those who want a place that promotes reflection and relaxation. After all, they were first developed in Japan as a place for Buddhist monks to meditate, which is why they’re also commonly known as Zen gardens. If that sounds like something you want to bring into your backyard, here are several tips for creating your own tranquil rock garden. 

Bring in the Rocks
Of course, it all starts with the rocks. The main focal point in this type of garden is usually a series of larger rocks, maybe even boulders, that are thoughtfully positioned and surrounded by pebbles, gravel or sand. These smaller rocks are then carefully maintained and raked into patterns. The patterns have different meanings and are often meant to symbolize water, while the larger boulders may symbolize a mountain or island.

Pick Your Plants
Some rock gardens have very few or even no plants, however, it’s totally acceptable to introduce vegetation. That said, you may want to choose plants that are consistent with the overall atmosphere. Ferns and mosses, for example, are commonly used in rock gardens, as are ornamental grasses, pine trees and Japanese maple trees.

Simple Seating Area
Rock gardens aren’t typically a place where you would host groups or entertain, so the seating area can be kept simple. After all, this space is designed for quiet reflection. A wooden or stone bench is all you really need, but take the time to pick out exactly where it should go to provide you with an interesting perspective of the garden.

Introduce Water
Water features aren’t always found in a traditional rock garden, but they can be a nice touch. Particularly, if you want to hear the sounds of a trickling waterfall or watch as koi fish glide around a pond, there are plenty of opportunities to enhance the experience of your rock garden with an elegant water feature.