Japanese-Style Zen Garden

Artist's Garden Designs, Design Tips, Garden Design Vignettes, Vignettes

Japanese-Style Zen Garden Design by Kelly Schroeder.



We could all use a little zen in our lives.  If you have even a small piece of ground you can create a peaceful oasis in your own yard.  Simplicity is key and unlike traditional perennial borders with masses of bold colour, the Zen garden keeps colour and quantity to a minimum, focusing on form and texture.

This tranquil site is a perfect design for that shady spot in your garden.  Don’t be afraid to place it in the front yard if that offers the best site.   By using a length of bamboo fencing strategically, you will still be able to enjoy some privacy.    In addition to the plants, the Japanese use hardscape elements to create a sense of space.  Traditionally these elements would all be natural, such as bamboo, granite and other stone and water.


  1. Campanula poscharskyana Blue Waterfall – Zone 3
  2. Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’ – Zone 5
  3. Dicentra ‘King of Hearts’ – Zone 2
  4. Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ – Zone 4
  5. Hosta ‘Patriot’ – Zone 2


  1. Veronica peduncularis ‘Georgia Blue’ – Zone 4
  2. Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ – Zone 5
  3. Polemonium reptans ‘Touch of Class’ – Zone 3
  4. Ajuga reptans ‘Black Scallop’ – Zone 3
  5. Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ – Zone 2