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Take a Tour of My Zen Garden

Updated on April 2, 2015
Virginia Allain profile image

Virginia enjoys her cottage in the NH woods near a lake. It's a beautiful area that attracts weekenders and summer folk.

The paths are all mulched.
The paths are all mulched. | Source

Take a Soothing Walk in My Garden

We didn't start out to create a zen garden, but it just evolved over several years of re-landscaping our yard in New Hampshire. Our cottage sits on a quarter acre with huge pines and maples surrounding it and creating a buffer between us and the other woods cottages.

Our neighbors say, "you work too hard," but for my husband and me working with plants and landscapes isn't work, it's a pleasure. Join me for a personal tour of our finished zen garden.

Of course, no garden is ever finished. I'll always make adjustments in what plants we use from one summer to the next. That keeps it fresh and fun for me.

(photo of a section of my NH garden)

Enter the Garden through the Archway

The vinyl garden archway with planting beds on each side. This defines the entertainment area of our yard. There's the firepit and the gazebo just beyond.
The vinyl garden archway with planting beds on each side. This defines the entertainment area of our yard. There's the firepit and the gazebo just beyond. | Source
Source

Photos of My Garden

Each picture will open larger when you click on it.

Pretty Spots in My Garden - It Sooths Me to Walk around Each Day Seeing My Plants

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Hosta plant is a shade lover. My lilies.A fairy figure in a planting box. This is called wolf moss. It's a spreading plant. I have astilbe in pink, white, and lavender. My golden iris. The low-growing plant is called snow-on-the-mountain. Varigated leaves add a bright spot in a shady landscape. I grow purple clematis on the garden archway. It reminds me of my grandparent's garden. I gather rocks and construct these stone borders for my planting areas.
Hosta plant is a shade lover.
Hosta plant is a shade lover. | Source
My lilies.
My lilies.
A fairy figure in a planting box.
A fairy figure in a planting box.
This is called wolf moss. It's a spreading plant.
This is called wolf moss. It's a spreading plant.
I have astilbe in pink, white, and lavender.
I have astilbe in pink, white, and lavender.
My golden iris.
My golden iris.
The low-growing plant is called snow-on-the-mountain. Varigated leaves add a bright spot in a shady landscape.
The low-growing plant is called snow-on-the-mountain. Varigated leaves add a bright spot in a shady landscape.
I grow purple clematis on the garden archway. It reminds me of my grandparent's garden.
I grow purple clematis on the garden archway. It reminds me of my grandparent's garden.
I gather rocks and construct these stone borders for my planting areas.
I gather rocks and construct these stone borders for my planting areas.

Our Seating Area around the Fire

This is before we moved the gazebo to the new deck.
This is before we moved the gazebo to the new deck. | Source

Just Like in My Garden - You Can Have Similar Outdoor Furnishings

POLYWOOD AD5030WH Classic Folding Adirondack, White
POLYWOOD AD5030WH Classic Folding Adirondack, White

Polywood means no sanding and refinishing over the years. At one time we had green ones, but now have gone with the traditional white Adirondack chairs.

They are really comfortable for lounging around the fire in the evening. A New England classic style.

 

Mahatma Gandhi said:

To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.

A Handsome Fire Pit for the Yard

Landmann 28345 Big Sky Stars and Moons Firepit, Black
Landmann 28345 Big Sky Stars and Moons Firepit, Black

Nothing is as relaxing as gazing into a fire. This is the exact fire pit that we have. When the fire is burning, the cut-out designs on the side let you see it. The cover is essential to keep sparks from eddying up from the heat of the fire. Without it, a campfire in the woods like where we are is too dangerous.

The ring around the top of the fire pit keeps you from bumping into the hot metal sides accidentally.

We get lots of compliments from visitors when we use the fire pit.

 

Not a Traditional Zen Garden

One thinks of sand raked into interesting contours and carefully placed rocks.

I call mine a zen garden for the calming effect it has on me.

Here's Our Trellis Archway with the Clematis in Bloom

Two ways to enter the garden: by the side path or through the trellis. I grow clematis as it is hardy and also because my grandparents used to have it in their garden.
Two ways to enter the garden: by the side path or through the trellis. I grow clematis as it is hardy and also because my grandparents used to have it in their garden. | Source

Add a Welcoming Archway to Your Garden Retreat

Greenstone Arch Arbor, White
Greenstone Arch Arbor, White

Grow your favorite vining plant on this arch. I grow clematis, but you might prefer roses or honeysuckle. Vinyl arches are sturdy and don't require repainting over the years.

 

Tour Some Other Zen Gardens - to get ideas

My Husband Built the Deck for This Gazebo

Here's where we moved the gazebo to the ground-level deck my husband constructed. On one side are raised planters for additional flowers and herbs.
Here's where we moved the gazebo to the ground-level deck my husband constructed. On one side are raised planters for additional flowers and herbs. | Source

I'll add more photos this summer with my new plantings. I'm experimenting by adding some wildflowers for shade areas.

Take a Video Tour of a Japanese Garden

© 2014 Virginia Allain

Tell Me about Your Plans for Your Garden

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    • heytoto profile image

      Karen Kolavalli 

      3 years ago from Lexington, Kentucky

      I read this with new eyes after getting to see your zen garden first-hand on my recent trip to New Hampshire. Wow!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 

      4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Virginia, I've always loved Zen gardens and wished I had a suitable outdoor space to create one. Your peaceful garden is simply beautiful and your photographs are wonderful. Thank you for sharing them.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Your garden invites one to do a walking meditation. You are lucky to have this respite.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 

      4 years ago

      Hi Virginia, Lovely Zen Garden ...thanks for sharing!

    • savateuse profile image

      savateuse 

      4 years ago

      This is such a nice garden, congratulations!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 

      4 years ago

      Hi Virginia, you have a lovely garden and great perspective on the outdoors. Its spring here in Canberra now and I am just starting to redo my beautiful patch and I think the arch is a great idea.

    • heytoto profile image

      Karen Kolavalli 

      4 years ago from Lexington, Kentucky

      Really lovely! I had no idea you had so much going on in your garden!

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