Buddhism & Gardens Resource
This resource looks at the Buddhist religion and then shows in detail how its values and origins have influenced the design of Buddhist gardens.
About the Buddhist Religion
This is important for understanding what follows. Buddhist gardens express the ideas of the religion.
At the end of this section are links to three optional sections which give extra information about the Buddhist religion for people who wish to know more:
Gardens and Buddhist ideas
Common links between Buddhist ideas and gardens
This section goes into detail about eight different ways in which Buddhist ideas commonly manifest in gardens.
- Inspiring places to sit and walk.
- Buddhist pictures and texts placed along the paths.
- Statues of Buddha and lotus pools.
- Things which prompt you to make good wishes.
- Giving food to birds, fish or animals.
- Taking trouble not to kill other creatures.
- Sharing the garden with other creatures.
- The garden is made up of gifts.
Chinese and Japanese garden styles and Buddhist gardens
This section describes how garden styles in China and Japan affected Buddhist gardens and how particular types of rock garden, like Zen gardens, appeared.
- Introduction to Buddhist gardens in China and Japan.
- Winding walkways to private places of peace.
- Representing the elements: earth, air, fire and water.
- Special rocks, miniature mountains & the love of rocks.
- Zen Buddhist gardens.
Some Buddhist gardens in Britain
Photos and descriptions are provided for seven gardens in Britain, which have some connection to Buddhism and show how much choice and variety is possible in designing a ‘Buddhist garden’. Most of these gardens are small. Most can be visited.
View a map of all the gardens or choose a link from the list below:
- Purelands Garden, Nottinghamshire.
- The Children’s Meditation Garden.
- Tibetan Peace Garden, London.
- Peace Pagoda And Peace Temple Gardens, Milton Keynes.
- Cawood Oriental Garden, Yorkshire.
- Jean’s Meditation Garden, Staffordshire.
- The Peace Garden At Samye Ling Monastery, Scotland.
Creating your own Buddhist garden
This final section gives advice about choosing topics from Common links between Buddhist ideas and gardens and information about plants, garden ornaments and using Buddhist emblems to design your own garden.
- Revisiting the eight topics in Common Links Between Buddhist Ideas And Gardens.
- Plants and garden ornaments.
- Buddhist emblems as decorations.