Unlike Western gardens that are full of plants and maybe a pathway, Zen gardens are simplistic and reflect Asian philosophies of the Buddhists, Shinto and Zen. Many ancient principles are applied in creating the Zen garden.
Balance - Every Zen garden must have balance. Movement is complemented by stillness. Life is complemented with stone.
Simplicity - Zen gardens are simplistic in their design. A few plants and well-placed stone features are all that are required.
Gravel - The Zen garden contains soil or gravel that is raked into a pattern. This gives the garden movement and can represent water.
Plants - Few plants are required. Cherry trees, Chinese maples, grasses and moss are the most common. Plantings are designed to show the change of the seasons.
Stone - Zen gardens contain stones. Walls, lanterns and stones of varying sizes are used to complement the plant life, as a place to rest or meditate and as a focal point.
Purpose - The Zen garden is a place to reflect and meditate. It's a place to find inner calmness and peace.