Japanese garden ideas

Our TUMBLR Japanese Garden Blog

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To learn how to achieve results like this in a small space…..which incidentally are perfect for making a Japanese garden

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Making and Creating A Japanese Garden PLUS FREE Design Book

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Absolutely FREE our Japanese Garden design book ’11 Simple Ways To Turn Your Garden Japanese’ is packed with ideas, inspiration and practical tips with specific examples and plans get your copy today CLICK HERE

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As you may be aware, there are several types of Japanese garden and a certain amount of traditional hard and fast rules but, there is absolutely nothing wrong with merging a couple of different types of Japanese garden into one area when you are making a Japanese garden. Japanese garden snobs may frown upon it, but don’t let it cloud your desires or vision. There is NOTHING wrong with this at all.

Learning and understanding at least the basics of Japanese garden design is a must, this will save you time and ultimately your hard earned money but, one thing is for sure if you get a good working understanding of what is required you will find the job a whole lot easier. The other alternative is to identify a space where you would like your garden and call in the professionals. With a little effort you can still do this but you will be armed with the correct information. Look at it like a little bit of enjoyable home work that can save you money in the long run.

There are many styles to choose from when planning a Japanese garden. You may want water- a central pond, bridges, rocks, a relaxation or viewing area, dry water…the list is endless.

Firstly, I would recommend photographing your space and making a drawing of it on a large piece of paper, note the space measurements, land elevations, tree cover etc and then simply start to allocate certain areas on the paper to the Japanese garden ingredients that you wish to include in your garden. Be prepared to move things around on your garden drawing until you get a feel for what you are happy with. As long as you have remembered the basics you should find this fairly easy.

The good news is that average sized yards or gardens are ideal for a Japanese garden. If you have a smaller area a ‘Zen’ garden may be more in keeping with the aesthetics of your space. These gardens were designed and used by Buddhist monks and in general comprise of boulders and rocks and gravel/ or sand. A rake is used to mark the sand for a water effect. Zen gardens are supposed to be places of tranquillity and help ‘clear’ the mind. Meditation is common and effective in a Zen garden which should be viewed from one place.

For Japanese gardens you have numerous choices with many historical and design facets and many of these are easy to grasp and simple to execute but you must acquire knowledge first! Study photographs and designs online and see what catches your eye and use your imagination as to what can go where in your garden space.

Japanese style 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.

To understand much more about the development of Japanese style gardens 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.

Essentially Japanese style gardens 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 style garden is the Karensui which is a dry garden that uses Zen techniques to create ‘mimic’ 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.

www.lushgardendesign.co.uk
A domestic ‘dry’ garden from http://www.lushgardendesign.co.uk

Karensui 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 Karensui 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.

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 of Ishi in Japanese are not only used in ‘dry’ gardens or Zen gardens as they have a very significant place in Japanese style gardens 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.

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 gardens speak volumes because of their serene surroundings and ordered designs. Everything is there for a reason and to understand the rules and traditions will make your job of designing and creating that much easier.

For more design tips and a full explanation Of Japanese garden design take a look Russ Chard’s free Japanese garden design book ’11 Simple Ways To Turn Your Garden Japanese’ here is the cover:

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CLICK HERE to claim your free copy and Russ’s newsletter on making a Japanese garden in a small space called ‘The Japanese Garden Bulletin’

The Japanese Garden Bulletin Newsletter launches in January 2013
The Japanese Garden Bulletin Newsletter launched earlier this year.

Japanese Garden Design Help

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Thanks for visiting our Japanese gardens blog.

If you are interested in improving your own Japanese garden or maybe are thinking of building your own in a small space in your yard or garden this will help…our Japanese Garden Design Pinterest board.

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For more help creating a Japanese garden visit ‘The Japanese Garden Club’ CLICK HERE

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Zen gardens – Small, Significant, Calming and Easy To Build!

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One of the most popular types of Japanese garden is called a ‘Karesansui’ garden. In English this word means ‘dry mountain stream’ and that is why these types of garden are known as ‘Dry’ gardens. they are heavily influenced by Zen Buddhism. They are peaceful, simple and waterless. Rocks are used and sand is raked to make it look like the sea.

Many hundreds of years ago this type of garden was built by ‘Senzui Kawarami’– in English ‘Mountain, stream and riverbed people’. They were master craftsman in building these Zen influenced agrdens, that originated according to most scholars in China.

The great thing is you can build one in a small space at home fairly simply and details of how to do it are in my book on the subject. It’s 54 pages of ROCK SOLID CONTENT including plans and video links , which means you can start Spring with a small Japanese style Zen garden at your home with the minimum of fuss!

Japanese Zen gardens book for Kindle
Japanese Zen gardens book for Kindle

CLICK HERE for my book ‘Japanese Zen Gardens’ on Amazon Kindle

You can also get our FREE Japanese garden newsletter ‘The Japanese Garden Bulletin’ by signing up for a FREE copy of our latest Japanese garden design book HERE

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Creating A Japanese Garden – TREES, PLANTS & SHRUBS

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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.

 

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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.

CLICK HERE TO GET OUR FREE JAPANESE GARDEN DESIGN BOOK

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.

www.lushgardendesign.co.uk
http://www.lushgardendesign.co.uk

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.

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY OF OUR FREE JAPANESE GARDEN DESIGN BOOK

For simple, inspirational help creating a Japanese garden space in your garden or yard visit ‘The Japanese Garden Club’ at http://www.thejapanesegardenclub.com

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Creating A Japanese Garden For A Small Space OR Yard – Video

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Thank you for visiting our website that is all about Japanese gardens. You will find a great amount of information on the subject on this website – from Japanese gardens to Zen gardens ( sometimes known as Japanese rock gardens).

You will be able to access information to help you create your own small Japanese garden in your yard PLUS lots of background information on these unique types of gardens including their history, styles, spirituality, ingredients etc. Please have a good look around , the information is invaluable.

Here is our latest short video by way of introducing Creating A Japanese Garden For A Small Space OR Yard – take a look and grab your free copy of our design book …perfect for inspiring you to create a Japanese garden at home!