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Creating a “Zen space” has become a catchy phrase that is uttered by many interior designers or homeowners looking to decorate their home.  They may want to create a Zen-like space for its relaxing properties but a Zen space is about more than relaxation.  A Zen space can be strategically created anywhere and in a backyard it is a great way to bring tranquility, peace and harmony.  Not only is a Zen backyard beautiful but a source of great comfort.  We all have hectic and stressful lives and by designating a part of your home, especially one in nature, as a peaceful escape from the world, you can help manage your stress in a more productive way while enjoying your home to its fullest.

One way to create a Zen atmosphere in your backyard is with a Zen garden.  A Zen garden can be created in any backyard, no matter the size.  Green plants in your Zen garden reconnect you to the earth, to growth and to life and the color green is naturally soothing.  A Zen garden is not overcrowded, it strategically uses spacing between plants for harmony, balance and openness.  The next important element of a Zen garden is water.  Running water is ideal.  It can be a steady stream or a slow trickle but running water helps drown out all other noises in life and allows you to center yourself.  Additionally, incorporate sand, preferably white sand, into your Zen garden because it is meant to represent a picturesque view of mountains and rivers and sand is an essential element.  Raking the sand not only creates unique and interesting patterns but is also a very serene exercise.  Let moss grow on rocks throughout the landscape or garden as well as it adds greenery.  Another significant component of a Zen garden is stones.  Stones symbolize mountains or islands so vary the sizes appropriately for different representations.  Small stones and even pebbles can be used as well as large stone but do not place them too closely together.  They do not have to arranged in a pattern but they shouldn’t look chaotic either.  All of these elements can be used in a small Zen garden or expanded throughout your landscape.  Add pathways, lighting and statues throughout your yard to enhance Zen features and add visual interest and organization to your landscape.  A Zen landscape can be done comprehensively and extensively for the dedicated or elements can be incorporated into landscape design as you see fit.  While there are certain guidelines of a Zen landscape or garden that should be observed, there is room for interpretation in your own landscape so that you can make your backyard the Zen oasis of your dreams.

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