Starting new Japanese Garden - HELP!!

Discussion in 'Japanese Gardens' started by cocobolo, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    This is looking at the zen gate from inside the first section of the garden. The small footbridge at right was put in years ago long before the Japanese garden was designed.
     

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  2. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    Inside the second section of garden. The bridge is a miniature version of one in a well known Japanese garden in Kanagawa prefecture. I think I have that spelled right.
     

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  3. Coastal

    Coastal Active Member

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    Wow! Your structures are really setting the tone! I think i need to break out the skill saw and some nails! The backdrop of your property is just awesome....you should have a pretty authentic JG when youre done.
     
  4. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    Hi Coastal:
    Well, that's very kind of you to say so.
    The bulk of the island is essentially untouched land. I understand that there may have been a logging operation here in the distant past, perhaps somewhere between 60 and 100+ years ago. The evidence is several extremely old stumps. Unfortunately, this has bred the root rot disease with the firs, and there are now substantial areas in which the firs have all died.
    Immediately around us there is an area to the south which has a slough that dries up in the summertime. This is no man's land. The three close neighbours all have fir, cedar and arbutus trees in
    abundance. The firs are frequently well in excess of 100' tall.
    In the first section of the J.G. I took out three firs, the tallest of which was about 125'. Almost all the taller cedars, say 90' plus, are dying as well. We really do not know why.
    This next shot is looking about north. You can see the second screen. I am trying to put in a series of windbreaks to reduce the strength of the north/northwesters in the wintertime.
     

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  5. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    This is the north half of the second section of the garden. You can see that the screen is quite porous, but nevertheless it does a pretty fair job of cutting the wind substantially.
    The two sections with the round holes in the middle were originally from a screen which was right at the head of the bay. Our neighbour had a 90' tall fir which came down in a storm and took the screen out. Now it is much happier in the Japanese garden.
     

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  6. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    Right in front of the screen to the left is an Osakasuki J.M. just going red. The bamboo to the left is psuedosasa Japonica - arrow bamboo. Only been in the ground for a few weeks but seems to be doing well.
     

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  7. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    Looking through the gate in the second screen to the third part of the garden. A short stone path leads to a small bench just in front of the reed screen. The drain tile came from the re-cycler at Coombs.
     

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  8. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    Once again from Coombs, this time the goat store, picked up a roll of reed screen and made this windbreak from it. I doubt it will last very long, but maybe with the strong frame and roof overhead, it might survive 2 or 3 years. I hope to get a couple of taller bamboos in front of this screen, to actually help protect it.
     

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  9. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    Location:
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    Right in front of this screen above is where the pond starts, well, about 6 feet away.
    That is the space I will get some larger bamboos in. I did get some phyllostachys from Doug at the Bamboo Ranch on Saltspring last month. Much more stuff in the planning stages, but wife #2 seems to think getting the house built is more important. Another random pic attached.
     

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  10. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member

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    Location:
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    This is a wonderful shot, as are the others in another thread... hope you'll post even more. These structures are something we could only dream about... but I'll encourage our offspring to try something like this... except that a dry location in Cape Cod for one set of offspring is not conducive, but there are no doubt ways to create a Japanese theme there too...sand gardens and shaped scrub pines, etc. As a matter of fact, our Saanich townhouses complex "back land" [mainly open mowed grassy backed by tall conifers] condo lands which are fairly big for a condo complex would support some nice features like this... not likely to happen, but no harm in asking ... We do intend to sail up that way one day.
     
  11. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    Hi Janet:
    The only structure with even a hint of difficulty is the bridge. And even that was fairly straight forward. I do have the advantage of not having to buy wood for any of this stuff, which definitely helps. I have the machiai well underway now, the frame of 6 by 6's is up and the roof is on. I also hope to put another building at the north end of the pond area along the lines of a moon viewing hut. The only trouble is, in order to see the moon I would have to take out yet more trees. I think I will just have to see the moon from elsewhere, and we will use the hut to view the pond and maybe yet another bridge over it.
    Right behind the (future) hut, there will need to be a tall windbreak. This is the point that the wind reaches considerable velocity. Have neither the hut nor the windbreak designed yet. Likely next years projects.
    Attached picture shows the Japanese lantern which was my birthday present!
     

