Life can be stressful, and we have to take our moments of peace where we can find them. If running off to a tropical vacation isn’t an option, consider bringing the meditative quality of a Japanese Zen garden right to your desk or coffee table. These lovely desktop gardens will remind you to add a few minutes of contemplative quiet to your day, while their natural beauty soothes and calms.
The Toysmith Deluxe is classic Zen simplicity: just a rosewood frame, sand, polished pebbles you can move around, and two ceramic cranes that appear frozen in the moment before taking flight. The garden is a 9” x 9” square that fits easily on most desks. It comes with two bags of white sand, a convenient bonus because a common complaint about other Zen garden kits is that there isn’t enough included sand. The three different raking tools encourage you to experiment making elegant patterns and textures, and the included 64-page “Book of Meditations” is perfect for those of us that might need a little extra help finding our Zen.
With its striking oval design, the AsanaLiving Desktop Garden will add a touch of serene elegance to a corner of your office or living room. The garden is divided into three partitions, with separate areas for the epoxy Budha statue and the no-stress faux lotus plant. While the partition design does limit the sand area, the beauty and simplicity of the statue and lotus flower have a calming effect. The garden comes with a mini bamboo rake, a wooden stamp and two types of stones. At 12” x 9”, this garden is one of the larger desk models available, but its sturdy concrete base provides extra stability to avoid messy accidents.
This striking conversation piece is a Zen garden made of 100% all natural Himalayan pink salt crystals, finely ground to replicate sand. As if the lovely pink hue of the salt isn’t Zen enough, this garden is also a lamp, emitting a subtle amber glow through the salt. Whether or not you believe the company claim that, while lit, the salts purify the air by releasing ions, the amber light is soothing. The 8” x 8” garden comes with three pink salt crystals, the salt “sand,” a bamboo rake and a USB cord and A/C adaptor for charging. A heads-up: You might need supplementary sand to satisfy.