In Zen gardens, there are a variety of moss species, mostly evergreen. Take advantage of a soggy area with a planting of Japanese irises, which love to stay moist year around. When choosing one of these members of the grass family for the garden, select a clumping type rather than one that spreads by runners. These can grow on rocks, sand and trees, but require shade and moisture in their area. The maple leaves are attractive season long, varying between dark green to fiery red. Bright green leaves soon follow, and provide an attractive anchor in the border, especially on weeping specimens. Moss is always a regular guest to gardens, especially those with water. A medium grower like dragon bamboo (Fargesia dracocephala) is hardy to zone 5 and grows about 7 feet tall, which is just right for a focal point in a zen garden. A Zen garden can benefit a lot from trees, as they provide a sanctuary canopy, as well as shade. Japanese style Zen gardens originated in Zen monasteries, and are known as meditative gardens that focus on six to eight natural elements. The hosta is a naturalized plant found throughout Japan, and these native types are valued more than the hybrids North American gardeners grow. Bamboo plants appreciate some shade and regular moisture. 15 Best Zone 7 Plants to Put In Your Garden, 15 Best Zone 8 Plants to Put In Your Garden, 10 Best Flowering Plants That Deer Will Not Eat, 30 Easy-to-Grow Perennials for Beginning Gardeners, 10 Best Evergreens for Privacy Screens and Hedges, 12 Types of Wildflowers for Summer Gardens. However, home gardeners can grow dwarf varieties of this perennial like 'Baby Doll' or 'Crystal Beauty' in smaller ponds or barrels, as long as the roots do not freeze. Nor is this style a great choice if most of your gardening fun comes from growing showy plants , which immediately disqualifies most of us (growing plants being almost synonymous with gardening … These each have their own purpose and include sand, islands, flowers or plants, rocks or stones, water and bridges. Modern hybridizers have developed a reblooming azalea, so you do not have to wait for another spring to enjoy the floral feast of this perennial shrub. The Japanese water iris (Iris ensata) is a perennial that needs very moist soil to flourish, and can even grow right out of the water. Timber bamboo grows throughout Japan, and when harvested, it can be used for everything from homes and fences to chopsticks and fans. All Rights Reserved. Japanese style Zen gardens originated in Zen monasteries, and are known as meditative gardens that focus on six to eight natural elements. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Planting a Camellia japonica in the garden can be the beginning of a life-long love story, as these slow growers can live for hundreds of years. Give your azalea shrub a site in partial shade, and amend the soil with organic materials like compost or leaf mold to increase acidity. She has years of experience in caring for flowers and plants. The mountainous topography of Japan means that a wide variety of plants thrive there, with some plants thriving in hot humid summers, while others require dry conditions and heavy snowfall with a period of dormancy. These nine plants are Japanese icons that are perfect for a zen garden or lovers of Japanese culture. Hydrangeas are a popular ornamental plant in Japan, especially the macrophylla types that color shift between pink and blue depending on soil acidity. The running type is invasive and may even be prohibited in your region. Jamie has written about gardening and special occasion flowers since 2011. These include the lotus, lilies or the Japanese water iris. Flowers are not very common in Zen gardens, except for a select few that are more like flowering plants that live on or by the water. Large flowers appear over two weeks in late summer. Do you have an area of the garden that never seems to dry out? When you take into account size, leaf color and shape, and flower appearance, you can have a very diverse shade garden comprised entirely of hostas. The key to success in growing hostas that increase in size every year is irrigation. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Plant an ornamental cherry tree, and it will reward you with four seasons of beauty for many seasons to come. Hydrangeas are at their most lush state in climates with mild summers and ample rainfall. The rest of the year the gardens are noticeably lacking in flowers, with the emphasis shifted to sculptural evergreens. The Iris ensata is always hungry for both water and fertilizer, and it will reward you with flower stalks up to 5 feet tall. Flowers are not very common in Zen gardens, except for a select few that are more like flowering plants that live on or by the water. Japanese gardeners have been growing azaleas for centuries, prizing them for their trumpet-shaped spring flowers in shades of pink, yellow, salmon, red, violet, and white. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, zen bridge to teahouse image by Sean Wallace-Jones from, absorbed by a moss image by Ilya Skuratov from. In this environment, they represent long life. Zen gardens … It has a graceful looking flower with spiky dark green foliage. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. A tree that adds significant color, beauty and shade to a Zen garden is the Japanese Maple Tree (Acer Palmatum). Zen gardens may look simple (which is part of their appeal), but they're a lot of work—both to make and to maintain. After flowering, prune the wisteria's floribunda close to its support structure. Bamboo has insinuated itself into many parts of Japanese culture. You may not even need support, as you can train the Japanese wisteria as a tree, limiting growth to a few limbs with biannual pruning. Pink or white spring blooms typically have an almond scent and attract eager bees just emerging from hibernation. When caring for a wisteria vine, you must not become a victim of your own success. The running type is invasive and may even be prohibited in your region. A shady glen full of hostas is well-suited to the Japanese garden aesthetic. Moss requires little maintenance, as they gather all the nutrients they need from the surrounding air. Zen gardens can be re-created on your landscape on a small or large scale (average size is 5 by 7 feet). A medium grower like dragon bamboo (Fargesia dracocephala) is hardy to zone 5 and grows about 7 feet tall, which is just right for a focal point in a zen garden. When choosing plants for your Zen garden, choose ones that are either traditional to Japanese garden and culture or that have a significant meaning to represent your meditative space. Japanese style Zen gardens originated in Zen monasteries, and are known as meditative gardens that focus on six to eight natural elements. Both hydrangeas and azaleas are toxic to children and pets. If you are lucky enough to have space and resources to create a water garden, the lotus is a must-have plant for Japanese gardens. A mature lotus specimen is something to behold and some varieties sport leaves that are 3 feet in diameter. USDA growing zones: 1 to 5; Sun exposure: Full to partial Water is like fertilizer to a hosta. Bamboo plants appreciate some shade and regular moisture. Common trees used include bamboo, or flowering plum or cherry. Planting Japanese irises near a water feature like a pond or stream will satisfy the growing needs of these plants, leaving you with nothing more to do than dividing old clumps every three years. A Zen garden can benefit a lot from trees, as they provide a sanctuary canopy, as well as shade. This is a small tree with low spreading branches that is native to Japan and Korea. Large, lushly petaled blooms and glossy foliage brightens up the landscape in otherwise drab winter months, provided you live in zone 6 or a warmer zone. Azaleas like regular moisture, but they will rot in wet winter soils. A mature wisteria vine can pass the tipping point, where it feels like the plant could take over the earth. This keep growth in check and keeps the blooms easy to see. If your area has hot summers and dry spells, try the paniculata varieties, which are more forgiving of harsh weather than the big leaf types. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board, Lotus (N. Nucifera, N. Lutea, and Hybrids). These each have their own purpose and include sand, islands, flowers or plants, rocks or stones, water and bridges. Fall and winter highlight handsome bark if you plant the paperbark cherry, which features reddish bark with a striated texture. Azaleas and cherry blossoms define the spring, Japanese maples the fall. The few, well-chosen plants will become the stars of the garden.Plants of the Zen garden reflect the change of seasons. These provide a lush dark green hue to the garden year-round.