Many who know Outdoor Craftsmen Landscape Design don’t know that its roots are steeped in a strong aesthetic of Asian-inspired calm and the thoughtful use of earth’s elements fire, water, stone, wood, and metal.
Outdoor Craftsmen’s founder Scott Deemer has long been drawn to Asian garden influences, including feng shui and a peaceful, contemplative approach to designing in nature. The Earth elements all stimulate the senses in a landscape, and all are brought together using nature as the inspiration.
You can have your own tranquil retreat too! When designing for a Japanese or Zen-inspired garden design, let these principles guide you:
1. Bamboo is useful for fencing, doors, and other garden structural elements. It is fast growing and very aggressive, so look for the clumping type, which grows less aggressively than other types.
2. Gentle surprises through use of landscape design ‘vignettes’ invites you to explore what’s around the next corner. The goal is to create something lovely right where you are, and then go forward to the next lovely thing that isn’t seen from the former spot.
3. Japanese gardens draw on quiet differences in color and texture. Evergreens provide calming shades of green year-round.
4. Plant moss in shady areas and in an amongst stepping stones. If you can’t grow moss you can choose another type of groundcover plant. There is something magical about the spread of a groundcover inviting you to walk on it and feel the coolness and softness.
5. Make a private pavilion. An intimate space in your landscape invites meditation, contemplation, and connecting with family and friends in a peaceful and beautiful setting.
6. Add a sculpture such as a pagoda or decorative lanterns. They impart a lot of character without taking up much space.
7. Provide a water feature such as a reflecting pool or natural pond, to make a secluded garden retreat that both cools and calms.
8. Consider a gravel garden. Raked gravel surrounding smooth or interesting stones and rocks is easy to maintain and ideal for quiet meditation and contemplation.
9. Use hardy ferns and evergreens to create the illusion of flowing water. Ferns especially tend to soften the edges in the landscape, especially along pathways, which is attractive in a zen garden.
Ask us for photos of Zen-like landscapes we’ve created for some of our clients. We can create a beautiful Asian-inspired landscape at your home too.