We handpicked for you an impressive collection of ideas and visions all inspired from the Eastern philosophy that explores the connection between nature and human beings. We will commence with the brightest and most mesmerizing examples of traditional Zen Gardens, and we will explore the key elements which compose such gardens. We will also introduce to your attention some contemporary Asian Garden Ideas which can be applied in the back yards of modern houses. Some impressive public spaces inspired by the Zen philosophy will also be explored. And we will finish this article with Mini Zen Gardens’ ideas that can be introduced into the interior decor of any home.
Traditional Zen Gardens ( Japanese Rock Gardens or Dry Landscapes )
Historically the original Zen Gardens are created by the Buddhist monks as spaces for solitude and meditation that simultaneously represent the human’s admiration for the beauty of nature. An inspired demonstration of the link between aesthetics and philosophy. Their origin of the gardens can be traced back to the late 14’ht century, and in the beginning, they were small secluded spaces into the monasteries borders composed mainly of gravel, rocks, and stones arranged in such a manner which closely represents a natural landscape scenery. The water impression was achieved through wave-like patterns in the gravel, and the rocks and stones were representatives of mountains and hills. Because of the lacking of water elements in this type of gardens they were also popular as Japanese Rock Gardens or Dry Asian Landscapes. This concept was developed and upgraded through the years and new elements – lakes, bridges, lighting and art installations were introduced. Today a Zen Garden is a collective term for all interpretations on the subjects that explore the inspiration of the Asian aesthetics, philosophy, and admiration for Nature.
Because such gardens originally come from the Buddhist temples in Kyoto, the Zen gardens were with relatively small dimensions and surrounded by buildings and belt walls. Initially, the Zen garden was created only for the purpose of observation, and that was from a special place outside the garden itself. Often that was the veranda on which the eldest monk of the monastery was meditating. With the time the gardens were extended, the place of meditation was introduced inside the borders of the garden, and even specially arranged stone paths were composed so that the Zen garden can be explored form the inside.
Although those gardens are thematically based on the natural landscapes the purpose of them is not so much to create an exacts replica of Nature more like they are aiming to compose a meditational space in which one can contemplate the meaning of existence. The essential elements in one Japanese Zen Gardenare gravel, stones and in some cases moss. Such a garden is created to be felt not observed. The presence of living elements is minimal. There are no plants or lush vegetation, no objects created by humans. Although the Japanese Zen Gardens use the same basic components, each garden is unique in its compositional layout. There are not two similar gardens in the world – each carries different emotion, meaning and charge.
Elements of Asian Gardens
Through the years under the influence of different interactions between the Asian cultures the Zen gardens – originated in Japan – are supplemented with items from China and Korea, which leads to the emerge of a specific Asian style in the art of gardening. Many specific elements exist and used together, in combinations or singularly create the emanation of the so-called Asian Style Gardens оr Zen Gardens. Let’s explore the primary key groups of such elements…
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