The Zen Garden is not the typical garden design as most Westerners know it. Zen gardens are dry landscapes created primarily to promote contemplation and meditation. They are a scaled-down representation of nature, with rocks resembling mountains and sand representing water. The idea of a Zen garden is simplicity of design.
The type of garden known today as Zen is called in Japanese kare san-sui, or dry landscape. Here in the United States, the term Zen garden is often used generically to describe any Japanese garden that has dry style elements. Although this type of garden is traditionally a dry one where sand represents water, adding a fountain or pond into the setting and creating your own style of landscape adds possibilities for new design ideas.
A Zen garden is a contemplative environment designed to create an atmosphere of peace and balance, helping you achieve a state of mindfulness. The ultimate purpose is to induce a sense of peace, relaxation, and meditation.
Due to its nature, a Zen gardens are one of the easiest and most delightful gardens you can create. They’re also a wonderful way to enjoy gardening in an area where plants will not grow. To a degree, the easiest Zen garden to create is the most extreme dry landscape - just landscape rocks.