Japanese Pebble Gardens

What are Japanese pebble gardens? How do you make one? Read our facts and information to find out…

There is a certain lyrical quality to Japanese pebble gardens. The reason is that the Japanese use the principles of Zen Buddhism and Shintoism to create garden spaces in which all elements of nature are harmoniously portrayed. This is achieved by a number of techniques which are described below.

The Use of Round Pebbles

Japanese gardens use round pebbles profusely. The most common color used is white, though brown and other earthen hues are also used. The pebbles vary in size. Some of the patterns consist of snaking pathways made out of small pebbles. These are great to walk on bare feet and work like acupressure. Just a short walk on such a garden pathway relaxes your feet and nerves. The larger size pebbles are used to make intricate mystical designs that are supposed to be used for meditation.

The Use of Moss and Bamboo

Along with the pebbles, bright green moss and bamboo plants are used liberally. The moss patches are usually interspersed with patterns of pebbles to give a striking contrast of green on white.

The Pebble Pond

Some of the most beautiful pebble garden designs are using different colored and different sized pebbles to create a pond without water! The illusion of water is completed by using very small sized pebbles in such a way as to simulate waves. Of course, there is usually a real pond in which white pebbles are put along with lotus and goldfish to give a contrast of white, blue, green, red and gold.

Complementary Arrangement of Pebble Pathways and Flowering plants

Japanese pebble gardens are unique in the ways they line the white pebble pathways with rows of startling violet or purple blooming plants, which feels like a journey to a surreal world of its own.

Waterfall, Rocks and Pebbles

One of the traditional Japanese pebble garden designs uses rocks and pebbles to create an artificial waterfall. The water source could be a natural stream diverted or, in these modern times, a pumped stream from a reservoir. This stream is then shaped by an artful arrangement of rocks and pebbles offset with plants and ferns to give a beautiful natural landscape that has a soothing effect. Just the sound of water falling is enough to induce calmness.

A Dry River Effect

Yet another design often seen in a Japanese pebble garden is the use of small white pebbles and white sand offset with larger rocks to give the impression of a dry river bed. The pebbles and sand are carefully chosen so that only the very whitest variety is chosen to enhance the contrast effect.

Raked Pathways

Japanese pebble gardens make extensive use of stones and pebbles to accentuate a hill side and cut steps into it with each step being laid with stone slabs, lined with pebbles and cluster of plants. This gives a lovely flowing feel to the garden with each level having a different arrangement of stone, pebbles and plants.

These are some of the better known designs of a Japanese pebble garden.

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