Bring the Japanese Art of Imperfection into your Garden…

Infuse your garden space with calm, peace and serenity by styling it the wabi-sabi way.

So often we are caught up in life that we discard the beauty in imperfections. Adapting a wabi-sabi lifestyle can enable us to find perfection, in imperfection.

What is Wabi-sabi?

Wabi-sabi does not have a solidified definition, however it is an ancient Japanese philosophy all about exactly that, the ‘beauty in imperfection’.

Author Richard Howell of ‘Wabi Sabi Simple’ defines this Japanese concept as “nurturing all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities:

• Nothing lasts;
• Nothing is finished;
• Nothing is perfect.”

The wabi-sabi lifestyle is often described as the Japanese ‘Secret of Happiness’ – why not transform your garden and accept the more natural cycle of life to find the key to happiness the wabi-sabi way!

Master the art of wabi-sabi design in your garden

How can you transform your outdoor space into a world of Japanese wabi-sabi? It’s all about bringing together natural and manmade elements and letting nature take its course, so that their imperfect forms can be appreciated.

Begin your authentic journey

Placing a garden gate at the entrance to your wabi-sabi garden is a great way to symbolise the beginning of a journey, you are entering an escape of calmness as soon as you walk through the gate! An object like an old wooden or metal gate also creates an opportunity for the wabi-sabi aesthetic – having materials like weathered timber or rusty metal in the garden, or allowing a climbing plant to creep up the gate are all part of the wabi-sabi philosophy.

Step into a world of calm

A series of stepping stones scattered throughout your garden is a great way of symbolising a journey and allow you to fully embrace the garden as a spiritualistic experience. Stepping stones can be arranged in any layout or direction, they don’t need to be placed in a ‘straight line’. And if you let moss or algae naturally encroach on the stones, even better!

Man-made elements

It doesn’t matter whether your budget is big or small, a wabi-sabi garden can be adapted to suit your requirements.

Upcycling and repurposing objects are perfect for this style of garden. Rustic ornaments like iron tools, pottery vases or even a wheel barrow can help to add texture and aesthetic without diverting away too much from the greenery. Overtime, objects weather and your wabi-sabi garden is a place to home them whilst admiring their change in appearance as the seasons change.

Select garden furniture, features and infrastructure made of complimentary wood bases, like hammocks, bamboo fences, benches and bridges over ponds.


Perennial plants and allowing seeds to naturally drift and dispense throughout your wabi-sabi garden is a great way of letting nature evolve naturally. Wabi-sabi gardens require low maintenance as you let nature take its course. Choosing plants which change over seasons invites different tones and textures into your wabi-sabi wonderland. Read more about our tips for planting for all seasons here.

Moss is also a great plant to incorporate, it can grow in pretty much any condition and maintain the moisture in your ground

Each element of your wabi-sabi garden should contribute to the calmness and comfort you feel when experiencing your creation. Let your Japanese wabi-sabi garden be perfectly imperfect!

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