The Japanese rock garden (枯山水, karesansui) or “dry landscape” garden, often called a zen garden, creates a miniature stylized landscape through carefully composed arrangements of rocks, water features, moss, pruned trees and bushes, and uses gravel or sand that is raked to represent ripples in water. A zen garden is usually relatively small, surrounded by a wall, and is usually meant to be seen while seated from a single viewpoint outside the garden, such as the porch of the hojo, the residence of the chief monk of the temple or monastery. Classical zen gardens were created at temples of Zen Buddhism in Kyoto during the Muromachi period. They were intended to imitate the essence of nature, not its actual appearance, and to serve as an aid to meditation about the true meaning of existence.
As a lifelong Japanese culture admirer, I decided to make my own Zen garden in a quick approach. It sounds contradictory to the concept of a Zen garden. But I think this is exactly the modern people’s elegy.
I found a beautiful piece of rock in my backyard, this is my Zen garden base. I made all garden elements with polymer clay, baked them in the oven; then arranged and glued them together. It is a fun project, it is close to my ideal real garden.