Japan is a country with long-standing traditions which respect philosophical ideas and integrate them in everyday life. The western world also learned to respect these principles recognizing the elegance and harmony they offer. You will often find a Japanese garden in the other cities around the globe showing how simplicity meets balance and offering sanctuary from the stressful modern world.
Adding Japanese garden into your yard is not complicated and if you want to find your zen, here are some ideas that will help you bring oriental tranquility to your home.
Even the smallest water feature matters
Water features are not mandatory but are nonetheless very welcome elements in the Japanese garden. Their size varies depending on the means and space you have at your disposal, so you have a wide range to choose from. A small pond surrounded by rocks and evergreen plants is a perfect home for Koi fish and an ideal spot for a seating set.
However, a modest fountain surrounded installed among the greenery will also serve as a nice detail with soothing sounds of water. Alternatively, you can build a small waterfall in a corner with stones and rocks, while creating a small garden around it. It’s a perfect solution for small garden spaces which will still allow you to enjoy the principles of Japanese gardening philosophy.
It’s all about natural materials
There is no room for artificial materials in your Japanese garden, so before you even start planting and landscaping, declutter your yard. It’s all about wood and stone as building materials, with plants and water to occupy the space. Build wooden benches, stonewalls or simply buy bamboo furniture to use for sitting and enjoying the peacefulness of your garden.
Sand and gravel are other materials you can use to create flooring which will serve as the base to build different structures, walkways or for decoration. Add a rake to the garden so you can make shapes and rows in sand and gravel which has calming effects and is also fun.
Stone can replace water features
If you can’t build a water feature, you can still follow the principles of Japanese gardening with stone. Different stone products are easy to find at reliable natural stone tile providers, but before you start shopping – visualize the idea. Since stone will help you mimic the water, it will also be an artistic expression of how you perceive water and what it means to you.
For example, you can use pebbles to pave a larger area and place a centerpiece tree planted on a small hill made of soil and moss. Install a row of stone tiles around the tree, creating a circle which will represent big waves of water, while raking the pebbles will mimic the small ones.
Grow evergreen and deciduous plants together
Plants in the Japanese garden should create layers with their textures and green shades offering so soothing visual design and aesthetics. So, it’s normal that this type of garden mixes deciduous and evergreen plants to create a diverse environment and depths. Willow and Scarlet Maple are usually planted by the water, but the cherry tree is what will really remind you of Japan especially when the flowers are in full bloom.
On the other hand, evergreen plants are an essential part of the Japanese garden and will stay green throughout the year no matter the weather. If you wonder what plants to grow, then consider conifers like Silver Korean Fir with its whitish needles or Mugo Pine with deep green shade. Canadian Hemlock and Cedar are also favorite plants to grow, but also remember to add hedges like Japanese Barberry and Weigela.
In the end
Creating a Japanese garden in your yard is not hard, but will require some careful planning and picking suitable natural materials. Once you are done, you will have a peaceful place where simplicity meets balance to relax, meditate and enjoy the beautiful nature.