Home' Outdoors : WAs Best Outdoors and Gardens 2009 Contents 74 WA's Best Outdoors & Gardens 2010
Zen gardens originally came from the Medieval-
era (1200-1600) gardens of the Zen monasteries.
ese flat, mostly sand and stone gardens
evoked a sense of absoluteness with the simple
layouts and minimal objects.
If you've ever seen a picture of a raked stone
courtyard with almost no plants in it, that's Zen.
ese gardens shut out the external distractions
of modern life, inviting peaceful contemplation.
ey are also relatively easy to maintain if you
don't have a lot of time to spend in your
Eiji has also embraced WA native plants,
creating a large-scale example of a Japanese
garden using natives in Kings Park a few
is temporary display used 100,000 plants,
all of but one variety being native to Western
"We are getting a lot of requests to use native
plants, and I like to prove to people that you don't
have to use traditional plants to achieve a Japanese
garden," he says.
And for Eiji's money?
"I like to have a central focus point, with a very
small water feature that is like an updated version
of the traditional bamboo spout. I use a stainless
steel spout, which pours into a stone basin, onto
the floor and underneath. en I'd have a stone
lantern beside this water feature, and stepping
stones towards the feature. It's like a picture and
that's one of my favourite settings."
If you'd like to embrace the serene style of
Japanese gardening for your garden, there are
elements you can introduce yourself, such as
installing a water feature, focusing on a simple
"less is more" planting style, grouping elements
n threes and creating small natural scenes.
However it's taken hundreds of years of cultural
evolution to establish the style, so if you want the
real deal and a sanctuary that genuinely imbues a
sense of calm, it's probably best to call an expert
who has a solid understanding of the sensitivities
that are required to create a successful, calm
Japanese Landscaping, (08) 9405 4456,
If you're feeling stressed, pulled in different
directions and generally over it, perhaps you
need to introduce a space in the garden that's
just for you.
Meditation spaces can be the "me" place in the
home, where the kids know you're off limits while
you're there, and you get some quiet reflection
time to gather your wits again.
Even if you're not the full bottle on how to
meditate, having a calm space in the garden can
still work for you.
All you really need to do is go there, sit
comfortably and quietly and focus on your
breathing, letting your thoughts drift through
your mind, without dwelling on any of them.
en if you really dig it, you can always attend a
meditation course and learn how the experts do it.
e Perth Meditation Centre in Subiaco offers
courses on how to do it, without the jargon.
or call (08) 9381 4877.
ings to consider in your serene zone are
keeping a relatively neutral palette of colours
around you, so as to promote a Zen feeling of
timelessness and calm.
Incorporate as much natural texture as you can,
such as rough and smooth stones, wood, water
and leafy plants. ese natural textures help you
retract from the external world that is driving you
around the bend.
e size of the space is often irrelevant -- as
long as there's enough room for you to feel
comfortable, that's all you need.
e space does need to be secluded from the rest
of the garden area, and it needs to be considered a
private sanctuary by the family.
A yoga space in the garden can function in a
e main consideration for this should be
whether you have enough space to practice (arms
up, to the side, legs out etc), and have shelter so
you can practice year round.
You may also want to consider the time of day
you are likely to practice -- if dawn's your thing
you might like to check that there isn't rising sun
Healthy garden checklist
Install a water feature such as a
trickling fountain or a pond
Design a private meditation space
and use it
Use a neutral palette of colours in
the meditation space
Vary natural textures such as wood,
stones and plants
Investigate Japanese landscaping
techniques such as employing a
'less is more' approach in planting
Grow plants that can heal and be of
use in everyday life
Eliminate chemicals and toxins
from your garden
Talk to an expert as how to best
instil a sense a calm in the garden
IF YOU'D LIKE TO EMBRACE THE SERENE STYLE OF
JAPANESE GARDENING FOR YOUR GARDEN, THERE
ARE ELEMENTS YOU CAN INTRODUCE YOURSELF,
SUCH AS INSTALLING A WATER FEATURE,
FOCUSING ON A SIMPLE "LESS IS MORE" PLANTING
STYLE, GROUPING ELEMENTS IN THREES AND
CREATING SMALL NATURAL SCENES.
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