Making A Japanese Garden – A Little Inspiration Goes A Long Way…

If you are thinking of making a Japanese garden and want to turn your rear garden or yard into a calming and peaceful area then you are joining a growing band of like minded people all over the world.

Japanese gardens and Zen gardens are in vogue and this website has been set up specifically to give you a little inspiration for your dream project!

A little honesty first though. Making a Japanese garden is not something that you can do with any degree of success or the right results in a weekend and it WILL take up quite a lot of maintenance time but if you are not phased by either of these aspects then your hard work will be rewarded with a truly lovely space at your home.

More good news comes in the form of your budget. Japanese gardens can be expensive to design and build but you can construct one on a limited budget and in today’s economic climate a lot of people do you financial constraints.

One of the most cost effective ways of making a Japanese garden is to identify an area in your yard or garden, mark it out with string or cable and dig it out to a low level say approximately 4 -6 inches deep.Take precautions for weed growth and fill the area with gravel or you can use sand if you live in a dry climate.

Gravel should be ideally 8 to 10 mm in size as it is easy for raking – so you get those lovely circular swooshes and simple staright lines. Rocks can be placed in small clusters and you can use smooth rocks but taller slightly jagged ones really look striking to the eye.

I have a small space Zen garden at home with a cluster of 3 rocks and a single rock on an island surrounded by neatly trimmed grass – this gives the impression of an island in the sea. Zen gardens or Karesansui ( Dry gardens) mimic landscapes so the good news is that you can let your imagination flow!

A dry river bed is another option and you can surround this with stones and rocks and low level plants. If you desire a wooden bridge or stone bridge this would look spectacular over the bed.

Bamboo is used in Japanese gardens for space separation and fencing can be bought or made relatively inexpensively. Trees provide the ‘living’ element of the garden and have to be planted correctly, drainage has to be good and equally importantly you should only pick trees, plants and low level shrubs that will grow in your climate.

If you plant things that are risky then the chances are you will be removing them sooner than you had hoped for. Trees are central to many types of Japanese gardens and in autumn or fall they come into their own.

I shall be putting some information on this website in the very near future about which trees are perhaps best to use in non extreme European and North American climates AND most importantly what colours you can expect from them in the autumn for maximum effect in a Japanese garden.

Water features are something a lot of people desire , with or without Koi for example and this is something else that I am going to cover here on makingajapanesegarden.com in the near future.

I have launched a Japanese garden free newsletter  called the ‘Japanese Garden Bulletin’ and you can register to recieve your complimentary copy featuring Japanese garden news, tips , design ideas and a LOT more just CLICK HERE

Making A Japanese Garden – Rewarding But Demanding Too!

Steve’s Tea House – made of Cedar

Hi,
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.

Making a Japanese garden – Californian Japanese Gardeners Struggle And What We Can Learn

Japanese immigrants into the US brought with them an ordered way of life that seemed odd to Americans, they arrived on the West coast of the US in large numbers and had to endure restrictive laws and the aftermath of World War 2 when they were not held in great esteem by the locals.They were viewed with suspicion.

Time is a great healer and breaks down the barriers of persecutuion and America’s Japanese American community started to grow and flourish. Gardening is something that comes easy to the Japanese, at school they are routinely taught how to prune and plant vegetables and these homegrown skills were useful when faced with living in a new country with limited language skills.

In Hollywood and other parts of California an Oriental or Japanese garden were considered status symbols. A Pith helmeted gardener of Japanese origin was an essential requirement. Today things are very different as most American’s opt for ‘Cut and Blow’ gardens – they are simpleand easy to maintain.

Having said that some of America’s best and most stunning Japanese gardens can be found on the West coast from California to Washington state.

On an individual home basis making a Japanese garden is not top of the agenda as they are considered expensive, hard to maintain and take up a lot of space. Only one of those excuses is true. Maintenance is significant and if you want to make a Japanese garden or get one designed for you they do take an awful lot of care and attention.

In a way a Japanese garden is a way of life. For America’s Japanese gardener’s their lives are changing. 74 year old Tadashi Hamada has been a gardener for 50 years , he is an expert pruner , understands Japanese plants and trees like Hollywood Juniper Acers and the impressive King Sago Palm.

