Posts Categorized: Highlights Blog

ZEN Associates COVID-19 Update

Update as of Monday, May 18, 2020 Since 1980, ZEN Associates has effectively managed through many challenges.  Although the current situation is unprecedented, we believe we have the resources in place to respond successfully.  Our Landscape and Interior Design, Landscape Construction and Maintenance departments are operating to service our clients when safe to do so… Read more »

New England Home features ZEN Associates Landscape Design

Tiers of Joy High up on a bluff overlooking Wellfleet Harbor and the Cape Cod National Seashore we designed the clients program to include – swimming pool, spa, outdoor kitchen and bar area, multiple fire features, outdoor shower, and a relaxing lounge area protected from the elements.  We were responsible for strategically navigating through a… Read more »

5 Best Details – Rooftop Terrace

These details can make all the difference when designing your rooftop terrace.  We love the challenge of designing for a Rooftop Terrace!  Similar to a landscape, each rooftop is unique given their position (exposure) to the elements sun, shade, wind, water and neighboring buildings.  Below we highlight the top 6 picks to think about when creating… Read more »

Northshore Home Features ZEN Associates Landscape Design

Sea & Sky -The Beauty Of Cape Ann Granite The incredible site of this North Shore home featured dramatic ledge, dynamic views, and an intriguing grade change between the driveway and the house.  The solution?  A bridge to the front entrance, terraces and walkways hewn from native Cape Ann granite, and plantings that frame the… Read more »

ZEN Associates Interior Design Featured In rise

High Design Meets High Tech in a Chic Boston Condo ZEN Associates is proud to be featured in rise – New England Home’s premier publication focused on stylish city living. Our senior interior designer, Rina Okawa balanced the clean geometric lines of the open floor plan with the softness and warmth of natural materials to create a… Read more »

Gardens Illustrated Features ZEN Associates Landscape

Monadanock Vistas Gardens Illustrated, the international horticulture publication, certainly picked one of our favorite projects when they chose to feature Sharon Malt’s Monadnock country estate. It was a pleasure to visit with Sharon and Tova Martin for the interview and share the story of our vision as we designed and planned for the evolving landscape… Read more »

Visionary Landscapes

Featuring the work of Shin Abe, ZEN Associates Visionary Landscapes written by Kendall Brown, examines the work of five leading landscape architects in North America who are exploring the extraordinary power of Japanese garden design to promote personal and social well-being. The Founder and Principal of ZEN Associates, Shin Abe was highlighted as one of… Read more »

The Gardisans

Garden Landscape Boston The Gardisans

Garden Care and Maintenance The Gardisans offers special care for special gardens. From landscape management and expert maintenance to seasonal planting, pruning and cleaning, we know exactly what needs to be done — and when to do it.

Traditional Japanese Dry Rock Garden

Creating a Positive Void This garden was created based upon traditional Japanese dry rock design techniques which have been in use for over 500 years. This technique simply utilizes rocks and white sand to express the beauty of the natural landscape without vegetation, ponds or streams. 

Home & Design Features our Landscape & Interior Design

Perfect Harmony – A  Serene, Modern Retreat We are so proud to have our project featured in the recent issue of Home & Design Magazine. What we love about this project is that by designing both the interior and exterior it allows us to approach the design as one, creating a seamless flow in and… Read more »

Thinking About a Heated Driveway?

Our Clients Sure Love Theirs! Tired of Shoveling Snow or paying for snow removal? Wondering if it’s a good idea to install a heated driveway? Our clients sure think so! Heated driveways, also called “snow-melting systems,” are a technological alternative to shoveling, salting, snow plowing, snow blowing, and other snow-removal methods.

Maryland Horticultural Society Garden Tour

ZEN Associates Garden – Chesapeake Bay Expression This design is a modern interpretation of a traditional Japanese garden – an expression of the nearby Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, abstractly represented as a dry garden. This garden offers a dramatically different version of the typical “back yard”.  

The George Robert White Memorial Fountain


Restoring a Beloved Boston Landmark The George Robert White Memorial, nicknamed “The Angel” by local residents, is a cherished Back Bay landmark. By the beginning of the millennium, however, the memorial was in disrepair: its fountain had stopped working and was overshadowed by overgrown shrubs and trees.

