If you can’t quite imagine what Asian design looks like, or you’ve never experienced the bliss of strolling down a cherry blossom-lined arbor, think of all the enviable Instagram posts from yoga retreats in Bali or Vietnam. The ones with impossibly photogenic people meditating among bamboo forests or doing headstands next to a moss garden complete with Buddha-inspired water features.
Modern Asian landscape design offers the best of both worlds, as a perfect meeting point of East and West; of nature and the man-made. The best part is that you don’t need to cross continents to get inspiration for your Asian landscaping design ideas.
Below you will find five helpful tips to keep in mind when trying to create an Oriental style in your own backyard. Dig in, and zen out.
Wood – particularly bamboo – plays an enormous role in Asian landscaping design and Asian design in general. Extremely fast growing and requiring very little maintenance, bamboo is one of the more sustainable timbers available on the market. It also has myriad application possibilities, able to be crafted into furniture, left as part of the landscape, fashioned into an arbor, or used as an Asian-style fence. For any Asian landscaping design ideas you employ, Bamboo is key.
Stones plays an important role in achieving simple Asian designs, and there are a variety of ways to use them in your design. You can create a Japanese-style rock garden with odd-numbered groupings spread out on a bed of sand or gravel. Alternatively, you can use stones as paving for a meandering pathway through your garden. Be sure to avoid straight paths, as this is believed to allow evil spirits directly into the house.
Water is another element that is crucial to pulling off the perfect Oriental-themed landscape. For a traditional option, a koi pond is your best bet, although this will require more maintenance and attention than other options. Be sure to use an irregular shape if you do incorporate a pond into your landscape, to help create that natural aesthetic. If you don’t have the space of a pond, a small waterfall or fountain is still a good option, particularly when paired with bamboo and stone.
Less is more
Don’t feel like you need to fill every available inch of space with something. When it comes to achieving simple Asian design, less is more. Pick one or two aspects as the key features that catch the eye, then add only the necessary accessories to make these elements really stand out.
Keep it natural
One of the most important things to remember is to use natural materials. Artificial materials can look tacky and really spoil the authentic, meditative feel that a well-designed Asian landscape inspires. The careful use of space with some natural additions is all you need to create a serenity-filled Asian landscape in your very own backyard.