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8 Pro Tips for Designing a Peaceful Meditation Garden at Home

A meditation garden is a garden space designed for meditation and relaxation. The goal is to provide a quiet space for people to reflect, meditate and find inner peace.

The garden space usually feels quite separate from the rest of the house and from the outside world. Its purpose is a quiet, peaceful place to enjoy solitude.

Meditation gardens are usually small and minimalistic. They typically incorporate natural elements like boulders and bubbling water features. This creates a sense of harmony between nature and oneself.

Feeling relaxed yet?

You can learn ALL about this style of garden in my complete guide to meditation gardens!

But for a quick reference, here are some of my top tips for designing a meditation garden in your very own space!

1- Select a Serene & Quiet Location for Meditating

photo of a winding stepping stone pathway crossing a pond in a garden

The first step in designing a meditation garden is choosing the perfect location.

The space should be quiet and serene – away from noise and distractions. The size should be appropriate for your needs, but not so large that it becomes overwhelming. 

Think about what you will do in the space and what type of environment you need to perform that activity. How much sun / shade / noise / privacy is necessary?

When it comes to a meditation garden, most will want a shady, private and quiet area. If you don’t have the right conditions, you may need to create them BEFORE you create your meditation garden. Don’t be discouraged – my Plant Perfect Activity Book can guide you through this process!

By carefully choosing the location, you’ll avoid accidentally placing your garden in an area that’s too sunny and noisy. Instead, you’ll have a serene and peaceful place to reflect and meditate.

2- Create a Sacred Space with a Sense of Enclosure

Meditation Garden enclosure

Meditation gardens should feel separated from the rest of the home or yard. The idea is to create a private, separate space where you can go to find peace and tranquility. Use walls, fences, doors, gates and ceilings to create this sense of enclosure.

As a rule of thumb, follow the law of significant enclosure. This landscape design law states that in order to create the perfect cozy enclosure, the walls of the space should be ⅓ the length of the horizontal space.

So, if your garden space is 12’ long, a 4’ tall hedge or fence would be the perfect border for enclosing your sanctuary.

Check out my awesome outdoor room article for more tips on how to create a comfy-cozy outdoor garden space for ultimate relaxation!

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Garden Style Lookbooks

Download my FREE Garden Style Lookbook for 2-page summaries of EACH garden style, including naturalistic, cottage, traditional and modern. 

Easy to print out and reference as you create your “uniquely you” dream garden!

3- Incorporate the Elements: Earth, Wood, Fire, Metal and Water

Nature is a huge focus in meditation gardens. Creating harmony between the garden and the surrounding landscape lays the groundwork for a perfect meditative space. One way to ensure this connection with nature in your garden is to incorporate these 5 elements: earth, wood, fire, metal and water.

Earth Element 

Stacks of stones like the one pictured are common in Buddhism and symbolize safety and direction.

The Earth element in a meditation garden is best represented by soil, rocks and stones. This element provides a sense of grounding and stability. They’ll also create a sense of security and support that is important for meditation. The use of earthy tones in the design of the garden can help to evoke feelings of calmness and relaxation.

Here’s an awesome river stone cairn statue from amazon!

Wood Element

Photo of Asian Style Wooden Bridge over a small stream in a garden
Purchase this Wooden Bridge on Overstock

The Wood element in a meditation garden is represented by plants, trees and wooden accessories. The use of wooden accessories, such as benches or planters, can add a natural and organic touch to the garden. Trees provide a sense of strength & stability, while plants provide a sense of growth & renewal.

For more plant & tree ideas, head over to the complete guide to meditation gardens!

A wooden bench (like this one one Amazon) is a great way to incorporate the wood element while providing ample seating for relaxation and meditation.

These wood rollout pathways are perfect for leading guests along and creating a sense of flow in your sanctuary!

Fire Element

The Fire element in a meditation garden can be represented by the use of candles, lanterns or a fire pit. This element creates a warm and inviting atmosphere, helping to promote relaxation and calmness.

Gathering around a fire pit in your garden space is the ultimate way to relax and unwind.

The use of warm colors (like these orange outdoor pillows) throughout the garden can also help to evoke feelings of warmth and comfort.

These solar torches are perfect for bordering a pathway and adding some ambient lighting to your meditation garden.

Metal Element

Metal buddha statue

The Metal element in a meditation garden can be represented by the use of metal sculptures, wind chimes or bells. This element creates a sense of clarity and focus. This is important for promoting mental strength and concentration during meditation. The use of metallic colors, such as silver or gold, can also help to create a sense of luxury and elegance.

Design Toscano has an amazing selection of metal sculptures to choose from!

These handmade copper and glass wind chimes from Etsy are absolutely stunning. This is a perfect example of incorporating the metal element into your garden, while also adding the relaxing sound a wind chime brings!

Water Element

Koi fish on the pond in Kyoto, Japan
The element of water is a calming addition to any meditation garden space.

The Water element in a meditation garden can be represented by the use of a water feature, such as a pond or fountain. The sound of flowing water creates a calming atmosphere, helping to promote relaxation and inner peace.

The use of blue or green colors in the garden can also help to evoke feelings of tranquility and serenity.

Here is a Zen sculpture fountain that features bamboo and buddha likeness. This is a great way to add bamboo to your space without having to actually incorporate such an aggressive and invasive plant.

