25 Zen Garden Area Ideas For Animal Crossing: New HorizonsThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Looking for that perfect place to meditate on your island?
A zen garden might be just what you need.
From the sounds of running waterfalls to bamboo trees swaying in the breeze, there couldn’t be a better place to spend your afternoons.
But there’s a lot to this quiet oasis, and you may not be sure where to start. Well I’ve got you covered with this list of the most creative and calming zen garden designs for ACNH.
25. Peaceful Garden
Channel your inner peace with this ultimate zen garden design.
To create this you can first lay down your favorite custom sand design, and you can create your own pattern or borrow some online. Just make sure to round the corners to make it fit your space perfectly.
You can also lay your custom pattern down in circles and place some stone stools and rocks in the center.
Build a waterfall off to the side of your garden to add to those zen vibes.
Then you can also add a bamboo fence around the outside, and don’t forget a host of bamboo trees. Complete the look by adding a small rock pool.
24. Bamboo Forest
What better way to start the day than a walk through your very own zen forest?
You can create this by placing your favorite custom stone path through the middle of any area you like.
Be sure to also add lots of bamboo trees around the path for those relaxation vibes.
Adding some lanterns to illuminate the path is also a nice touch if you’ll be hanging out late at night.
23. Busy Garden
If you want to try a different take on your zen garden, well here’s an interesting design.
With lots going on here, this zen garden it has absolutely everything you need you kick back and relax.
It’s not as complicated as it looks to make it yourself. All you need is plenty of bamboo items to drop around the area.
Add lots of white flowers on each side to mark out the space where your garden will be. These could be another color, but white looks great year-round.
In the center of your garden add a rock pool and situate all your bamboo items around it.
Finish by adding a pagoda and a gong to fit in with the adorable Asian theme.
22. Small Garden Space
If you’re wanting to keep your island simple, why not try this smaller zen garden design?
It’s super easy to do: just start by creating a small area on your island and outline it with the zen fence.
To get this fencing make sure you check your Nook Stop every day until it goes on sale. It is a must-have to create a zen garden of any kind.
You can also add a mix of cedar trees and bamboo trees inside the garden to add to the theme.
And don’t forget to add a selection of rocks and cherry blossom items. They just fit so well!
Finish by adding a bonsai tree anywhere you like.
21. Hidden Garden
Those waterfalls are gorgeous, huh?
To create this secret haven for yourself, start by building some cliffs and encasing your hidden area with two magnificent waterfalls.
Add a little rock pool in the middle, and also some lamps to create that calming glow.
Don’t forget to add a gong and some bamboo trees to tie in with the theme. Simple and easy, right?
20. Zen Island Space
Let’s try designing a zen island, on your island! I’ve even got the name ready: Zenception.
Just dig out a lake if you don’t already have one, and then create yourself a small island in the middle. It can be as big or as small as you like.
Don’t forget to leave some stepping stones so you’re able to reach the island easily.
Then lay down some custom sand designs and complete the area with a few stones and stone stools.
You can also place some lanterns on smaller floating areas around the island. It gets dark at night.
19. Black Sand Garden
I love this zen garden idea. It’s pretty simple but so creative.
All you need is a black sand custom design to create your flooring. Check online if you can’t design this one yourself, but it’s fairly easy.
You can then add a bunch of stone furniture to the area to tie in with the theme.
And don’t forget to add some lanterns and flowers around the area too. This will give your garden that extra soothing glow.
Of course, you also need some bamboo trees to tie the whole look together.
18. Afternoon Tea
Soothe away that island stress by having a spot of tea in this amazing zen garden.
You can create this space by laying down some wooden flooring anywhere you like outside, but be sure to leave some areas to decorate.
Now add a ton of bamboo items, and of course some bamboo lamps to create that evening glow.
You can also add lots of bamboo trees wherever you like.
And don’t forget to add some floor seats plus some tea to complete the garden.
17. Grass Garden
This grassy zen garden is the perfect place to practice your afternoon meditation.
And it’s super simple to make!
To achieve this look, start by finding an area near your waterfalls. You want your garden close by for a relaxing vibe.
Then create an area surrounded by the zen bridge. You can lay down a wooden path through the middle of your garden, too.
Be sure to add lots of bamboo items and lots of bamboo trees to complete the finished look. Those stone statues are a very nice added touch!
16. Zen Forest Entrance
We’ve covered a lot of entrance designs, but this zen entrance is truly something else.
You can make this yourself with custom designs to create scattered leaves across the ground. Certainly optional, but definitely recommended!
Then add a stone arch and some cherry blossom lamps to frame the entrance front and center.
Be sure to add a good mix of cedar, hardwood, and bamboo trees to give it that forest vibe. Then take a rest and marvel at what you’ve made.
15. Zen Waterfalls
Make your zen garden pop with this spectacular waterfall design.
It’s not as complicated as it looks, either. Start by creating some cliffs, then you can add some waterfalls all around the cliff edges.
Add some details like zen fencing and bamboo seats to really bring the area to life. You can also add lots to bamboo trees and flowers to stick with the nature theme.
Finish by adding some lanterns and pillows around the area. Trust me, this will soon be the most popular rest stop on the island.
14. Sand Garden
This stunning zen sand garden is a must-have for your island.
To make this yourself, start by laying down some custom sand designs. You can design round edges, or design the patterns to blend into the grass. Your choice!
But be sure to add some custom stone designs as a path running through the middle.
You can also add some stone tables and chairs to tie in with the theme. Sort of like a zen picnic space.
