Types of Japanese Gardens

Types of Japanese Gardens

Main Garden

Many wonderful works of art have come out of Japan, one of the biggest being the architecture and landscape designs. Japanese gardens have a stylized and abstract appearance, but are very carefully and specifically arranged and constructed. They had many functions: emperors and nobles would use them for recreational and aesthetic reasons, while those constructed inside Buddhist temples were used for meditative purposes. Let’s take a look at 3 types of Japanese gardens:

Rock Gardens

Dry Rock Garden

The Dry Rock Garden, also known as a Zen Garden or Japanese Rock Garden, is a stylized arrangement of rocks on a bed of sand or gravel, surrounded by trees, bushes and water features. The sand is raked into patterns, made to represent ripples in water. The stones along the outside border represent the shoreline, while the large, central rocks mimic islands in the water. These gardens originated in Zen monasteries, where they were built as tranquil settings for monks to contemplate the teachings of Buddha. Over the years, they’ve become popular with other cultures and many people want to create their own backyard Zen garden.

Strolling Gardens

Strolling Gardens

These gardens were popular in the 17th to 19th centuries and were mainly used by lords and other nobility. During this period, the country was under strict control and travel was limited. Therefore, Strolling Gardens were designed to allow nobles to take private walks. These gardens were normally designed with a central pond encircled by one or more paths. They employ bridges, stepping stones and zig-zag pathways to create a very hands-on experience, ensuring its guests be cautious and aware at all times. The feeling of embarking on a journey is the goal of the garden.

Tea Gardens

Tea Gardens

A Tea Garden is usually a small, enclosed garden contained within a larger one. It was used as a passage to the teahouse where the tea ceremony would be performed. The idea was to create a smooth transition from the outside world to the inner world of the teahouse, so that attendees would be in a peaceful mindset before beginning the ceremony. Tea Gardens contain elements such as lanterns, crouching water basins and stepping stones.

If you’d like to learn more about installing a Japanese garden in your backyard or want to speak with one of our designers, simply fill out our instant estimate form or give us a call at: 818.244.4000.


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