4- Choose Plants That Promote Peace & Stimulate the Senses

garden stone stair pathway leading to secluded space

Choosing the right plants for your meditation garden is crucial!

Native plants are an excellent choice, as they are well-adapted to your area and require less maintenance.

Textured plants, such as ornamental grasses or succulents, can add interest and depth to your garden.

Plants with fragrant flowers or leaves can help create a relaxing atmosphere as well.

Here are some fragrant plants known for their rich fragrance and beauty:

  • Monarda Bergamo (Monarda fistulosa, zones 3-9), which is also called bee balm, has a delicious minty fragrance and flavor. 
  • Little Gem Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’, zones 7-9) has a vibrant, lemony scent.
  • Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides spp., zones 7-11) is a compact shrub with a citrusy fragrance, suitable for patios and living areas.
  • Creeping Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Prostratus’, zones 8-11) is a low-growing evergreen plant with a wonderful smell, commonly used in cooking.
  • Florida Sunshine Anise (Illicium parviflorum ‘Florida Sunshine’, zones 6-9) is an evergreen with vibrant foliage and a licorice-like smell.
  • Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum, zones 4-8) or licorice mint, has a sweet flavor in tea and a licorice taste and fragrance.

5- Include a Water Feature

Cascading Sculptural Bamboo Fountain
Adding this cascading sculptural bamboo fountain is a great way to add tranquility and calmness to your meditation garden.

I mentioned water features earlier when discussing the 5 elements. But that’s not the only reason water features are an important piece of meditation gardens!

Water features create a sense of tranquility and calmness. You just can’t help but feel relaxed when you close your eyes and listen to the sound of a bubbling fountain or trickling stream. 

They are also very popular in meditation gardens because the sound of flowing water can drown out outside noise. This helps reinforce the illusion of a separated/removed “sanctuary” space.

A water feature can be anything from a small fountain to a large pond. It all depends on the space, budget and personal preference. Here’s an awesome list of all different kinds of water features to suit any size or budget!

Be sure to consider the placement of the water feature, too. It’s a focal point of the garden and should be visible from multiple areas to fully appreciate its effect!

In my Garden Focal Points eBook, you’ll learn LOTS of different strategies for positioning focal points in your landscape, including a water feature for your meditation garden!

6- Incorporate Little Moments of Color to Add a Sense of Joy

Old stone statue wearing a knitted red hat near the entrance of an ancient Buddhist temple in Japan.

In designing a meditation garden, bright colors are usually more subdued. This is because it’s more serene and restful. However, adding little moments of color can also help to lift the spirit and add a sense of joy to the garden. 

This can be achieved through the use of colorful flowers, a colorful garden statue or even brightly painted garden furniture. 

These pops of color can help to create a feeling of lightness and positivity in the garden. They can also provide an opportunity to reflect on the beauty and diversity of the natural world.

7- Add Personal Touches & Accessories That Promote Mindfulness and Meditation

Accessories such as statues, sculptures and wind chimes can add a decorative touch to your meditation garden.

Wind chimes and bells can help you relax with their soothing songs, while lighting can be used to add ambience to the evenings.

This handmade wind chime from Etsy, is pyramidal in shape and made from upcycled glass bottles! What a perfect eco-conscious way to add tranquil sound to your meditation garden. 

Incense and aromatherapy can also be used to create a calming and relaxing atmosphere.

Symbolism is a big part of Asian meditation gardens. From Shintoism to Zen Buddhism, the symbols can serve as a physical reminder of the garden’s purpose. 

This Zen Buddhist garden statue is sure to get you in the meditation mood!

Include symbolism that’s important to you! One of my favorite websites, Design Toscano, has A TON of Asian-inspired Zen garden décor.

Ideas: Statues & sculptures, wind chimes & bells, lighting, incense & aromatherapy, symbolism

Take a look at my complete guide to meditation gardens for even more accessories and décor!

8- Ensure Your Design Matches Your Maintenance Needs

japanese rock garden with sand and buddha statue

Meditation gardens are considered low maintenance. They’re designed to be simple and natural, with minimal ornamentation or landscaping.

However, NO garden is zero maintenance. Gardens require attention, care and regular upkeep to maintain their beauty and functionality. Plants need weeding, pruning and fertilizing. Any water features will need cleaning and maintaining. 

If you want to create a meditation garden that is true to the Asian style, you might need to invest more time and effort into sourcing the right plants and materials.

The size, location and design of the garden will also influence the level of maintenance required.

If you’re the type of person that likes to work smarter, not harder – I have a ton of tips on how to design a low maintenance landscape!

Wrapping Up

Those are my top tips for designing a meditation garden at home!

By following those steps, you can create a meditation garden that is not only beautiful, but also beneficial for your mental and physical health! If you want to learn more about this style of garden, be sure to check out my complete guide to meditation gardens.

Are you ready to learn even more about the different garden styles, and to find which one suits you?!

collage of items for garden mood board.

In my Garden Style Mood Board Workshop, we’ll go over the garden styles and their differences. Then, I’ll walk you through my simple process for finding YOUR style and beginning to plan a garden that is uniquely you. You’re gonna love it!

More Garden Styles Posts You’ll Love

Shop my Amazon storefront for my essential gardening books & tool recommendations!

Co-Authored by Kady Volpe

Kady is a pro-gardener-in-training. She’s in the process of learning all of Pretty Purple Door’s frameworks and landscape design techniques.

meditation garden tips

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