Japanese garden ideas for landscaping
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A Japanese garden should look older and more established than its surroundings. Plants, Shrubs and Trees can help bring your garden space to life and make it appear at one with nature.
Avoid over cluttering your garden and you may find that you have to slightly control your enthusiasm. Always pick living ingredients that suit the climate where you live and don’t be afraid to plant trees like Maples in colder climates as they survive in Japan in temperatures well below minus 15 degrees.
The heat of the sun is more of an enemy that the cold and ice.
This short article is going to give you some suggestions on what to consider adding to your Japanese style garden and I promise not to get too technical as this is a book on how to simply build a Japanese garden. As you become more adept at this form of gardening and you acquire more knowledge you can start to spread your wings a little.
A popular common element in a Japanese garden and Zen gardens are small Coniferous shrubs. Evergreens provide colour all year round and will help your other trees and plants stand out during their seasonal changes.
A good rule of thumb is for every Deciduous planting plant 2 evergreens. Coniferous shrubs really fit the bill as they are hardy and require little maintenance apart from some minor shaping and pruning. They really look striking when planted near rocks and stones and because they start off small and the view actually gets better over time. Remember to plant with spaces between them and other shrubs or rocks to allow this growth.
You have literally hundreds of varieties and species of Coniferous shrubs to choose from and popular ones include Mugo Pine, Dwarf Balsam firs and Next Spruce.
Bamboo is another popular addition in a Japanese garden not only for separating areas but also in plant form. Tea gardens always have arrangements of Bamboo but for your small space garden then these are the varieties of Bamboo plants that will work best sasa, dake, chiku and take.
Japanese garden plants are chosen for their flowering and if you want a cavalcade of colour to contrast with your evergreens and trees then Herbaceous Japanese plants will be the solution.
Morning glory , Iris, deadnettle, Lily Turf, Kuzu Vine, White Radish, Japanese Pampas grass, Henbit, Horse Radish, Japanese Ardisia, Peony, White Chrysanthemum are plants that flower very colourfully but also in most cases have very green leaves providing a beautiful contrast.
You can use Azaleas and Camellias to great effect as well. For the spectacular there is the climbing Japanese Wisteria which grows vertically and is covered in white flowers to a maximum height of approximately 5 feet.
Bonsai plants/trees are popular too but be warned they take quite a lot of looking after and need to be skilfully watered and pruned. These are usually placed in suitably sized pots or containers around the garden area. Some like the Japanese Maple bonsai look wonderful planted between two rocks whilst others like Japanese Black Pine or Japanese White Pine , Plum and Cherry flourish better in a container.
By far the most popular bonsai plant in a Japanese garden is the Japanese Black Pine which is hardy and looks green all year round. A balance of colour is what you are looking to achieve throughout the 12 months of the year.
For simple, inspirational help creating a Japanese garden space in your garden or yard visit ‘The Japanese Garden Club’ at http://www.thejapanesegardenclub.com
Japanese gardens are unique, very ordered and havens of peace and tranquillity. They provide a window on a type of gardening and design that stretches back for hundreds of years and is steeped in tradition, history and strict rules to follow for very specific reasons.
A Japanese Style Garden is a design twist on the above. A lot of people just don’t have the time to study the intricacies of Japanese gardens and prefer to opt for a ‘themed’ garden instead. A Japanese garden space enhances every home environment and we have a free design book on creating a Japanese garden that you can download today.
Small spaces are perfect for a Japanese style garden, you do NOT need lots of space. Far from it.
To understand much more about the development of a Japanese style garden it would be worth finding out about their history and the subsequent metamorphosis of early designs into the types of Japanese gardens that we can see all over the world today both public and private.
Essentially they fall into the following categories:
Pond Gardens – where viewing is often done on the water itself by boat. Tea gardens which are always enjoyed from a path through the garden which leads to the tea ceremony pavilion, house or a gazebo. Sitting gardens are exactly what the name suggests, they are viewed from inside a building or from a veranda for example. In the early history of Japanese style gardens these were very popular with the rich and wealthy who commissioned their construction.
Strolling gardens – are designed so a path will circumnavigate the garden to give many different areas to view the garden from and there are some magnificent examples of these types of Japanese style gardens all over the world today from Japan itself to the United states , Europe and Australasia. Viewers have the opportunity to choose their favourite ‘vistas’ to take in the views and the design.
Another type of Japanese garden is the Karesansui which is a dry garden that uses Zen techniques to create ‘mimiced’ landscapes and uses ‘dry’ water , this is essentially sand that is raked to look like the sea or a large body of water. It’s very effective indeed. Dry gardens or Japanese Rock Gardens are very popular around the world because of their spiritual and Zen like atmosphere.
Karesansui gardens are heavily influenced by Zen Buddhism so they tend to be peaceful, simple and waterless but there is a very significant use of stones and rocks in a Karesansui garden. This particular type of Japanese style garden is fairly easy to construct in small areas and so is popular with people who want an authentic Zen experience at home. Like this:
Here are a few of the common ingredients together with their Japanese names that are found in Japanese style gardens which I hope you will find useful. Zen symbolism is ever present because of the history and traditions of Japanese gardens.
Stones or Ishi in Japanese are not only used in ‘dry’ gardens or Zen gardens as they have a very significant place in Japanese garden history. There are good stones that are used for their positive effect and there are types of stones that are considered negative and they must never be used in Japanese style gardens. These are called ‘dead’ stones and often are just the wrong shape or size.
Water is Mizu and Shokbutsu is Japanese for plantings. Bridges are called Hashi are they are a very important part of Japanese gardens especially in strolling gardens. Ornaments are Tenkeibutsu , fences and gates are also used in construction and a gate is a crucial part of the entrance to a Japanese tea garden . These types of Japanese style gardens are amongst my favourites as despite their man made construction you really wouldn’t be able to tell as they appear very natural with stepping stones, small clusters of tress and stone lanterns that are so effective and calming.
Japanese style gardens speak volumes because of their serene surroundings and ordered designs. They reflect every season with their tree and plant colurs. Everything in a Japanese garden is there for a reason and to understand the rules and traditions will make a visit far more enjoyable to the soul as well as the eye.
Appreciating their elements will help you decide what type Of Japanese garden you would like at home AND help you understand each individual elements meaning and reason for being in a garden. CLICK HERE for our free design book and our complimentary Japanese garden NEWSLETTER.
‘The Japanese Garden Club’ is the perfect companion for people wanting to create a Japanese garden in a small yard or space.
CLICK HERE to find out about the inspirational contnt that members have benefitted from in December and January. A start to finish Japanese garden video.
And interview packed with great help and tips, Japanese Maples – everything you need to know about these popular ingredients in a Japanese garden AND Bridges in Japanese gardens – they can be large or very small to suit all sized spaces.
‘The Japanese Garden Club’ is packed with information to help you with your Japanese garden ideas and dreams and it’s all in ONE place!
Thank you for visiting our Japanese gardens website . Here is our latest VIDEO presentation designed to help you if you are considering your own Japanese garden space at home. Enjoy and we hope that you find it helpful!
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