Discover these Zen garden backyard ideas! These 10 unique and stunning garden designs can enhance the beauty and tranquility of your landscape. From intricate stepping stones to wood slice walkways, these ideas will inspire you to create your own peaceful oasis where relaxation and meditation can be the Zen you truly need.
Wood Round Stepping “Stones”
This gorgeous path is cut wood rounds set in the dirt and surrounded with small river rock pebbles. I love how natural this solution to stepping stones is set within a path of shrubs and perennials. The variety of shapes and sizes keeps it interesting and adds to the beauty.
Log Cut Steps
In this path they again used the cut log slices but this time to create steps. Look how beautiful that stair edge is with its natural texture highlighted so beautifully. I love the large stones set around the small trail to anchor the path too.
Dry Creek River Rock Path
This simple path can act as a dry creek during rain storms and almost become a water feature, or just stay simple pathway. This is a great DIY option if you don’t have a lot of time to create a passageway from one area to another, if you love the look of natural water features, but need a pathway to cut through a garden bed, this is a great option.
Large Stone Steps
This may not be a budget friendly option, but these large stone steps, in a bed of small river rocks is lovely, and also transitions naturally into a staircase. The stairs and path themselves become a rock garden of sorts, whose own beauty just adds to the garden space around it.
Pea Gravel Wood Framed Path
This idea is good for inexpensive pathways that have good drainage. I love how they’ve built a staircase, framed in wood, filled with pea gravel. This is a linear solution, so it will not appear as soft as rounded shapes, but works very well, and is a perfect budget saving option.
Flagstone Path with Pea Gravel
This beautiful path built like the spokes of a wheel makes traveling through this garden a pleasure. The path is interesting on its own and highlights the garden beds around it. Planting the garden beds to feature color thought out the season helps to make this space extra beautiful year round.
Paver Path with Moss
This photo isn’t necessarily in a garden, rather it is the strip between the sidewalk and the road, but I love it. Pavers make perfect DIY solutions for pathways in a garden. They do not have to be wide, or even or straight. They can meander and be aged and really add some magic to the space. Fill the spaces with sand to hold the pavers in place, use an edging piece to keep them in place and hold their shape and even plant moss to age the pathway.
Handprint Stepping Stones
This gravel walkway has the adorable added bonus of little handprint stepping stones. A great way to memorialize those perfect little child handprints, or just family members of all ages. The may be a small detail, but once you see them, the become a focal point in the pathway.
Alternate Rock Colors
This footpath is fluid and winding. I love how it runs through this bed. The other part I admire is how the colors contrast dark verses light. The metal pathway edging helps to keep the two contrasting colors apart and creates a line through the space for your eye to follow.
Rock Path with Concrete Edges
This beautiful side yard is great inspiration for a simple but effective stone pathway. The side yard itself can become a miniature garden of it’s own. You could create a traditional Zen garden of mostly rock, gravel, sand, and wood with very little foliage. Alternately, you could just make the pathway a Zen inspired touch, surrounded with greenery such as ferns, ornamental grass, hedges, azaleas, a blossoming cherry tree, large boulders, there are so many great options.
Large Natural Stone Stepping Path in Mulch
This natural path features larger rocks in a bed of wood mulch. While the garden is a somewhat dry landscape, with the shrubs around in many shades of green, it still feels very lush. Where we live (in the desert) it is wise to try and find native plants that thrive in our natural habitat to give you a water wise solution for any planter. This garden does just that. The use of evergreens also makes sure that even during the winter months there is something green to focus on while other plants are dormant.
Stone Paver Path Surrounded by Greenery
This stone paver walkway is a great option for a backyard Zen garden. While the greenery around it is native to our area, if you can, a bamboo screen, would provide a lovely privacy screen. When you make your own Zen garden consider adding a small temple sculpture or several stone lanterns along the path. Having a private path or area helps to add to the quiet contemplation you can enjoy in the space.
An inexpensive option for a small path or patio space is using a cinder block cap or even buried cinderblock. This small patio space will be lovely when the ground cover between the blocks fills in completely. Surrounded by natural greenery and especially those poppies, this DIY Zen garden is the perfect place for a relaxing morning in the garden.
DIY Concrete Stepping Stones
The stepping stones that run through this grass are roughly poured DIY concrete steps. I love the rustic imperfect, rock like look of the stones. They are rather uniform in size, but look great by this meandering garden bed and small stream behind it. This may be too green of a space to technically be a Zen garden design, but it does still have the three essential elements of a Japanese garden. Which are first, stones that create the structure for the landscape, second plants that provide color and ever changing seasonal interest, and third water a representation of a life giving force.
You might also like Garden Edging Ideas:
This dry bed stream as an edge of a beautiful garden bed would look amazing with an actual creek running through it from a water fountain into a small koi pond. But even just a dry creek bed creates an amazing transition from lawn to garden bed. Check out 27 Garden Edging Ideas here.
30 Raised Garden Bed Ideas:
If you want to garden, but also don’t like back pain, try a raised garden bed. We have compiled 30 Great Raised Garden Bed Ideas here.
DIY Waterfall on a Budget Tutorial:
That sound from a waterfall is so relaxing, and watching koi fish swim in a pond is the perfect addition of a Japanese Zen Garden. But building a waterfall can be expensive, so check out this incredible budget solution for building a DIY waterfall yourself.
Cassity Kmetzsch started Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Interior Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out walls, and building everything back up again to not only add function but beauty to her home. Together with her husband Justin, they have remodeled 6 homes and are working on a seventh. She is a mother of four amazing girls. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.