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Transforming Garden Space

Zen Garden Dry Stream Bed
Buddha Bed ~ Before
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Buddha Bed ~ After
Fountain Bed ~ Before
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Fountain Bed ~ After

During a Garden Dreamwalk with a new client living in a lovely condo complex in California, I learned that she longed for a number of things from her courtyard garden space; serenity, order and ease. She also expressed a need for water conservation because of a drought in the area.


As a therapist, she wished for a serene passage for her clients and herself through the courtyard to and from her front door.

From our Garden Dreamwalk, I was able to create and implement a simple design that I felt would address all of the elements that she had expressed were important to her.

There was a beautiful statue of the Buddha that she loved and wished to have seated in a spot in the courtyard where she could see it from her front steps, along with a fountain with a bamboo accent that she had just purchased.


I integrated these two features into the design as one would, specimen plants into a fully horticultural design.

For beauty, simplicity, and water conservation, it came to me that I could cover most of the planting beds with pebbles.


Then, create a curving dry stream bed of larger stones which could run through and between the planting beds giving the illusion that the stream continued to flow beneath the walkway between the beds, connecting them.

My client and I then went stone shopping together and we chose lovely luminous coral sea pebbles as the foundation to cover the planting beds, and larger smooth Mexican beach stones with which to sculpt a dry stream bed.

In the process of transforming the space, I was able to transplant most of the jumble of existing plants into more pleasing arrangements in the landscape.

It was a very simple design, easy to maintain, with very little water requirement, and a feeling of serenity and order. Happy client, happy designer!

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Dry Stream Bed
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