Some Japanese Garden Design Tips By Andrew Caxton

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Thanks for visiting my Japanese garden blog. Today I have posted a few images including a snowy one to celebrate the oncoming winter and this article is by a fellow enthusiast with a few tips on garden design and some principles to be aware of. Andrew Caxton is the author and here is what he has to say…..

Many landscapers today, whether professional or home do-it-yourselfers are turning to Japanese designs for landscaping a garden.  The peace and tranquility of a Japanese garden is attracting many people to this type of landscaping design.   One of the biggest attractions of a Japanese garden is the ease of taking care of it. If a Japanese garden is well designed in the first place, it will not be expensive to install, and will be relatively carefree. Many people think a Japanese garden will be expensive because it has to have exotic plants and flowers in it. This couldn’t be the furthest from the truth, since a Japanese garden seeks to have the simplest materials to create that peaceful look.  If you understand the underlying principles of Japanese gardens, you can create one that will not be expensive and will be easy to care for.


One of the most important underlying principles of Japanese gardens is to follow the lines and form of nature. There are not square ponds in nature, so a Japanese garden would have to have a round pond.  Natural shapes that abound in nature are what will be found in a Japanese garden. Stones that are carefully placed so that they look as if they occurred there naturally are a perfect example. Another main principle of Japanese gardens is the management of space. There is no fear of having large empty spaces in a Japanese garden; this is done on purpose so that the empty spaces complement and outline the other elements in the garden. Managing size in a Japanese garden is a third element to be addressed. Large items in small places will overwhelm the tranquility of the garden.  Seeking balance, the Japanese landscape gardener will proportions so that each element works with the other, rather than compete with it.


Japanese gardens frequently use enclosures in interesting ways.  Fences and gates serve the purpose of secluding the garden, but they may also point the visitor to another area, even if it is only an illusion. The symbolism of seclusion in the garden is important and so walkways are always wandering off into small areas, even in expansive gardens. Gates and fences create both a barrier and a entrance way, leading the garden visitor away from the cares of the world and into a peaceful retreat.


Andrew Caxton is a journalist who has written more articles and newsletters on this subject for Find more publications about japanese decorating at his website.


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