This beautifully illustrated book provides an inspirational and practical introduction to the traditions of Japanese Zen gardens, using natural materials such as wood, bamboo, rocks and pebbles. Emphasizing the value of shape in trees and shrubs with the subtlety of color through the varied greens of foliage and moss, Authentic Japanese Gardens explains how western plants and materials can be used to achieve peaceful, contemplative gardens. There are instructions and tips for selecting plants and materials that are readily available, as well as plant lists and climate zone maps to aid western gardeners. As the wealth of stunning color photographs from around the world demonstrates, Japanese garden design is concerned with a reverence for nature and the overall effect is of tranquility. Authentic Japanese Gardens will help people to create much-needed oases of calm in their own outdoor spaces.