8 Beautiful Mini Zen Gardens to Help You Relax

Mini zen gardens are beautiful decorations that serve a calming purpose.

In Japanese culture, they represent rivers.

That’s why they are used to promote meditation and finding your inner peace.

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Dry Zen Gardens Symbolism

Traditional dry zen gardens contain sand or gravel and stones.

The sand or gravel symbolizes water and, in nature, water usually has ripples. So all the patterns drawn in the sand – circular and line patterns – represent the ripple effects. If water droplets fall into a calm river, there will be circular ripples. If there is wind, you will see lines. And circular ripples always form around rock outcrops in the water.

Can you see the symbolism?

It’s beautiful.

Droplets falling and sploshing, while calming in its own right, can be loud and noisy. So, using sand (or gravel when there is wind) is the perfect substitute to maintain the quiet and the calm. With the sand, your meditation won’t be suddenly disturbed by water sounds.

As for the stones or rocks, they represent common features in the riverine landscape. Little outcrops and even islands are part of that.

In most cases, the placement of the stones in the zen garden is deliberate. Using them to draw asymmetrical triangles is common as is placing taller rocks to the back of the smaller ones. The placement is all intended to please your eyes and bring a sense of calm when viewing the scenery.

More modern dry zen gardens will have plants, mosses, and even water features. They also add interesting, relaxing and decorating elements to your zen garden.

Beautiful Mini Zen Gardens to Buy

1. Ostranenie Zen Garden

This indoor mini zen garden is as complete as it gets. It comes with a 11″ x 8″ container, white sand, bamboo tools, bridge, rocks and figurines like fish, swans and more.

Ostranenie The Life Zen Garden Time, Mini Zen Garden for Desk

2. Zantra Premium Zen Garden

For a simpler garden with meditation and mindfulness in mind, Zantra’s might be your favorite (it is mine!). It has a simple, Japanese aesthetic and is a bit larger, measuring at 12″ x 8″.

It comes with a sturdy, solid wooden tray, Japanese Buddha statue, sand, rocks, architectural pagoda figure, lotus flower and bamboo rakes. Isn’t it cute?

ZANTRA Premium Zen Garden for Desk 12 x 8 inch, Office and Home Décor

3. Enso Sensory Japanese Zen Garden

This one is a bit different. It’s a lot more sensory since it comes with patterned flow balls that you can roll around in the sand. It comes with a 12 inch circular tray, brush, ball holder and wooden comb. Make beautiful, intricate designs while you relax.

Enso Sensory Japanese Zen Garden

If you’re more interested in a sensory experience, try this zen box with kinetic sand.

4. Full ON Zen Meditation Garden

This garden looks It’s so sleek and beautiful. Plus, it comes with a 10″ circular wood tray, white sand, flow balls, incense burner, mini pagoda and raking tools. Use the flow balls to make intricate designs in the sand too.  

Full on Zen Meditation Garden - with Pagoda Temple, Flow Ball and Incense Kit

5. ICNBUYS Yin Yang Rock Garden

ICNBUYS yin yang mini garden is truly unique with the yin and yang shapes in the 12″ square wooden tray. It comes with beautiful black and white sands that are so pleasing to the eye. It’ll make a wonderful addition to any meditation space.

This large tabletop mini zen garden comes with a porcelain meditating statue, stones, temple figurine, incense, candle, and rake. Beautiful, isn’t it?

Stunning Yin/Yang rock garden

6. ICNBUYS Zen Garden with Bridge

Here’s another wonderful zen garden from ICNBUYS. It measures 11.8″ x 9.4″ and comes with Japanese cherry and swan figurines, pagoda, bridge and stones.

ICNBUYS Zen Garden Sakura Pagoda Bridge Landscape Stone Set

7. BangBangDa Tabletop Meditation Zen Garden

This mini zen garden has more of a fairy garden theme. It has fun elements that you and your kids will enjoy.

It comes with a 11″ x 7.5″ bamboo tray, white sand, and accessories like ceramic lotus incense holder, little trees, moss, 6 raking tools, little figures like koi, turtle, frog, lanterns, tower, and leaves.

