Sculpting a Japanese Garden

There is something extraordinary about Japanese gardening, in part because of the tranquil and healing environment that it provides.   It’s a place for deep thought, a peace offering in its own respect.  Experience in gardening of a different culture will bring your creativity to another level.  It must be understood from the beginning that growing a Japanese garden takes patience.  It is planted with a good deal of space between each dweller, allowing the foliage to make individual statements.

Choose a location and size for your Japanese garden, any dimension can be beautiful.   An out-of-the- way place would be ideal, but at the same time you don’t want it hidden.  It’s gratifying to admire a garden from afar.  This type of agriculture is indeed an artistic notion, visualize your desired objective.  Texture brings a natural quality to the garden.  Small sculpted hills and low-lying areas will be home to your special vegetation, interesting boulders offer a hint of the East.  One gift of Japanese gardening is that it is meant to be simple.

The focal point of a Japanese garden is prevalently a flowing water display.  It isn’t crucial, but water certainly is a good start to pleasant auras.  This doesn’t mean you have to dig a huge pond, or go in debt with an extravagant fountain.  There are affordable small scale displays available to fit most budgets.  However, the source should be a rather quiet exhibition or it will defeat the purpose.  The water feature can be surrounded by sand and river pebbles to create an island effect.  A Japanese garden must have a continuous vision, not a sectioned appearance.

Bamboo and exotic honeysuckles play a major role in the gardens of Japan, but are highly invasive and nixed in many parts of the world.  A border of ornamental grasses will deliver the same effect and won’t take over your garden.  Everything that is planted must be kept manicured to maintain the petite Japanese characteristic.  To utilize the art of bonsai, plant the flora in shallow trays or pots before lowering them into the ground.

Choose a couple of trees, bushes, grasses, and groundcovers that add interest because of their different heights.  Below are some varieties that capture the orient and thrive under specific growing conditions.  These are hardy plants that can withstand the bonsai tactics used in your Japanese Garden.

Planting Zones   5 – 6 – 7

Japanese Sweet Flag
Northern Light Grass
Trompenburg Japanese Maple
Mt. Fuji Japanese Iris
White Delight Carpet Phlox
Onyx Odyssey Double Hellebores
Japanese Painted Ghost Fern

Planting Zone 8

Japanese Sweet Flag
Northern Lights Grass
Tromenburg Japanese Maple
Japanese Holly Fern
Shogun Japanese Iris
Geranium Expresso

Planting Zones   9 — 10

Japanese Sweet Flag
Pink Pampas Grass
Dwarf Escarpment Cherry
Watsonia Snow Bell
Japanese Holly Fern
Silvery Sun proof Variegated Liriope
Apricot Princess Rose

These are just a few suggestions, the possibilities are abundant.  Tea plants, ficus, water lilies, moss, and dahlia are a few more prospects.  A bench and an attractive statue may help your project look complete.  Japanese gardening is a way of expressing yourself, please enjoy your journey.

About Paul Masterson

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  1. Excellent post, what cms do you use in your blog ?

  2. RT @bonsaiireland: Sculpting a Japanese Garden

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