Create a Japanese inspired garden

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Also known as “Zen Gardens” – this is a timeless garden style that can provide peace and tranquillity from a hectic lifestyle and help to connect you with nature.

Whatever size or shape your garden is, you can introduce elements of this style and create somewhere to escape to by following these steps:

Design and Landscape

Use basic elements; stone, plants and water.

  • Hard landscaping should include gravel, rocks and stepping stones
  • Symmetrical design
  • Ponds & water features
  • Use natural timbers such as bamboo for screening
  • Detailed, thought out spaces
  • Features and Ornaments – sculpture, bird bath, toro (stone lantern), deer scarer and if you are feeling ambitions, a painted bridge
  • Keep planting sparse and low maintenance

Which plants to use?

Use different shades of green with emphasis on foliage rather than flowers.

  • Bamboo
  • Trees: Acers, Japanese Maples, Eriobotrya japonica
  • Spring Flowering Trees: Cherry, Magnolia, Crab Apple and Amelanchier
  • Shrubs: Azaleas, Rhododendrom, Camellia, Aucuba japonica, Skimmia japonica, Osmanthus burkwoodii, Sarcococca hookeriana, Pieris
  • Conifers: Juniperus communis ‘Green Carpet’, Pinus mugo Mops, Thuja standishii
  • Perennials: Ophiopogon planiscapus, Pachysandra terminalis, Iris ensata
  • Ferns: Asplenium scolopendrium, Dryopteris erythrosora Brilliance, Cryptomeria japonica  ‘Cristata’
  • Climbers: Clematis armandii, Trachelospermum jasminoides, Wisteria floribunda
  • Ornamental Grasses: Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’
  • Cloud Topiary: Pinus mugo ‘Pumilio’, Carstens ‘Wintergold’, Ilex crenata ‘Convexa’
  • Bonsai Trees: Cedar atlantica, Myrtus communis ‘Commom Myrtle’, Chamaecyparis obtuse/ Hinoki Cupress
  • Fatsia
  • Nandina

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Things to avoid:

  • Painting wood features, leave wood bare (with the exception of any bridges)
  • Don’t use too many colours – think foliage rather than flowers
  • Less is more – use sculpture sparingly
  • Don’t over prune pines – Japanese landscaping prefers irregular forms