Introducing wabi-sabi: it’s the art of imperfect gardening. Plus, 10 ways to get the look!

Last season’s trend was hygge, the Danish style which means to feel cosy. However, creating a garden that made you feel hygge was actually no easy task! So, how about wabi-sabi and the art of the imperfect garden?

Beauty in imperfection, wabi-sabi (侘寂) is a philosophy of aesthetics. The practice is from Buddhist teachings, and is all about transience and ageing gracefully, without enhancement. It explores how nature can influence and enhance manmade objects and landscapes. Simply said, wabi-sabi gardens allow nature to ‘do it’s thing’, even if that includes a few weeds here and there!

Finally, there’s a garden style which means we can feel relaxed, yet proud of our gardens (in whatever state they may be!) Incompleteness, a relaxed simplicity and asymmetry are all key elements of the wabi-sabi gardening movement. You may not have perfectly-edged borders, and your planting schemes may be muddled and crowded. There could be decaying logs and rusty ironwork around your garden, or even weeds in your lawn! It’s ok. It’s wabi-sabi (侘寂)!

Here are 10 ways to get the look in your garden!

This fresh gardening trend was first identified by Katie Debouw of the Garden Media Group, as part of her 2018 Gardening Trends insight at the 2017 Cultivate Show in Ohio. Download a full copy of the report here.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. clarission says:

    I love this so much! I have inadvertently been practising wabi sabi in so many aspects of my life already. 😁

    I prefer a slightly wild garden anyway, rather than perfect lawns.

  2. Louis Riehm says:

    I couldn’t do it. Though far from perfect, if I see something out of place I need to fix it. Once it comes to my attention, I would have to tend to it.

  3. carrietxxxxx says:

    Although not familiar with the term & have not even heard it before, I can draw many parallels to my garden style(albeit unintentional!) I like to encourage wildlife & it seems to go hand in hand with this style of gardening.

  4. Richard Loader says:

    Been doing it for while now but it’s nice to have a name for it – and knowing it’s not just me will help justify the style to my other half. Thanks for a fascinating item – couldn’t find mention of this style in the trend report though, that seemed to be focussed on tidy gardens.

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