Keep Your Calm in the Office with a Zen Dish Garden

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Anonymous, Lynn, Eng and 2 others

The stress that modern people need to live with day in and day out is astounding. It is therefore not surprising that the 21st generation is so keen on discovering ways to relax themselves wherever they are. Companies and businesses are now recognizing the negative impact of stress in work so that attempts to make their offices more relaxing is being proactively pursued.

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To this end, many have looked at Buddhist or Zen ideologies of Eastern philosophy as a way to bring calm in the workplace. Indeed, creating a small space in the workplace where stressed employees can relax or meditate can be very productive. In fact, a small Zen dish garden is all you need to meditate and relax when the hustle and bustle in the office start to build up.

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If you are wondering how a Zen dish garden can be beneficial in the workplace, you will find that the holistic activity of artful sand-scaping is not just a unique decorative accent indoors. Cultivating a Zen garden is a meditative and stress-relieving outlet that can effectively calm you down and let inspiration flow out in a visually-appealing scene. It is the art of creating sand patterns or combining a group of plants in a decorative container to create a miniature garden. If the Zen garden is located inside the office where chaos is the daily normal phase, having a desolate space with plants, sand, and rock formation can help relax the stressed body and mind. The garden becomes an instant respite from the maddening demands of work.

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Benefits of Zen Dish Garden in the Office

Emotional Benefits: A Zen dish garden does not only fill the place with burst of colors. It also becomes a creative activity for office workers to nourish and care for living plants, helping them to practice patience, calmness, serenity, and self-accomplishment.

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Health Benefits: The plants cultivated in the dish garden filter out harmful toxins present in the workplace. They add humidity in the air and eliminate airborne pollutants. The plants freshen up the air, making it easier to breathe.

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Studies have proved that workers enjoying these benefits exhibit less health problems and deliver high satisfactory performance of their jobs. So why not bring these benefits into your workplace? You'll find that it is easier to relieve your tension if a Zen dish garden is in the workplace. Remember to take a breather. Spend some moments to relax without leaving your place of work. If you can't go back to your childhood sandbox pit, let a Zen dish garden evoke those fun memories while you chill out from your workload.

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How to Optimize the Calming Benefits of Mini Zen Garden

  1. 1
    Choose earth colors.
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    The materials to be used for your Zen dish garden must have the color of nature. Using materials that are artificially painted or modified in appearance may not be effective in bringing out the calming effect you hope to achieve.
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  2. 2
    Find the Best Spot.
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    Location is important in keeping your Zen garden in a good state. For it to be well-maintained, the garden must be easily accessible within the area where you work. Whether you decide to have a table Zen dish garden or a mini garden in one part of the workplace, it is important to find a place where the loose sand and stones will not be disturbed or neglected at all. The garden must be located where it can be admired and utilized for both its emotional and health benefits.
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  3. 3
    Optimize the benefits of the Zen garden.
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    Whenever you feel stressful from work, take a breather and spend some time with your table garden. Rake the sand around to create a new pattern that you enjoy looking at. Recharge your energy and refresh your mind. Working on the sand can aid you in putting things in new perspective.
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How to Make a Zen Sand and Rock Dish Garden

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Materials you'll need

  • Sand: ½ to ¾ inch of white sand
  • Shallow tray: If you want to stick to the traditional Zen Buddhism ways, choose earthly materials like wood to be used as container. Otherwise, you may find it also appropriate to use metals and plastics for the same purpose. The tray must be deep to hold the sand, yet shallow enough for easier cultivation and raking.
  • Rocks: Choose rocks that are particularly appealing to your taste. Generally, polished stones look good in a Zen dish garden.
  • Raking tool: You can make your own raking tools from household items with prongs, such as forks, chopsticks, or combs. Make sure they are evenly-spaced to create nice and smooth patterns on the sand.
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Procedure

