Books To Help You When Making A Japanese Garden

Making A Japanese Garden – Rewarding But Demanding Too!

Steve’s Tea House – made of Cedar

Thanks for visiting my website , and hopefully I can give you some inspiration if you are thinking of making a Japanese garden. I visited a gentleman called Steve at his home to take a look at his Japanese Pond viewing garden.

It has been a labour of love for Steve who lived and worked in Japan for 7 years. On a business trip before he moved there he had a couple of hours to spare before catching a flight home and asked the concierge at the hotel if they could recommend something to do for a couple of hours.

“Do you like gardens?” the concierge asked Steve , to which he replied “Yes” and he promptly directed to look at his very first Japanese garden with its different entrances, beautifully crafted Azeleas , trees and shrubs. Rock formations and paths at right-angles.

He was struck by it’s beauty and promptly fell in love with Japanese gardens. Whilst in Japan he visited over 80 different gardens mainly in the Kyoto area and amassed a very large collection of Japanese garden textbooks and journals.

The knowledge he gained was defining in his plans for making a Japanese garden and this he did at his home in the UK. It took two years to build , is completely enclosed and has a large Koi pond which has been troublesome to say the least.

Japanese plants, trees and shrubs grow freely in his garden as the climate difference between Japan and the UK is actually not that different. As he pointed out to me some of his Acer’s in their native Japan can withstand sub-zero temperatures.

I went to film a video with Steve and to ask him all sorts of questions about his Japanese garden and its construction and will be making this chat available soon. I have to edit it first!

Steve says the most demanding part of the garden were the rocks, pond and pathways as he wanted to stay true to his original design. Like me Steve also believes very strongly that you have ‘freewill’ to go about making a Japanese garden in whatever styles or styles you wish.

His is a Pond Viewing garden BUT it has a Tea house too because he likes them. That is the key message about making a Japanese garden – add what you want and what feels right in your garden area. Don’t be intimidated by technical books after all Japanese gardens are simplicity with nature!

It was a really interesting visit and I am looking forward to letting you see the video but to wet your appetite here are some photograph’s of Steve Mazloumian’s Japanese garden!

Steve has about 8 different varieites of Acer’s in the garden

The Moon Window – providing a peak into the garden!

A Koi Pond, Lantern and Autumn Colours!

A Zen feel to one area of the garden – note the autumn colours again.

Claim Your FREE Copies Of Our Japanese Garden Ebooks On AMAZON Kindle


Thanks for visiting .

Following on from yesterdays post – our 2 E books are available for the next 5 DAYS ONLY on AMAZON KINDLE. Here are the details and we hope you enjoy them and they help with your plans to make a Japanese garden.

Japanese Gardens – Revealed and Explained  – CLICK HERE to access a free copy.

Japanese Zen GardensCLICK HERE to access your free copy.

Japanese Gardens Facebook Page


As you would probably expect we would have a FACEBOOK page and are getting together a nice community of Japanese garden and Zen garden enthusiasts.

I just posted this morning some nice pictures on the page CLICK HERE to see them and the page , it would be great if you could like us and maybe post some of your own thoughts and pictures with our Japanese gardens fans.

Our FACEBOOK page . Click on the blue word Facebook or on the icon at the bottom of this post.

Making A Japanese Garden – A Pathway to 4 Seasons of Beauty.

Hello, thanks for visiting our website. Making a Japanese garden is becoming increasingly popular and fashionable. Part of the attraction is that they can be built in pretty much any size of space.

Think about it, if you have a small area that is unused or our of control in your yard or garden you could transform it into a stunning Japanese garden or Zen garden. I am building the latter at my home now and it is in exactly this kind of small space that I am talking about. In my next batch of information I will be posting some pictures of it’s construction which has been hampered by a lot of unseasonal rain in the UK.

Anyway, today I want to share with you information on Japanese garden design. The one philosophy to remember about Japanese gardens is that they aim to recreate the natural landscape of Japan in miniature. By miniature I do not mean tiny.

A popular way to do this recreation is by designing mountainscapes and a waterfall – this type of Japanese garden is very popular and is best seen at a distance. Boulders, rocks and water generally appeal the world over to people interested in making a Japanese garden or even a Zen garden.

Zen gardens were NOT originally designed and built for religious or meditation purposes – they were just gardens!

One of the biggest queries I get is what sort of plants or shrubs are suitable for a Japanese garden. If you are reading this is Asia or in North America  there are many types of plants and shrubs that you can use. Obviously, wherever you are in the world you have to pick relevant plants that will grow and flourish in your local climate.

A smaller space Japanese garden will benefit from repeating just a few varieties , this will give your garden a sense of ‘continuity’. Green is going to be a very dominant colour in any Japanese garden and you should see ‘green’ for most times of the year in all the seasons.

Berries and flowers signify in their colour the changing of seasons in a Japanese garden and should be used sparingly. Contrast between green and a little colour is highly visually effective and an important consideration in Japanese garden design.

