Table of Contents
A Few Simple Japanese Garden Ideas
Are you searching for simple Japanese garden ideas? Japanese gardens are beautiful and tranquil, but you don’t have to admire them from afar. In fact, using a few simple rules you can even create your own version in your own backyard.
To begin with, it’s important to understand that a lot of thought goes into placement, symbolism, and balance when it comes to Japanese gardens. Plants and structures are not placed sporadically. In fact, everything has a meaning as far as where it is placed and what its particular function is.
You might have already noticed that a lot of Oriental garden designs flow naturally and are not based so much on symmetry. This is because as opposed to Western gardens, Oriental gardens try to replicate nature and do not put so much emphasis on evenness.
When trying to come up with simple Japanese garden ideas, keep in mind that you don’t need a lot of color or variety. Most Japanese gardens do not contain a multitude of plants or an abundance of color. Instead, they try to focus more on tranquility.
You also shouldn’t worry about not having enough space for your garden, either. In fact, most Japanese gardens are grown in small areas and plants and landscape designs actually work together to make the areas appear larger.
Some simple Japanese garden ideas on how to make a small space appear larger include using structures that are scaled down in size, planting smaller trees in the distance, using large rocks in the foreground, and planting larger plants up front if using islands in your landscaping project.
Putting smaller items in the back might go against your natural instincts, but imagine a piece of paper in front of you. If you were drawing a highway on that piece of paper going off into the distance, then the easiest way to show perspective would be to essentially draw a large “V”, with the smallest point in the background and the largest width up front. The same is true of the garden. With the smaller plants and trees in the back, it gives the illusion of distance.
Using trees and trees in the foreground that are brightly colored, while planting the more subdued plants in the back, can also give the illusion of distance. The same can be accomplished with planting fine-textured foliage in the back and plants with large leaves in the front.
Since Japanese gardens try to offer visitor peace and tranquility, then it’s a good idea to have hidden places to sit and wonder. Providing paths, benches, and pagodas can be a good way of encouraging the visitor to wander around. Some other simple Japanese garden ideas are to include small ponds, small bridges, and small rock gardens. Details are very important.
In fact, you should consider paying attention to many of your details as far as your Japanese garden ideas are concerned. When building a rock garden, for instance, choose your rocks carefully and arrange them by size. In many rock formations, there is often a large rock that acts as a “sentinel” and symbolizes Buddha, while the other smaller rocks around it represent his children or his people.
If you would like to add a pond to your garden, then consider placing small details in it that make it more interesting. Plant a cherry tree, for instance, over the pond so that the blossoms are able to fall into the water and the reflection of the tree is caught on the surface. You might also want to place some large rocks in the water as well, to offer texture. Fish are optional.
Rock Garden Plants
Striking rock gardens can be created where ordinary gardening is impossible or small spaces and problematic areas of arid climates. The range of plants suiting these conditions is wide and they mostly require good drainage, ample sunlight and frost protection, but will also benefit from fertile soil and mulching. Although these plants look great in any gardening situation, the natural affinity of shade-providing rocks adds to the aesthetic appeal.
When selecting rocks to choose those weathered and aged. These rocks should lie on their heaviest sides and a third of rock should ultimately show above the two-thirds of plant foliage.
Construction Japanese garden types
Japanese rock gardens
of perfect balance. These asymmetrical, harmonious theme gardens are based on the perfect proportions of plant- and rock sizes, numbers, and placing. The timelessness and solidity of nature are achieved by using rock, pebbles, sand and evergreen foliage plants. The five elements of water, wood, fire, earth, and metal are included through chosen objects with added antiquity and emotional associations. Use line and mass in the garden design and concentrate on greenery rather than flowers. Concentrate on achieving a close resemblance of nature in the wild with simplicity as the key.
Terraced rock gardens
are ideal for sloping sites, but also possible for even ground. Start with incorporating gravel and follow with a topsoil layer over the whole area. The rocks should be chosen for size and height to hold the next ‘level’ of soil after being set in the previous ‘level’. Place the first two rocks, one-third deep, with adequate spacing and fill with topsoil (the first rock could be smaller with just enough height to hold the soil). Fill the new section behind the second stone with topsoil and set the third rock into this raised level etc. When finished, fill and firm the soil down behind each rock.
Mound rock gardens
consist of irregularly spaced stones and planting pockets, reachable from all sides. It is done on the same principal as terraced rock gardens, but with the highest part in the center. Start by creating the base first and working up towards planting pockets on the top. Set the rocks to at least one-third deep for stability and fill and firm soil down behind rocks. A little topsoil and shade provided by larger stones are beneficial and also ensure adequate space and depth for rooting.
Plants growing in nature with similar climatic and landscape conditions are ideal for rock gardens and need minimum tending. Provide topsoil, mulching and small annual applications of general fertilizer. Keep weeds down and trim certain plants after flowering. These, often alpine, plants are usually drought- and frost tolerant and propagated from seed and offsets.