How To Make a Miniature Japanese Garden

Miniature Japanese gardens replicate the peaceful Japanese gardens that are Zen-inspired. Having a small one in your home will bring that sense of peace and tranquility, even in a small patch of land. You can be creative with the materials that you use and making your own Japanese garden can adjust depending on your budget. Listed below are tips and suggestions how you can have your very own piece of Japanese scenery, whether you are in a small home or office.

  • Gather the materials that you will need. For this project, you need to have at least one Japanese-style dish that is at the very least 8 inches across and 2 inches in depth. Choose simple colors such as black or olive green. You should also have your choice of soil covering such as mosses or decorative grasses. Lemon thyme can also be used. You also need to have sand and some multicolored rocks and pebbles. These pebbles are also the same ones you use for a terrarium. Of course, you need to have potting soil and a bonsai tree, which will serve as the centerpiece of your mini Japanese garden. If you are able to find miniature bridges, that would be a great addition, too.
  • Planning your mini Japanese garden. Sketch the layout of your mini Japanese garden. Do you want to have bridges and fountains? Or you do you want to have raked pebbles? Simple pathways are also good. Remember that most Japanese gardens have the element of curved or zigzag paths since it is their belief that bad spirits can only travel in straight lines.
  • Laying out your potting soil. Once you are fine with your layout, lay down your potting soil on your Japanese dish and cover it with an inch deep layer of sand on top. You can have more sand on areas where you want to have hills. If you want to have a winter effect on your hills, try sprinkling some white sand on top of the hill to make it look snowy.
  • Decorating with small stones. After you have molded your overall terrain, it is time to decorate your area with smaller stones. Place them strategically to highlight plants or shapes of your mini garden. Small contrasting stones make a good highlight to paths in your miniature Japanese garden.
  • Planting your trees. Now you can plant your small tree and cover it with your chosen ground covering. You can further decorate your work by simulating streams with different colored sand or pebbles.
  • Adding more decorations. If you are a bit more ambitious, you can add mini lamps that can actually be battery operated. You can also check the time of year and make your mini garden reflect the current season. If it is spring then maybe you can simulate the sakura or cherry blossoms with peach cutouts. You can also add small bridges made of bamboo or a small fountain. Raking pebbles around a specific location is also a good Japanese example of decorating the place.

Remember to have fun in making your Japanese garden. You can add some sign posts written in katakana to lend it a very Japanese feel. Paper lanterns would also work. Take a picture of your work and brag to your friends. A Japanese garden would also make an excellent house warming gift especially if your friend is into Japanese culture.


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