The Zen garden is far more than just a place of beauty, it is an artistic expression or pathway with elements of symbolic meaning to the creator. Many Zen gardens are created to depict various aspects of Asian culture, such as cause and effect, yin and yang.
The Japanese aristocrats who originally designed Zen gardens created them to evoke the same imagery they enjoyed in poetry. This could be a rocky seashore, a field of reeds, or a lonely pine tree.
Priests created their gardens to replicate the landscapes in the Japanese, Chinese and Korean Sansuiga ink paintings. They used white sand, boulders and shrubs to recreate the palette, rhythm and balance of these paintings.
Zen tea gardens were also created for Japan’s many tea houses. The garden started from the street and created a path that led to the entrance of the tea house. This was to prepare the individual both physically and spiritually for the act of receiving a bowl of tea.