Japanese style gardens have been enjoyed for centuries and are only becoming more and more popular here in the west. They are formal but not geometric; strict angles and squares are not present. They are ordered but natural and flowing at the same time.
Being formal gardens they do require quite a bit of maintenance. Larger trees are generally not pruned, but shrubs and small trees are often manicured into rounded shapes.
Elements are very important in japanese style garden design and every element has a meaning.
Basic elements of Japanese Style Gardens:
Water, whether real or implied is an integral part of the garden. Water features should appear as part of the natural surroundings; flowing streams, waterfalls and ponds. Fountains are not used since they are not something that would be found in nature.
Water does not have to be present in the garden just as long as the illusion of water is there. For example, pebbles can be placed in such a way as to create the form of a naturally flowing dry stream.
Rocks can be small pebbles or larger stones, but keep the size of your garden in mind. You don’t want the large rocks to be too large or they will overpower the small space.
Japanese style gardens consist mostly of green plants with flowering trees and shrubs. The shaping of trees is important, creating rounded forms.
The most commonly seen ornament in these gardens are concrete lanterns. They are not necessary in the design but do add character. If used, the lantern should be placed at the edge of water.
Seating can be made from natural materials such as stone or wood and kept low to the ground.
Other common ornaments are wood decking and bridges. Bridges should be placed over water.
Plants used in Japanese Style Gardens:
- Japanese Maple
- Ginkgo Biloba
- Japanese Magnolias
- Hikoni Cypress
- Japanese Flowering Cherry
- Weeping Bottlebrush
- Mugo pine
- Japanese Pieris
- Glossy Abelia
- Japanese Boxwood
- Japanese Andromeda
- English Ivy
- Bigleaf Lilyturf
- Blue Fescue
- Pink Jasmine
- Mexican Flame Vine
- Passion Flower
Don’t overcrowd the garden, let each tree or shrub stand alone. Each making a statement on its own.
Plant few trees and apart from another, letting each one stand out on its own.