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Need help with Zen garden horse grave

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  • Need help with Zen garden horse grave

    I buried my darling girl 1 1/2 years ago and after going through a number of ideas none of them worked. So, now I have poisoned all the grass and I want to put down light colored stones with steps going up to the bench.

    I'm also thinking of placing large blue stone slabs all around the grave on the stones and putting plants on them.

    I need other creative ideas. At Kelly's head stone a firend of mine planted a pink Dogwood. Also, the grave is fenced in with 3 board wood fence. It's a nice place to sit and meditate or just commune with nature.
    RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

    "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."

  • #2
    Do you want a real zen garden or just something that resembles a zen garden?

    Because real zen gardens are pretty spartan - there are expanses of space with an element or two. But emptiness is its main feature. Usually sand or gravel is the base for the garden.

    Can you be a little bit more specific? Are looking for a grotto type feel?
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling


    • Original Poster

      Hi JSwan
      I belonged to a Zen meditation goup a long time ago and I liked the "spartanness" of it. I don't want to live with it in my house, but for this area I thought it would be nice. Maybe I could meet half way with some plants, but not a lot. Not sure. I'm definatley looking for maintenance free wihich brings the Zen out in me.
      RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

      "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."


      • #4
        I like real zen gardens too. And if the area is a spot where you don't need to worry about livestock getting in there - it could be a super spot to reflect, even if you didn't go the whole nine yards.

        Sand is nice, but I wonder if you'd not prefer something like pea gravel. Of course you'd put black plastic down and anchor it with the bordering stones.

        You could do something like use the gravemarker as your focus point - I assume the dogwood is planted near it - shading the grave site? I don't know how large the area is, but you'd not have to make the entire area the garden.

        If it has a gate and is fenced off, you can soften the lines of the zen garden by using the stones to create some curved lines that draw you to the bench or meditation spot. Sounds complicated - but you'd just map out the lines using a garden hose or spray can.

        Once you decide the shape of the garden, then you can disc/rototill or just dig up the dead sod so you have a bit of depth to the garden. Then put your black plastic down, then add the bags of pea gravel (or get it delivered, whichever works best for you.)

        So you have the marker/site/dogwood, and you have your expanse of space and bench. For another element, you can use a large stone. Or, if you want to play with zen principles a little, or have the garden reflect your own religious or spiritual beliefs, the other element(s) could be horse or deity related.

        A prairie style piece like this http://www.kaccents.com/For_Home/Gar...atues/2795.htm reflects some zen/japanese architecture.

        You can also find contemplative statues or other design elements here:

        You could also hang a temple bell from the dogwood or a design element that would support such a thing.

        I like using water, but that's not always practical. I've seen some solar powered fountains that might work for you, though.

        So you could do something like have the pea gravel as a base, but your other design element could be a small solar powered fountain that looks rocklike, then have a "fake" creekbed running from it in a black stone. So you'd incorporate earth, wind, water and all that is left is fire if you wanted to do a lantern - or just purchase a solar powered fountain thingy that has a small light in it.

        You could really make a lovely spot and I don't think it would cost much. Maybe the pea gravel would be expensive - but I think sand is much more expensive. Dunno. The sand would show the black stone better, but pea gravel would be just fine too.

        If you wanted to make a really private spot, you could plant evergreens inside the area. If space is tight, you can plant inexpensive but fast growing columnar evergreens.

        Not too many. Just enough to create the sense that the zen garden is a "room". Density or true privacy isn't important - just creating a sense of seclusion and quiet.

        If you go that route you end up with a garden of movement. Curves and shapes from which structures spring forth as focal points. Nothing big, though. The only thing "big" in the garden is the dogwood and gravestone.

        I don't think there would be much maintenance except cleaning up leaves from the dogwood. Or adding water to the fountain and maybe cutting some grass. BUT - you could eliminate all grass and outside the garden just put mulch down.

        I'm a terrible gardener but have very grand ideas - just can't seem to overcome the brown thumb.

        Good luck with your project.
        Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
        Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
        -Rudyard Kipling