Japanese garden in a small space
If you ever wondered why a Zen garden is like it is OR what they mean and their historical background then my monthly Podcast should interest you as the latest episode is all about Japanese Zen gardens or Karesansui gardens as they are known in Japan. You can listen to it for free ( of course!) by clicking on the player below:
Zen gardens come in all shapes and sizes but follow very rigid principles.
They can be built in a large or small space and are ideal for meditation. Peaceful sanctuaries in a hurly burly world.
The smallest one that I have seen was actually so tiny that it fitted in an egg shell! Other Zen gardens that you may have seen include the small desktop ones that people like to have to keep them stress free at work for example.
Nice as they may appear it is much better to make a Japanese style garden in a slightly bigger space.
In Zen gardens wooden dowling rakes create swirls and shapes that are used to create the illusion of water in ‘dry’ water lakes and seas usually made of sand or gravel.
Zen gardens typically imitate actual landscapes. You will see from the picture above how the land and ‘sea’ replicate an actual panorama of landscape. Sometimes in Japanese gardening this principle is used and it is called ‘Borrowed scenery’ – the copying of real or for that matter imaginary landscapes.
Got a small area in your yard or a roof terrace? Why not create your own ‘Zen’ space? It’s easier to do than you think!
Our FREE book ’11 Simple Ways To Turn Your Garden Japanese’ will give you lots of inspiration and ideas to really invigorate an unused area in your yard or garden. CLICK HERE to claim your free copy today…and of course a big part of it is how to create a stunning Japanese Zen garden!
The ultimate way to create a Japanese garden in a small space!
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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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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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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
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!
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.