6 Types of Miniature Zen Gardens that Help You Relax

Posted on August 11 2019

Miniature Zen garden, or mini Zen garden, is the table top version of Japanese rock garden. With basic tools like a container, a rake and sand, a miniature Zen garden could provide a calm place for meditation and contemplation, introducing serenity and stillness into busy everyday lives within your home or office. The process of building it, incorporating the different Zen elements and raking the sand provides a relaxing experience.

There can be 6 basic types of miniature Zen gardens, according to their different themes and extra features:


1.The Most Basic Type

A mini rake and a container filled with sand - that’s all you need in order to build a basic mini Zen garden.  Though it’s the simplest combination, you can still play with it in many ways. For example the rake - usually you use the prongs of rake to draw out waves, and the cylindrical end to rub them out. If you want a really smooth surface, try using a bank card or a giant T-shaped rake. If you want to draw patterns like ripples and swirls, or even more complicated ones,  you may want to buy a tool rake set for your mini Zen Garden. 

The same goes for shape of the container. Square and circular trays are common. Containers in narrow, octagon or other shapes are also available; Some even have multiple layers or compartments.
Adding a finishing touch to it with a few pieces of stone would be perfect. Outdoor stone brings us closer to nature, while polished stone without sharp edges makes everything even more calming.

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2.Gardens With Buddha Figurine

A Buddha figurine inspires tranquility and contemplation. It’s usually a praying Thai or Chinese Buddha made of metal, ceramic or resin. It can be a perfect focal point of your garden.

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3.With Ornaments

Miniature pavilion, beach umbrella, bridge, lantern, animal… You name it! As long as they match each other in size, they can be placed together as you like. It’s not the most Buddhist way. Some people may suggest not to introduce too many ornaments. But if it relieves your mind and calms you down, who’s to judge?

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4.Functional Features other than Decor

Besides bringing pure relaxation, the miniature stylized landscape can also be functional. Some gardens come with holders for incense / incense burner or tealight candles / candle holder. 

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5.Plants in the Garden

For some people, a garden without plant is not a garden. However, most plants are not suitable for this environment. As you will smooth out the sand from time to time, and sand is the most essential view of the garden, it’s important to keep it nice and neat. Plants that require soil and extensive care are not suitable for these mini Zen gardens. In this case, three plants are usually used: (faux) airplant, succulent, and moss. To each their own.

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6. Other Fun Types

Besides traditional types, there are also some new styles in this niche market. For example, miniature Zen garden with magnetic sand. It’s a break from tradition, but building gardens in three dimensions is quite absorbing.

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If not the nature of sand, change the color then. Gardens with sand in blue color could incorporate sea elements and turn the whole “garden” into a “sea”.

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Most mini Zen garden kits in the market combine some or even all elements above. 

The product is highly customizable. If you have assembly lines and are looking to have your own brand printed on the box, I would highly recommend that you purchase those materials in kits separately from China and assemble them after arrival. Sand, trays, mini rakes, and those petit  decorations, is a small price to pay for selling the whole Zen Garden concept. And for customers, the concept is a small price to pay for finding their own peace of mind. 


Zen culture and its products are being more and more popular. Seize the opportunity before it's too late. 

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