An oriental garden is created by catering to all the senses in an artistic way. With the use of flowering trees and bushes and the gentle sounds of water fountains, ponds or chimes, a garden visitor feels like they are transported from a place of technology and stress to a place of nature, beauty and prayer. Whether you have a large garden plot to work or a patio to dress up, by using art, architectural features and natural flora you can bring the Orient home in any location. An Oriental garden is always well tended and groomed, so plan for the upkeep necessary for this style of landscape.
Use a small koi pond in the front of your garden space to create a focal point for a water-based Oriental garden. An oval or natural pond shape in the middle front of your garden plot defines the space and gives you a place to frame with well- groomed Japanese maple trees or flowering cherry trees, if appropriate for your climate region. Plant a curved plot of bamboo to flank another edge of the pond for privacy and definition. Fill the lower region near the ponds edge with hostas and peonies. Float lotus plants in the pond and dress up the area with a well-placed Japanese lantern or Pagoda statue.
A meditation garden is a traditional type of Asian garden plan that creates a quiet space for the visitor to sit and reflect. Use a rectangular garden plot and create a long, narrow Zen garden in the center. To do this, simply dig down a few inches, apply a border and fill with sand. Select three or five rocks to place purposefully and rake a design in the sand.
Border the Zen garden with some flowering peony bushes around one corner and some Bauhinia purpurea plants around the back and other corner of the garden. Run a plot of bamboo parallel to the Zen garden along another side of the area and add some lilies to flower as well. Place a small bench at the foot of the Zen garden and flank it with some cherry trees, oleander or cannas. Finish the space with a medium sized Buddha statue among the trees in the back corner.
Although not a traditional presence in Oriental gardens, wind chimes along with the traditional gong can create a space that will transport the viewer to a place of calm and contentment. Locate your garden space amongst several large trees and hang high-quality cylindrical wind chimes from those trees to create a sound border for your Oriental garden. Make a path from the entrance of the clearing to the trees that hold the chimes so that a visitor can walk through the space in meditation. Place a wrought iron bench under one of the trees. Flank the path on one side with flowering cherry trees and peony bushes. On the other side, plant a grouping of bamboo along with some potted orchids, azaleas and begonia plants. At the entrance of the garden place a water bowl on a base so that the water is at knee or hand level and float a few lotus plants inside to greet visitors. Place the traditional Oriental gong a few steps in front of the water bowl for drama.