Step 3: The Interior
Keeping in mind that different heights make an interesting landscape, we used some large rocks we had left over from a retaining wall project and they made excellent stair steps and benches inside the garden.
Your tractor is your friend on this type of job, but make sure you work safely and never put anything you can't afford to lose under a suspended one ton rock, including toes, tools and old pet dogs that don't move too quickly anymore!
Now get a few loads of drainage stone and stone screenings to use as walkways and decoration around your rocks. Put lots of landscape fabric under the walkways and screenings to prevent weeds from coming through.
Build a section at a time and work in some proportionately sized flower beds as you go. Not too many or you will lose the Zen-garden look. There are lots of rules around how to correctly build Japanese karesansui gardens if you are a purest, we followed some of them but mainly we just wanted something to look clean and well proportioned.
The flower beds were excavated to about 3' deep and refilled with top soil and compost we made ourselves. Almost all the plants we used came from our other gardens, we did buy some of the trees from a local nursery and traded some vines with our neighbours.