Build the perfect escape from the stresses of modern life with a Japanese garden. This garden design style works hard to create a space that mimics nature in an artistic way. A Japanese garden features certain natural elements: stones, plants and water. Other elements such as gates, fences and decorative lanterns also add to the understated elegance of the garden. Through the specific presentation of these elements, a Japanese garden design offers a simple yet sophisticated beauty.
Early Japanese gardens literally grew out of the Zen lifestyle. As such, Japanese gardens are typically tranquil, contemplative spaces that encourage meditation and self-reflection. Every element used in a Japanese garden design is deliberately chosen and placed to encourage pause and reflection.
Stones are the most important element in traditional Japanese gardens and can even have spiritual significance. In your Japanese garden, position large stones first and design the rest of the garden around them. Arrange stones in groups of two, three or five and try to create asymmetrical arrangements. To mimic nature, dig the base or parts of a rock in soil.
Plants in a Japanese garden convey deep symbolism. Evergreens such as pine, yew and camellia represent stability and longevity and are prized for staying green all year round. Plants that change with the seasons, like Japanese maples, flowering cherries, and azaleas, serve as a powerful reminder that life is short. Other plants commonly used in Japanese garden designs include chrysanthemums, bamboo, rhododendron, Japanese kerria, and Japanese iris.
In Japanese gardens, green is the dominant hue with strategically placed touches of colour. Rocks, moss and bamboo add calmer tones to the landscape. Select plants carefully with leaf structure and plant shape in mind to infuse a Japanese garden with subtle beauty and interest.
Water is another key element in Japanese garden design. The water can be a simple reflecting pool, a babbling fountain, or a cascading waterfall. Some Japanese gardens contain a dry stream. Try to include some form of moving water, as that soothing sound encourages meditation.