The garden is as cute as cute gets.

BangBangDa Tabletop Meditation Zen Garden

8. Mini Zen Garden Sea Life

This isn’t a typical relaxing Japanese zen garden, but it is certainly unique and adorable sandbox. It comes with an 8.5″ circular wooden tray, aqua sand, rocks, a log, and lots of sea animal figurines. Plus, the garden comes with a rake and stylus.

Mini Zen Garden Sea Life, A Day at The Ocean, Desktop Sandbox for Meditation and Relaxation

These are all great gardens for meditation and décor; but they aren’t your only options. You can make your own DIY mini zen garden!

DIY Mini Zen Gardens

Making your own garden is fairly simple. You’ll need:

  • A mini rake
  • A container for your sand (or tiny pebbles)
  • Sand (or tiny pebbles)
  • Stones and mini rocks
  • Plants are optional
  • Decorative statues are optional

Rake

You’ll need rakes to form nice, calming patterns in the sand. You can repurpose a fork or spork for this. Toothpicks and bamboo skewers can also be used too.

This simple rake set is also lovely.

Zen Rake Mini Zen Garden Rakes, Meditation Sand Zen Garden Tools

Container

As for containers, you are essentially looking for a desk top sand box. You can repurpose old wooden furniture, scrap pieces, or wooden pallets. Even older plastic containers or glass dishes are good options.

Personally, I like using wooden trays – especially bamboo ones. They can be rectangular or round. The choice and creative control are all in your hands.

Take a look at these. You can use them for a number of things – including your DIY mini zen garden.

3 bamboo trays

Sand

You can collect sand on your next beach visit. Remove any odd bits from it and wash with chlorinated water to kill any pathogens in the sand. Strain using a large cloth. Once the sand is dry, you can add it to your zen garden.

If beach sand isn’t for you, pick up beautiful white sand on Amazon.

Royal Ram 2 pounds Natural White Marble Decorative Real Sand

For more decorative zen gardens, think about getting colored sand. There are tons of colored options on Amazon.

Sandsational Pink Blush Unity Sand

Stones and rocks

On your outdoor adventure, pick up rocks and stones that appeal to you. River and beach stones are my personal favorite because they are smooth and more rounded. But sharp edges are fine too.

These engraved river stones are nice for practicing meditation, mindfulness and affirmations. Or you can use crystals too.

Plants

Plants add a nice pop of color (if colored sand isn’t your thing!). Air plants that don’t need soil to grow are perfect for mini zen gardens. Bonsai, succulents, and mosses are also wonderful options.

Tillandsia air plants are great choices.

Miniature Fairy Garden Plants - Live Tillandsia Air Plants

If you’re worried about killing the plants, try artificial ones.

As bonsais go, this live juniper tree is a beautiful option and comes in a 7.5 by 5 inch pot. Water it often, give it light and love and you’ll enjoy this natural feature in your own DIY zen garden.

Miniature Fairy Garden Plants - Live Tillandsia Air Plants

If you want live plants, this flowering white jasmine (below) is wonderful. And if you are really committed, there are lots of live juniper and other beautiful flowering bonsais to consider.

Miniature Fairy Garden Plants - Live Tillandsia Air Plants

Oh and you can add sand to this unique design with a slow growing Kingsville boxwood bonsai plus fisherman figurine and ceramic fish.

Miniature Fairy Garden Plants - Live Tillandsia Air Plants

Decorative statues

With zen gardens being representative of a riverine environment, you don’t need statues or figurines. But, if you are tending towards a more decorative look and feel, miniature zen garden accessories and figurines will make wonderful additions.

This 11″ gold Buddha statue from East Meets West is large and beautiful and will fit perfectly in a larger DIY zen garden.

Grasslands Road Mini Buddha Figurines

These adorable figurines will give a more fairy garden vibe.

Danmu Fairy Garden Accessories, Fairy Garden Figurines

Here are a few more ideas from this Youtube video:

Once you’ve organized your container, sand and stones, start raking and think about the calm serenity of nature.

Do you have a zen garden? I’d love to hear about your one.

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