And don’t forget to add lots of bamboo items and trees, along with some zen fencing around the perimeter.
13. Hilltop Garden
Check out this amazing hilltop zen garden! Truly worth a thousand words.
There’s one thing you absolutely need here: bamboo trees, the more the better.
Also add some custom stone paths leading the way into your garden. Then make a waterfall at the end of your hill to give it that infinity pool feel, and it’ll quickly become the most relaxing spot on your island.
12. Compact Garden Space
Step into tranquillity with this super tiny zen garden.
This is perfect for those wanting to create a zen garden on their island, but without space requirements. Heck, this could even fit in your backyard!
Start this idea by marking out your area with some zen fencing. You can then add a custom sand design inside your area with that “raked sand” look.
Make sure to add lots of rocks, some stone stools, and of course some bamboo seats. Finish this adorable garden by adding lots of bamboo trees all around!
11. Meditation Entrance
This is probably one of the easiest zen-style entrances to make. Design a stone path up from your airport using some stone flooring, and mark out either side with some zen fencing.
Make sure to place a rock pool right in the middle of your garden area; this will be the first thing your visitors see when they step foot on your island.
You can also add a baby panda in there to go with the theme. Adorable, right?
Finish by adding a host of bamboo trees to complete this brilliant garden.
10. Picnic Area
Create this calming zen picnic area and you’ll always have a place to chill out.
All you need to do is add some stone flooring and plop down a bit of zen fencing around the outside.
Then add a stone table and some stools for the perfect area to enjoy a bit of tea by the river.
Don’t forget to add some snacks to the table too. What good is a picnic without snacks?
9. Super Tiny Garden
You thought our small zen garden was tiny before? Check out this idea!
This one’s small enough that you could design a zen space in the yard of every single villager!
But if you want a communal space, maybe mimic the design above by placing your zen garden along your riverbank.
Be sure to add some bamboo benches to the area too, and a host of bamboo trees to achieve the finished look.
8. Simple Garden
Try this super simple zen garden, great for newbies designing their first zen space.
To get this going, start by adding your own custom flooring design to create the sand base for your zen garden.
Be sure to add some zen fencing around the area to zone yourself off from the world. Meditation is better with silence!
You can then go in and add lots of bamboo trees and some seats around the edges.
Finish by adding a cypress bathtub for some relaxing evening soaks.
7. Rock Pool Space
Anyone designing an Asian-inspired island should keep an eye on this design.
To re-create this, start by adding some custom sand designs to create a small garden area.
Then add a rockpool to tie in with the theme, and you can even pop a pillow nearby so you can sit and relax to the calming sound of the running water.
Don’t forget to add a golden seat, too!
Finish by adding a gong for that true zen vibe.
6. Rock Garden Space
Why not gather all your rocks together in your zen garden?
This makes it so much easier to harvest supplies from your rocks each day. Brilliant idea.
It may take a while to get all your rocks in one place, but you can do this by breaking a rock on your island each day. Then the next day it will appear in a different location.
Pro Tip: to force the rocks to appear in a small area that you choose, try placing a bunch of clothes designs around your island to block the ground in other locations.
When you display a design, it will appear on a mannequin. If you place these all over the majority of your island then rocks will have no choice but to spawn in the areas without mannequins. Kinda hacky, but it works!
5. Zen Museum Entrance
We’ve covered island entrances, but what about the museum?
Let’s give Blathers a way to chill out by laying down some sandy flooring to start. You can add some zen fencing outside to mark out the museum’s entrance, too.
Make this design a showstopper by adding a stone arch to frame the entrance space.
Then drop down a ton of bamboo trees, stone items, and of course a rock pool for good measure.
Now every trip to the museum can be a truly relaxing experience.
4. Zen Bridge
Let’s say you want an entire corner dedicated to your zen garden. Can we do that?
First start by building a waterfall into a cliff, doesn’t have to be too big. But let it run into a river that flows through your island.
You can then add a zen bridge leading over the river and right into your zen garden complex.
Pop down a rock pool and some rock items to complete the look.
And finish by adding some bamboo trees all around the area too.
3. Zen Yard Area
We’ve teased at yards with zen space, but this one is just brilliant.
There’s nothing like stepping outside in the morning and placing your feet right into your very own zen garden.
To make this yourself, mark out your garden with some zen fencing. This can be as your backyard, side yard, front yard, or part of all three!
If you live near flowing water then be sure to also add a waterfall in the space behind your home. Very soothing.
Then inside your garden you can add a rock pool and some bamboo items, and just like that you have your very own front door zen space.
2. Big Bamboo Forest
This stunning zen garden has made it pretty high up on my list. And with its quaint seating area, this garden screams (or whispers) tranquillity.
You can also make this yourself, with a bit of elbow grease. Start by adding some bamboo trees and lots of bamboo items scattered throughout the area. Pillows, tables, benches, you name it.
You can add some bamboo shoot lamps in there to cast that evening glow.
Finally, add some custom designs for your flooring. You can use existing designs online, or you can create your own, as long as they fit the zen aesthetic.
1. Zen Rock Island
This has to be my favorite zen garden design out there. With its strategically placed trees, it looks simply amazing!
This would make the perfect place for stargazing on a warm evening.
Start by marking out your zen garden with some zen fencing around the outside, and make sure to dig out a small island in the middle of your garden surrounded by a flowing river.
Can’t get more in-tune with nature than this!
Then drop in some stones along with a pagoda on this new in-the-river block of land.
Add a small light to illuminate the pagoda, and maybe some extra sand patterns for a zen garden space, and you have yourself one heck of a meditation area.