A Japanese garden is not like any other garden. These are traditional gardens designed with Japanese aesthetics and backed by philosophical ideas.
Build A Japanese Garden With These Unique Touches
A Japanese garden usually doesn’t have anything artificial and is usually highlighted by its natural landscape. The history of this kind of gardening came from the Chinese. However, as the years went by, Japanese gardening got the influence of western culture with the focus on evergreen trees and showcasing the four different seasons.
Usually, Japanese gardening is associated with Zen because of the use of simple and clean lines in design and the use of basic elements such as plants, rocks, and water. So in building this kind of garden for yourself, remember that you should have a simple and tranquil touch to it.
Just like mentioned above, Japanese gardens usually rely on evergreen trees to make your space alive throughout the entire year. The use of different conifers with low spreading branches and an assortment of shades of green can make your garden look great. Adding evergreen plants can also bring more life to your garden by adding plants with bright green leaves that can pop out all year round.
Create a warming and interesting entrance by creating a bamboo fence. This will add to the Japanese feel of your garden and at the same time make the inside of your garden more peaceful by covering the outside space and giving a tranquil confined space inside. The entrance can also give your garden a great first impression and can give the illusion of a bigger space when you’re outside looking in.
For the ground of your space, encourage moss as a groundcover for your Japanese garden. However, since moss can be very slippery, you can place stones as steps to build a passageway throughout your entire garden and at the same time protect the soft ground.
Add a pavilion or a teahouse, if you will, in the center of your garden for a more serene landscape. You can build one by using bamboo or wood. Build this structure as a centerpiece and can also be used as a place to meditate and gather your thoughts.
Pagodas are common in East Asia, namely in China, Korea, and Japan. It is a “tiered tower with multiple eaves” and is commonly used as a place for worship. Some pagodas, however, are created as a religious structure rather than an actual place of worship. For your Japanese garden, adding one may cost a lot of money or may even mean a lot of work but adding stone pillars shaped as pagodas can help with the theme and is a common sight in most Japanese gardens.
Structure From Plants
Designing can not always mean a lot of work. You can use plants or trees as your design by designing it the way you want it to be. Forming a small tree to complement the landscape of your whole garden can do much for your entire space. Aside from using evergreens, you can also add a Japanese Maple to add color and is beautiful especially during autumn.
In addition to making it look great, you can also design your garden in a way that you can ward off and protect yourself from evil spirits. You can add a zigzag bridge to your Japanese garden to do this. In Japanese myth, bad or evil spirits travel on a straight line and creating a zigzag bridge with a lot of turns can possibly lose the bad entity from going in your house and could eventually wander away instead. In addition to this myth and if you don’t believe in it anyway, placing or building one in your garden can be a great design for an empty space.
Create An Island
The next three items are more applicable for those who have a larger space to work on. Creating an island in the middle of your Japanese garden can provide a tranquil space and can create an illusion for a secluded retreat. Of course, building an island could only mean creating a bridge for you to pass and a body of water to surround it. For tighter spaces, that could only mean a shorter bridge or a short bridge that will most likely block a part of the pond.
Consider A Reflecting Pool
A great idea for your Japanese garden, you can consider adding a reflecting pool if building an island with a pond and a bridge if it is not for your liking. The theme for Japanese gardens is creating a relaxed and peaceful space to be one with nature and help you meditate as well. Adding the ideas mentioned above like the moss ground and pagodas to a reflecting pool, added with large stones can help a lot with the Asian styled theme.
One last thing and one of the most common and most essential things for a Japanese garden is a fish pond filled with Koi or goldfishes. It will bring great fulfillment and enjoyment to your garden once you’re done building it. Just take note that Kois and goldfishes need to be overwintered during the cold season. The best part of all, it is easy to manage and maintain.
Watch this video from TCLandscapeDesign for more ideas on how to create your own Japanese garden:
There are sorts of ideas for making a Japanese garden. The above-mentioned ideas are just some that you can try in making a zen space for your backyard. Adding a small pond and a bridge can also be a great idea and are very easy to do especially if you have a large space you can work on.
Do you have other ideas in mind for designing a Japanese garden? Do you have one in your backyard? Share your photos and ideas in the comment section below!