Mill Valley Garden Planter

Learning how to set your garden up like ancient Japanese royalty is not only fun but it is one of the best ways to transform your yard space into a Zen masterpiece. Japanese gardens are unique in their features and design and for centuries they have served as a safe meditation zone for the country’s elite.

Every aspect of the Japanese garden design is set up to inspire and capture thought-leading conversations.  Perhaps this is why the traditional Japanese garden layout has spread so successfully and today you can find Japanese gardens throughout the globe.

Ryokan Modern Garden Bench

Ryokan Modern Garden Bench

Ryokan Modern Garden Bench

Main Characteristics

Japanese gardens are not the same but most have a few keep concepts that help capture the essence of the original designer’s intentions.  Depending on the size of your garden or home, you may choose to forego some of the elements to fit your personal tastes and current décor.  Transform your yard into a Japanese masterpiece by following the tips below.


A teahouse is usually a small pagoda or gazebo type structure specifically designed for drinking tea and deep conversation.  Your Teahouse should be an outdoor room that has the feel of being surrounded by nature.  Place your teahouse where you feel the view is the best as it is where most of your garden time will be spent.

Water Basins

The tradition of water basins in Japan is called Japanese gardens goes back thousands of years from when guests would wash their hands in the basin before entering your garden.  The basins should be located in close proximity to your teahouse and it should be surrounded by a stone arrangement that complements its features while maintaining a natural appeal.


Walkways are one of the most recognizable features of a traditional Japanese garden. While walkways can be constructed of wood, you may find a stone pathway to provide you with a little more meditative inspiration.  Use the spacing of your stones to control the pace in which your visitor tackles their thoughts.  A well-spaced stone walkway is surer to have your visitors pondering every step.


Japanese gardens are also known for their large boulder arrangements.  These are usually a couple stones or boulders partially buried with plants arranged around its basin.  You should use smaller shrubs and plants to give your boulder the feel of a miniature mountain. This is another reason small trees are perfect for Japanese gardens and the right arrangement can make any boulder look like a baby mt.Fuji.

The Feel of Water

The feel of water can be easily captured if you are lucky enough to have a small stream running through your garden.  You can also get a similar feel through the use of well-placed dark gravel.  Simply dig a small "stream" bed and then fill it with your dark gravel.  This will give a flowing effect when observed by any visitors. You can also add an outdoor water feature like Bjorn Small Water Fountain, sure to be an eye-catcher despite its relatively small size. Ferns can be the perfect addition to your gravel steam to give it the extra detail that is sure to be appreciated by any guests who happen to wander into your garden space. 

Bjorn Small Water Fountain

Bjorn Small Water Fountain

Bjorn Small Water Fountain

Popular Japanese Garden Plants

It is common to see Japanese influenced gardens feature some form of evergreens.  In ancient Japanese culture the evergreen represented permanence and because of this, they were used sparingly in the decor.  Below are some popular Japanese evergreens to consider:

  • Cedar
  • Coastal redwood
  • Himalayan Redwood
  • Japanese Black Pine


Japanese gardens are known for the beautiful flowers and their sweet aroma.  There are several colorful Japanese flowers to choose fit your décor needs.  Flowers are the best way to add color to any garden and below are some of the more popular flowers found in traditional Japanese inspired yards.

  • Japanese Irises
  • Japanese Tree Peonies
  • Japanese Maples
  • Azaleas

Elevate the authenticity of your Japanese garden with a selection of unique outdoor planters, adding an extra touch of elegance to complement the vibrant blooms.

Mill Valley Garden Planter

Mill Valley Garden Planter

The Beauty of Japanese Style Gardens

Japan is a country that is rich in culture and history and a proper Japanese garden should reflect the intricacy and simplicity that is combined perfectly in this style of garden.  A Japanese garden is meant to provide you with the perfect place to meditate on deeper issues and leave the day to day behind.  

The teahouse adds the perfect functionality and you and your guest are sure to enjoy the added tranquility you get sipping on your favorite tea while being immersed in your traditional Japanese garden.  You may also want to add some Buddha art to add a greater feeling of zen. Remember to follow the tips in this guide and watch your yard transform into feudal Japan before your eyes.

Create your own Japanese style garden today and experience the peace and serenity that this timeless design can bring to your outdoor space.

Ancient japanese royalty gardenJapanese style gardens