How to maintain a zen garden

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Zen Gardens (sometimes known as Japanese rock gardens) are a distinctive style of garden originating in Japan. They usually have a minimalistic style, consisting of fixtures such as rocks, water features, pruned trees & bushes, with raked gravel/sand also being used. They’re usually quite small when compared to other types of gardens, and have been shown to reduce stress and help to improve focus. Laid out below are several tips on how to maintain a zen garden.

Weed effectively

Despite the fact that zen gardens usually have less vegetation than other types of gardens, weeding is still necessary. Weeds should be pulled out as soon as they appear, with the entire roots pulled out to prevent them from growing back. Leaves may also fall from overhanging trees, especially in the autumn or in a windy country, which can ruin the look of your zen garden. Make sure any leaves/debris are picked up as soon as they are noticed – you can also pick a place with natural wind barriers to prevent this from happening in future.

Rake your zen garden regularly

One of the key features of a zen garden is the raked gravel/sand that is used, often raked into a pattern representing ripples in water. Whilst this may look pretty, it can take a lot of effort to maintain these patterns – if you have pets and children that regularly enter the garden, they may disturb the patterns. Other things such as weather can also disturb these raked patterns. If you are thinking of creating a zen garden, you should be prepared to regularly rake the garden each time the pattern is changed.


If a zen garden does not have a functional drainage system, it may become inundated with water after rainfall. A filter can also be added to a surface level drain, to prevent the pipes from getting blocked by gravel or other debris. The drainage system will need to be inspected every so often to ensure that it is working correctly.

If you have queries about maintaining a zen garden, you can browse our website or contact us on 01704 821 338 for more advice. We provide sales and repair of everything garden, operating across West Lancashire, Southport, Formby, Ormskirk and surrounding areas