Crown Prince of Japan Visits Garden Designed by ZEN

The Peace Bell Garden, United Nations, New York, NY Crown Prince of Japan, Naruhito, recently visited the Peace Bell Garden at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, NY which was designed by ZEN Associates. ZEN Associates’ Principal, Shin Abe, was honored with the opportunity to explain the concept and history of the garden to… Read more »

New England Design Hall of Fame Induction Gala

Boston, MA The New England Design Hall of Fame Induction Gala was held on November 12th at the State Room in downtown Boston. It was a special night to celebrate the highest caliber of work and those who have made a lasting impact on the design field in our region. One of  ZEN Associates’ Principals,… Read more »

New England Design Hall of Fame

Inductee, Peter White, ZEN Associates We are proud to announce that the New England Design Hall of Fame for Landscape Architecture and Landscape Design has inducted one of ZEN Associates’ Principals, Peter White as one of its members.

The Labyrinth, Simmons College

The Labyrinth, Simmons College

Boston, MA ZEN Associates has just completed construction of The Labyrinth at Simmons College which was designed by Deneen Crosby of Crosby | Schlessinger | Smallridge.

The MFA’s Tenshin-en Garden Reopens After 18 Months

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston ZEN Associates is excited for the reopening of Tenshin-en, the Japanese Garden at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston on April 27, 2015. We are proud to have had the opportunity to work with the MFA and the original support team to renovate this wonderful garden.  Tenshin-en’s much anticipated reopening… Read more »

It’s Finally Spring

5 Things to help your plants thrive! No one would argue that this has been a tough winter, but, in the end, it may have been toughest of all on plants, shrubs and sensitive trees. According to the arborists at ZEN Associates, here are five things to look out for after this brutal winter.

Japan Society of Boston

Japan Society of Boston Annual Dinner ZEN Associates

Annual Dinner ZEN Associates attended the Japan Society of Boston’s 2014 Annual Dinner and it was an exciting evening. The Annual Dinner was held at the Taj Boston.

ZEN Associates Editor’s Choice Award

ZEN Associates Best Landscape Design Firm Boston

Best Landscape Design Firm Northshore magazine recognizes ZEN Associates as Editor’s Choice for Best Landscape Design Firm in the Ninth Annual ‘Best of North Shore’ Awards and we are really excited about it!

Barrage Mansion Penthouse

Barrage Mansion Penthouse Interior Design

The Boston Herald The Boston Herald recently featured a project that Maho Abe and Rina Okawa designed the interior for.

Pool Cabanas

Ocean Home Magazine Pool Design ZEN Associates

Ocean Home magazine ZEN Associates was featured in the Spring 2014 issue of Ocean Home, a luxury coastal lifestyle magazine, to discuss how pool cabanas and pavilions can add real value and enjoyment to oceanfront homes.

Yale University: Asakawa Garden

Yale University Asakawa Garden

New Haven, CT As a landscape architectural firm rooted in Japanese design, we were honored to create a garden dedicated to Professor Kan’ichi Asakawa. His spirit is remembered with each leaf, his legacy with each stone.

Hillwood Museum and Gardens

Hillwood Museum Gardens ZEN Associates

Washington, D.C. In a city known for its Japanese cherry blossom trees, developing a restoration plan for a historic Japanese-style garden only seemed natural.

Eastern Point Retreat

Contemporary Pool and Landscape Design

Gloucester, MA This contemporary pool, spa and pool house rest serenely upon Gloucester’s rocky shores, achieving the client’s dream of a retreat set apart from the main house, yet joined with nature.

Secret Garden

Landscape Gardening The Gardisans

Beacon Hill, MA This classic courtyard garden is a hidden gem in the heart of Boston’s Beacon Hill. Inspired by the home’s elegant beauty, we turned this landscape into a peaceful terraced garden.

Boston Flower & Garden Show 2014

Boston Flower Show 2014

Seaport World Trade Center This year’s Boston Flower & Garden Show theme was “Romance in the Garden,” and our exhibit reflected the romantic courtyards and secret gardens found throughout the city’s oldest neighborhoods.