Making a Japanese garden is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things that you can do. Some people love the challenge of doing it themselves others prefer the advice and design of professionals. There is an alternative that I will come onto in a while.
SO , here are 10 things to DO when making a Japanese garden:
1) Study your subject – read books, search online ( my Japanese gardens websites are FULL of inspiring and interesting information for you). Ask experts, become very familiar with what you want to achieve in your garden or yard.
2) Find an area for your garden and MAP it out. Use pencil sketches of either the design or the layout and a good idea is to try and do it to scale. I use 1 inch ( 1.5cm) to one feet of garden. It works and makes things easy to plan and place in your mind and on paper.
3) Pick a theme – are you keen on a Zen garden, or a garden that you can sit in and stroll around? Do you want to build a ‘hillside garden’ or a ‘Tea’ garden? Be clear on what style you want. Focus.
4) Do you want a water feature – ponds are great but have to be built correctly. Plus once done you will need to leave the water to settle for a couple of weeks and check the waters ‘PH’ rating before adding plants and fish. A good pump is a must too. Try not to put a pond in too shady and area and under trees ( think of the leave in autumn and your poor pump!).
5) Decide on the types of plants that you would like to put into your garden and place them on your drawing in the spots that you feel they will look best in.
6) What about the elements that are involved when making a Japanese garden? Stone or Suseiki , Rocks, Trees, water, pathways, plant alignments.
7) Plants – decide on varieties – Maples, Azeleas, bamboo, cherry blossom, camelia’s, moss, Iris ( my manual will detail everything you need to know on this subject CLICK HERE for more details).
8) Bear the ‘seasons’ in mind – when you plan your garden imagine how they will look in the changing seasons in relation to their placement in your garden.
9) Landscape correctly to make the planting of plants and trees much easier. Lay them out in your garden in their pots and then once you are used to how they look, sink the pots into larger holes and see how they appear again before finally planting them. This gives you ample opportunity to see how they look in your garden and you can move them easily.
10) Seriously conside stonework. It really does look stunning – Pagoda’s, lanterns, stepping stones, water basins, gravel ( for paths and plant surround) , Bamboo fencing, Screening etc.
Making a Japanese garden will be so much fun – you use your artistic skill, knowledge and instinct to create that perfect outdoor space.
If you think that you are limited for time then a shortcut is to get instant designs to copy or modify along with all the knowledge that you will need from an award winning Japanese garden designer. Her name is Alison Rosenbrock and she has a short video for you to watch. Just Click HERE to get started.
As ever, I hope this information is helpful and makes you want to get started! Any questions please email me and if I can help I will!