What to Avoid in Your Zen Garden
A Zen garden is a place of serenity and contemplation. Because it is meant to inspire meditative practices, Zen gardens need to be as perfect as possible regardless of the time of year. Any distractions will ruin the garden's purpose and therefore, the garden requires the utmost attention to detail.
Weeds will be a problem almost any time it is too warm for snow. Leaves, especially in the fall, are another major concern if you have nearby trees. Trees can also drop branches and other materials, especially during heavy winds. The wind itself can cause problems by blowing away the sand and leaving clutter or debris.
Weeds should be pulled out by hand immediately when they appear. Be sure to pull the roots out as well to prevent weeds from growing back and spreading further. For leaves and wind, you can save yourself a headache by choosing a location with natural wind barriers (such as alongside your house, if the wind commonly comes from one direction) and away from trees. If no decent location is available, outdoor shades can be put up over your garden to hold off leaves and other falling debris. A short wall or fence can also be constructed along the side of your garden that the wind usually comes from.
Even when all these precautions are taken or avoided, regular maintenance is still in order, often on a daily basis. Keep an eye out for major issues that may crop up, and keep a rack handy for daily cleaning.