Evergreen Shrubs – are one of the principle elements for you to make use of along with seasonal shrubs like HOSTA that sits nicely in a rocky area of the garden.Ferns are another great option , they are hardy and tend to give areas of the garden a fuller look in certain seasons.

A Japanese garden should appear ‘older’ than its surroundings and give the impression of timelessness. Moss is something you can use to give that ‘aging’ impression. Natural youghurt provides a base for moss growth but many serious Japanese gardeners will transplant moss from a wooded area onto stones and rocks ensuring that it is kept moist until it ‘takes’. Humid climates are best for growing mosses.

Before you make a decision on what ‘water feature’ you would like in your Japanese garden it is worth knowing that fountains are a no-no. You should not have seen on your travels a Japanese garden with a fountain. A babbling brook yes, a waterfall certainly and a pond – most definetly.

Waterfalls are also used when making a Japanese garden. Ponds tend to be popular because a lot of perple like to keep Koi – great but watch out for predators like Heron’s. I once said goodbye to about $5000 of Koi because I hadn’t taken precautions. An expensive lesson.

Water provides a feeling of calmness in a garden but some folks are put off by the maintenance aspect of having a water feature in a Japanese garden. there is an easy solution – ‘Dry water’. You can make a dry riverbed to symbolise water or have an area that is sanded or gravelled for raking to give the impression of water.

Smooth stones should be placed in these areas. Plant ‘water friendly’ shrubs and plants by the dry river bed to give it an appearance of realism. Finally, don’t forget to consider ornaments! The most poluar of all being a stone Buddah, a stone basin and stone lanterns. All are available from Japanese garden supply companies and even garden centres – nothing too tacky though!!


Making a Japanese Garden – Zen garden’s Books and DVD’s on AMAZON…

Zen garden books and DVd’s on Amazon

Here is our amazon page cntaining books and DVD’s on the subject of Zen gardens or Japanese rock gardens as they are sometimes known. CLICK HERE


Making A Japanese Garden – Books and DVD’s Of Interest


Thanks for visiting my website – I have put together a page of books and DVD’s on the subject that are available on AMAZON just incase you are interested. CLICK HERE

Zen Gardens Online MAGAZINE Launched!

Hi ,

Thanks for visiting my website

Sometime ago I started an online magazine about Japanese gardens – it is FREE and updated daily. You can visit it by clicking HERE.

If you like Japanese and /or Zen gardens you will really enjoy these web resources.

A lot of folks asked for more information about Japanese Zen gardens so I have done the same. I have just launched my ZEN GARDENS site today – it is also FREE and will be updated daily. CLICK HERE to viisit


Gold For the Japanese Hillside Garden At Chelsea Flower Show!

Picture by Martin Pope -


CONGRATULATIONS it’s a GOLD for ‘Best Artisan Garden’ at The 2012 Chelsea Flower show for Ishihara Kazuyuki Design Laboratory and a beautiful Japanese Hillside garden.

You can get a sense of the use of stones and traditional moss from the picture above.

If you are keen on making a Japanese garden then professional help is at hand! 5 stunning designs can be yours from one of the Worlds top landscapers – check out this short video and get more information by CLICKING HERE .

What About Making A Japanese Hillside Garden – The 2012 Chelsea Flower Show Will Point You In The RIGHT Direction!

The Chelsea Flower Show 2012 – as ever a wonderful horticultural event , that was visited by Her Majesty The Queen yesterday. It opens to the general public today and will be covered by news organistaions all over the world. Television coverage is on BBC1, BBC2 and BBC HD as well as BBC World News ( around the globe).

There is an ‘Artisan Garden ‘ section and one of the exhibits and designs is a Japanese Hillside garden – a great idea if you are considering making a Japanese garden. You do NOT need a great deal of space to design one. Below is the designer and name of the garden as well as a good image that really gives a greta feel for one of these very traditional Japanese gardens. More information can be found by searching’ Chelsea Flower Show at

Kazuyuki Ishihara

Satoyama Life

Award-winning Kazuyuki Ishihara returns to RHS Chelsea 2012 with a design   inspired by the Satoyama – the Japanese term that describes the space   between the lowlands and mountain.

The Satoyama Life garden will be a peaceful space which underlines the   importance of co-existing with nature in modern times.

Kazuyuki will use a thinning out technique which is in contrast to European   style and is traditionally used in Ikebana Japanese flower arrangement, to   highlight the natural beauty of his garden.

The garden will be framed by the plants and deciduous trees that bud all at  once in the Satoyama. His key plants will be acers and he will also use   Dryopteris erythrosora, Equisetum ramosissimum var. japonicum, Liriope   muscari and Quercus suber to name but a few.

PS: for those of you following my Japanese Zen garden design and construction – GOOD NEWS it has finally stopped raining in the UK and the work can now commence. I did find time inbetween flooding to find a really good Buddha statue which is now in situ! Pictures to follow later this week.

Have a good day!