Japanese & Zen Garden Designs

The earth laughs in flowers.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Japanese Garden Designs


Japanese garden design centres around recreating the larger natural landscape, in a small and contained space such as a villa or townhouse. The essential concept in the Japanese garden design should be a place of beauty and create a sense of serenity.

Often, a constrained and carefully placed arrangement of gravel, larger rocks, and stones are used to represent the river beds. Forest plants originating from the Asian region are clipped and presented as features.

Water is also an important element, ponds with stone edging can be designed to represent the Japanese streams and lakes in nature and to bring harmony and tranquillity to the garden. Water running through a bamboo pipe, or still water in a dark stone pot reflecting the sky both have their place in the Japanese garden.

Zen gardens are designed to stimulate and support meditation practice. We can create quiet areas for contemplation, allowing you to observe nature and focus on your breath.

Key elements in Japanese garden design:

  • • Using contrasting colours and surfaces such as the sheen of lacquered bamboo against rough stone.
  • • Bridges can be built over a "river" of dry gravel or a channel of water running through your property.
  • • Use of dry areas - beds of sand or gravel, to be raked with patterns of your choosing.
  • • Stepping stones and stone lanterns.
  • • Rock garden designs, with considered placement of single or grouped specimens.

Plants for a Japanese Zen garden include:

  • • Flowering Cherry, either in upright or weeping form.
  • • Maple
  • • Azalea and Camellia
  • • Bamboo
  • • Photinia
  • • Pine trees and conifers
  • • Mosses as groundcover and on rocks
  • • For shaded areas, use Hosta, Moss and Ferns
  • • A potted Bonsai
  • Your Japanese landscape should be a calm, well-ordered, and inviting space. We can also source speciality landscape materials and decorative elements to transform small spaces by using raised walkways, intersecting garden beds, and soft lighting for depth.

    In a Japanese garden plant design is restrained, so each plant must perform well. Our unique focus on soil improvement before planting ensures that your garden is healthy and resistant to problems.

    Are you ready to start creating your own unique and restful Japanese or Zen-inspired garden in Perth? Contact Director, Neil Miles, at Planted Passion today.

    Get a no-obligation, free quote for any of the services above.