All of these plants , shrubs and trees need care. A King Sago Palm costs around $6000 dollars and Tadashi squirms at the many he sees that are just left to be. “Too many bushes die inside because the Sun doesn’t hit it” he says ” You gotta cut them and shape them up” the alternative is a slow irreversible death for a tree or bush.

He has an air of dissapointment in the way gardening has changed and to you and I as Japanese garden lovers we would be sad at the demise of so many interesting gardens shaped and tended so many years ago.

I think as enthusiasts we have a responsibility to Japanese gardening outside of Japan to try and do our bit. Visit Japanese gardens in your area and further afield , read books, talk to experts and practice what we have learned on our own Japanese garden projects. A Japanese garden IS a commitment – for things so beautiful on the eye the workload is significant but manageable!

Making a Japanese garden – this website is about encouraging people to not only have a Japanese garden but to help them decide on what type , size, what to put in it and why, how to maintain it and hopefully inspire a few positive thoughts about these gardening works of art along the way!

A garden or yard can be transformed with a Japanese garden , it is worth the effort whatever size of space you have. There are design experts out there near where you live or you can be adveturous and learn all about them and do-it-yourself! What a challenge!!

There are lots of pieces of useful information on this subject and on my other Japanese garden website http:www.japzen.wordpress.com . If you prefer the idea of a ‘Rock’ garden and the simplicity it offers go to: http://www.whatisazengarden.com .

 

 

 

Making a Japanese Garden – Fences and Gates

Hi Japan Directory

If you are ambitious and keen to make a realistic representation of a Japanese garden then a couple of things you will be probably be interested in are GATES and FENCES.

Typical example of fencing in a Japanese garden

Most Japanese gardens are intended to be seen from outside looking in and have a feeling of being seperate from our everyday world. Enclosure of the garden is achieved by the use of gates and fences whether wooden or made of Bamboo.

Zen gardens are havens of tranquilty and contemplating whilst a Japanese garden is also a place where visitors can go to escape form the stresses and strains of life – a gate signifies the place where you can enter this separate world and a signifier of returning to the world once you exit the garden.

You may think that fences are all about ‘enclosure’ and that thought would seem obvious and to a certain extent is right. Fences also have another meaning associated with them its called ‘Miegakure’ in Japanese a pretty accurate translation would be ‘Hide and reveal’.

So if you are thinking of making a Japanese garden imagine how tantalising some fencing would be adorned with climbers that give the visitor a small glimpse of what lies behind your fencing – a stunning Japanese garden.

If you are keen to make a Tea garden in your space then the gate will open to a pathway that will lead to your Tea house.

The whole concept of the use of gatesand fences in a Japanese garden is all about teasing what lies within the boudaries and containing the space for respite from everyday life. The latter being the reason that these types of garden appeal to so many Westerner’s and Japanese garden designers.

A Japanese garden is a miniature expression of nature and has to be sealed off from the outside world and its worth remebering that fences and gates are just as inportant ina Japanese garden as a stone lantern or Azaleas!

 

 

Kew Gardens In London – Video Of The Japanese Garden Area

When making a Japanese garden there is perhaps no better way to formulate the design ideas that you may have in your imagination than actually looking at exsisting Japanese gardens.

I recently visited the garden and had a great time. From The Imperial Gateway to a beautiful Karensui area to stunning rock placement and topiary it is all here on this short video. Steven Speilberg I am not but I hope that you take a look and enjoy it!

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

Hi,

Thanks for visiting makingajapanesegarden.com .

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 – The Use Of Stones And Rocks FREE Download on Amazon Kindle

Thanks for stopping by our website – packed with information on making a Japanese garden.

One of the most instantly recognisable things about Japanese gardens are the very effective and symbolic use of Stones and Rocks. Author Russ Chard has written on the subject of Japanese gardens for many years and his AMAZON Kindle articles on the subject are avilable for FREE download for the next 4 days.

FREE download of ‘Japanese Gardens – The Use Of Rocks And Stones

Claim your free download to learn about Rocks and Stones in Japanese gardens that will help with any design ideas you may have by CLICKING HERE to go the AMAZON PAGE.

