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