Merrillville, IN (PressExposure) August 13, 2009 -- In a perfect world, growing an attractive vegetable or flower garden to accentuate your patio area would be as easy as planting seeds and watching them grow. Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with a green thumb. Creating an outdoor Zen garden provides hope (and peace and tranquility as well) for those who donât have the time, skill or patience to grow and sustain a more traditional garden.
âWhen you think of a Zen garden, you think of the desktop variety -- you know, a little rectangular box with some white sand, stones and a few rakes--but you can create the same thing on a larger scale outdoors if you have the space,â said Sara Shragal of DirectBuy.
To make your own outdoor Zen garden, mark off the space where you would like to build it. If youâre not sure how large to build your Zen garden, a typical desktop Zen garden is 12 inches wide by seven inches long. So, if you do a little multiplying, you can keep those same proportions, but on a larger scale (e.g. 12 feet wide by 7 feet long).
Once youâve blocked off your space, you need to create the frame for the garden. You can use 2â x 4â pieces of lumber, rail ties or any other kind of wood you prefer. Nail, screw or glue the four pieces of wood together, then decorate it with paint, stain or varnish, whichever you prefer.
You will want to lay down a weed retainer (e.g. a sheet of black plastic) within the mold before you fill it with sand or gravel. While you can find sand and gravel at most garden shops, you may want to check out the local rock shop, quarry or landscaping supply company for larger gardens. Fill your Zen garden with a minimum of two inches of sand or gravel. This will help minimize bare patches once you start raking patterns.
âIn filling up your Zen garden, you want to create a visually stimulating theme. Beside rocks, you can use mossy logs, driftwood, statues and other items that are interesting from a color, shape or texture perspective,â said Shragal. âJust remember not to clutter up your Zen garden with too many items. Keep it peaceful and simple.â Adds Shragal, âIn terms of raking, rake the sand or gravel in long, curving strokes to represent water ripples. You can use as many or as few patterns as you like to accentuate your garden. And unlike a real garden, you can change it up any time you want!â Another idea you may want to consider is adding light to your Zen garden. Selectively placed lighting and colored bulbs can add another dimension to your Zen garden, especially at night.
In addition to guidance on outdoor projects like creating your own Zen garden, DirectBuy offers nearly every product you might need to convert your patio into your outdoor living areaâall at insider prices direct from the manufacturers and their authorized suppliers. In addition, DirectBuy also employs product specialists and designers, so if you need some assistance in selecting products or just a second opinion, you have seasoned professionals at your service.
For more information on a DirectBuy membership, you can visit http://www.directbuycares.com.