Tomorrow his E books on Japanese Gardens – Revealed and Explained ( Over 100 pages long) will be available for free as will his latest and newest publication called Japanese Zen Gardens – both FREE download links on Amazon will be posted on this website, so please come back! Enjoy.

Making A Japanese Garden – Things To Bear In Mind

Japanese philosophy reasons that everything OLD has a value. This applies to

The Imperial Gateway and Japanese Garden At Kew in London

when you are making a Japanese garden.

Boulders overgrown with moss, old trees, stone arrangements are all examples of this mantra. ‘Nature’ in a Japanese garden is fundamental and it’s appearance should reflect natural looks rather than manufactured looks – even if the garden is designed in a specific way and by definition is not old at all.

Perennials and bulbs are sporadically planted to highlight the natural character of the garden rocks that are placed ‘naturally’ in the design itself. Stone and water go together in a Japanese garden and the water element can be anything from a shallow stone basis through to a pond or small waterfall. Water must be in a Japanese garden and it is something that you will realise is not only essential but pleasing on the senses.

Japanese gardens always stress the importance of the proportionate beauty of nature itself. They are very time consumng to look after but that is part of the dedication you will need to be a Japanese gardener. All Japanese gardens are designed to hide any form of human interference and to display a ‘natural world’.

Nature consists of Stone, Water and Plants and these are 3 of the principle ingredients of a Japanese garden for this reason. The history of these garden goes back hundreds if not thousands of years and embrace nature in all their forms.

I have put together a free video on the subject of ‘Making A Japanese Garden-Design and Landscaping’ to give you a real flavour of what you will be looking for – irrespective of whether you have a larger patch of land, a small yard or even a rooftop area. All are possible in the world of Japanese gardens!

My Japanese garden design site is the home of the video and you can find out all about the subject by going to this webpage- there is NOTHING like this available online or offline so please enjoy …..and it contains a nice suprise if you want to make a Japanese garden toward the end of the video too!

To access the free video go to:  http://makingajapanesegarden.com/making-a-japanese-garden-design-and-landscaping-video/

Have a great day and keep coming back to this website as it is constantly updated on the wonderful creations that are JAPANESE AND ZEN GARDENS.

Japanese Zen Gardens – Amazon Kindle Version

Hi ,

Thanks for stopping by my website – I recently designed and built my own Zen garden ( a small space one I in my rear garden.

Here is a shot of my simplistic Zen garden – all but finished!

I have just finished writing a magazine for iPad and iPhone that will be published in 3 weeks time . BUT if you have a Kindle from Amazon I have uploaded the edition today. It is ALL about Zen gardens. What are they?, What is there history? What ingredients? Rocks, Stones, Sand, Gravel, Plants and Shrubs. There are some great images and EVERYTHING you would want to know if you have ever wondered ‘WHAT IS A ZEN GARDEN?’. I also take readers through the process of building a Zen garden – design tips, how it is constructed, what to use, where to pace your garden and much more! It has been a labour of love for me and it is available now JUST CLICK HERE and below is the cover:

Japanese And Zen Gardens Book

CLICK HERE for more information and I have kept the cost very low!

PS there is also a Chapter on COURTYARD GARDENS a sort of home interior Zen garden – they are beautiful!

Making A Japanese Zen Garden – update

Hi,

Thanks for visiting my website, I have just returned from a very pleasant break in Sweden. I now have the 4th video in a five video series that takes you step by step through making a small space Japanese Zen garden.

It is fairly easy to do and takes very little time – once you have planned it you could build it withing 2 or 3 days but a lot of folks like to take their time and that is what I did!

You can watch VIDEO 4 by CLICKING HERE

I have put all four video’s for Making A Japanese Zen garden on my Youtube channel and you can see them all by CLICKING HERE. Each video is hopefully easy to follow and they range between 2 to 3 minutes for each one.

This is a shot I took earlier today that shows it 75% done, today I will be making an ‘Island’ of grass around the single stone.

A small space Zen garden that I have 75% completed at my home

I will post some more photos very soon and hope you check out the video’s! The reason the sand is not yet raked is because we have once again had so much rain that it is a solid mass and very wet!

Enjoy your day.

Russ