Designing a Japanese Garden

Japanese gardens are built on the principle of harmony. These gardens are intended to be spaces for meditation and quiet reflection. The Japanese garden requires some significant planning steps that can be quite different from planning a traditional Western garden. Japanese gardens have become so popular in recent years, that some garden designers specialise in this style of garden. If you would like to plan a Japanese garden for your home, here are some tips to help you get started.


Japanese gardens are either designed as walking gardens or viewing gardens. In both cases, the garden is designed to create the illusion that it is spacious. This is done by using the classic art principle of perspective. Here are tips for utilising perspective:

Apply small or miniature trees to the perimeter of the walking garden to create the illusion of distance.

Natural features, such as a pond or hill can be used in the front of the viewing garden. By putting a smaller feature in the back, the smaller natural feature will look further away.

In a walking garden, each step along the garden should offer a different perspective that works with the remainder of the garden.

Using Balance

Japanese gardens achieve balance not by being symmetrical, but by the imitation of nature. A garden path should be designed to naturally wander.

Stonework for Japanese Gardens

Stones of various sizes are used in Japanese gardens. The stones are carefully selected for their beauty and they are often used to represent water. If a stone is selected, it will likely be used to symbolise a natural element. Some stones are considered to be more dominant while others are considered to be more feminine. These energies are considered as well in the stone selection.

Plants for Japanese Gardens

Unlike Western gardens, plants are not as important. Rocks are the most important and then trees, shrubs and bushes. The shape, colour and texture are the most important parts of a Japanese garden and are often the most difficult to select.

If you want to build a Japanese garden, a professional garden designer can help you to plan out all of the details. Click here to request quotes for Japanese garden design today!

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