  1. 1
    Pour the sand into the tray.
    Distribute the sand evenly all over the container.
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  2. 2
    Rake the sand to create different patterns.
    There are no rules in expressing your creativity.
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  3. 3
    Place the rocks in a pleasing arrangement or where they best complement the entire diorama.
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  4. 4
    Change the pattern and arrangement every day to practice the Zen philosophy of on-going calmness and connection to nature.
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How to Make a Zen Green Dish Garden

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Materials Needed

  • Potting soil, sterilized
  • Pebbles or coarse sand
  • Dish or container
  • Charcoal
  • Water
  • Plants
  • Rocks and accessories

Steps to Follow

Prepare the Plants. Condition the plants by watering them completely a day or two before planting. Inspect for bugs and remove dead parts.

Prepare the Dish

  1. 1
    Sterilize the potting soil by putting it in the oven for an hour at 180-200 degrees F.
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  2. 2
    Mix the sterilized soil with just enough water to make it evenly moist.
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  3. 3
    Arrange 1 inch layer of pebbles or coarse sand at the bottom of the dish.
    This will serve as drainage to prevent the plant roots from being soaked in water.
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  4. 4
    Sprinkle tiny bits of charcoal over the gravel to absorb excess water and toxic elements in the potting soil.
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  5. 5
    Add the soil, leaving 2 inches from the top of the dish.
    Too much soil will result in water spilling out.
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Plant the Garden

  1. 1
    Choose the tallest plants and position them where you desire.
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  2. 2
    Step back away from the dish and assess your work from all angles.
    Change the arrangement if necessary.
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  3. 3
    Add more soil.
    Pour additional soil until there is just 1 ½ inches of space left from the rim of the dish. Press the soil around each plant to secure it.
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  4. 4
    Place the rocks and other accessories.
    Position them alongside the plants or anywhere in the dish to complete the garden.
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  5. 5
    Water the garden just to moisten the soil thoroughly.
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Tips, Tricks and Warnings

  • If you want to have several kinds of plants in your dish garden, it's important to group them with species that share similar growing requirements

Questions and Answers

Do you have ideas for making a dish garden flower arrangement?

I would like to make a dish garden with blooms, with maybe English garden flowers.. I have tried: Making a green dish garden.. I think it was caused by: I find a garden with blooms to be visually peaceful and serene, just like a dish zen garden or green dish garden.

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It is very convenient to place a mobile dish or flowerpot in any part of your garden or near your house: near the entrance or along the paths outside. Quite often, flowers can form a cascade: several vertical and horizontal layers of plants create a composition that is in harmony with its color and size with the surroundings. You can put two or three types of flowers into flowerpots with the highest-growing flowers (foreground) planted in the middle and plants that are half the size of the highest plants around them (background). Then, add some twining or hanging plants along the rim of the vessel.

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  • Foreground flowers can be pelargoniums, asters, or dahlias. Pelagoriums are easy to manage and can have a wide variety of tints, from rosy to deep red. Annual dahlias are not too tall. They are approximately 20-50 cm (8-20 inches) tall. Double or semi-double asters has a long blooming period. They are usually 15-50 cm (6-20 inches) tall.
  • Background flowers can be violets, verbenas, ageratums, and limnanthes. You can use pansies or violets for the outer rim in a large flowerpot or a dish. These plants are variegated and reach up to 15-25 cm (6-10 inches) in height. Gentle white-and-yellow inflorescences of limnanthes are a good background for vivid foreground flowers of color red or blue. Verbena can reach the heights of 30 cm (12 inches). White, light violet, and violet ageratums can frame asters or dahlias well.
  • As twining and hanging plants, petunias, lobelias, nasturtiums, and scaevolas are the most used.
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Usually, these flowers do not require meticulous care. For their luxuriant blooming, it is enough to water and loosen the soil and occasionally add some mineral fertilizers.

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Article Info

Categories : Interior Decorating | Mental Health

Recent edits by: Donna, Eng, Lynn

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