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  12. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    Another question for you all. Can anyone direct me to a photo of a covered bridge in a Japanese garden - the real thing I'm speaking of here. I have only been able to find two pictures on the web so I must not be doing something right. The kind of cover I am speaking of seems to be used on the curved bridges, and just covers a small portion of the centre of the bridge. One of the captions indicated that the cover was often used to escape from the rain when viewing the garden. The roof portion of the cover appears to be supported by four posts only, and the roofs are in the shape of a stubby cross. They are constructed in a very traditional style with all the bells and whistles. If I can find a decent enough photo, I think I might like to try to build one over my future pond.
     
  13. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    Here's the machiai so far. Now I have to do something with the open sides, as it will be used as a potting shed.
     

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  14. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    Wow, you garden is looking great! You have done a lot of work on it these past months. Are the wooden vertical rounds or edging come from redwood on your property?
    I like the idea of the clay pipes as well.

    Yes, I agree, you had better start building your wife a house. What is your zone?
     
  15. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    That's right, the wood rounds are from a couple of the smaller western red cedars which had to be removed.
    It is sort of the British Columbia equivalent of the California redwoods. Not the same, but similar. The clay drain tiles are too long right now, so I will cut them in half before the final installation.
    I think our zone is 8 something. I know I should look it up to get it right. But the fact is that we are almost always several degrees warmer than Nanaimo, which is on Vancouver Island only about 11 mies away as the crow flies. Our little island is so small that it is the temperature of the ocean which has a far more moderating effect on our climate than does the land mass.
    The house is progressing!
     
  16. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    Here is a link for a covered bridge
    http://www.waytovietnam.com/Japanese-Covered-Bridge-Hoian.asp
    http://virtualdoug.typepad.com/virtualdoug/2006/06/thanh_ton_bridg.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covered_bridge
    http://www.china.org.cn/english/TR-e/35675.htm

    I found some covered bridges after putting in a search. Some are pretty cool, but probably too big for your pond.

    The link to wikipedia.org has many references to covered bridges and links to where they are in the world, how many are in an area, and shows some of the bridges trusses, etc. Very interesting.
     
  17. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    Wow! You have been busy today! Thanks so much for the links, I appreciate that most sincerely. Thank you again.
     
  18. cocobolo

    cocobolo Active Member

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    Sorry about the long delay between posts. It has been a combination of terrible weather and health related issues.
    I was out in the JG over the past few days getting things a bit tidied up. I realise the temperatures have been really cool this spring, but I was surprised not to find any bamboo shoots up yet in the garden. There is a single shoot just up in one of the big pots, and that's all. Does everyone else here on the west coast of B.C. have the same experience?
     

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  19. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member

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    Great to hear from you again. I am sure we would all like to see some more photos of your installations, if and when available. Sorry to hear about the health issues, hope that you and yours are back on track. My interest in Japanese gardens is still strong, but mine keeps drifting in the direction of "English cottage garden" [i.e. messy, or too many different items which I can't resist]. Here's a photo outside my townhouse front door to spur you and others on -- one can't see the messy bits from the doorway outwards [various shrubs and perennials, below the viewplane...]
     

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  20. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Phyllostachys are just beginning to shoot now around here. P. arcana, aureosulcata, bambusoides 'shuzhou', vivax 'aureocalis' are 4-6" high, p. nigra 'punctata', glauca 'yunzhu', spectabilis, rubromarginata have shoot tips showing at soil level. Other genus/species are yet to shoot. Point here being: type and location will affect the timing of shoots, but the imminent spell of warm weather this week should bring most of them along.
    +
     
  21. Coastal

    Coastal Active Member

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    My spectabilis has about 40 shoots right now....its still small too, only about 3' diameter clump. Bashania has quite a few that are about 5' tall already.
     
  22. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    Janet, that is a beautiful photo! I'm the same way, I'm inclined to many different plants that my gardens, can't all be Japanese style. A mix with Victorian and cottage as well, and yet there as to be some type of water feature in them with mossy rocks ferns, Japanese Maples, hostas, hardy geraniums, coral bells etc. So I guess the word for it would be an American garden, since the U.S. is a melting pot of all types of people and their native gardens.
     
  23. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member

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    Loved that, Karalyn! One could call it "Japanese fusion gardening" or "fusion", perhaps! Like cooking, a mixture of the classic in one style, with newer or local ingredients. I am finding that the shade portions are a challenge, as it is hard to find things the deer around here won't eat, they seem to like hostas, and even nip off new rising astilbe tips leaving the later mature plants thank heavens. But they don't like sweet woodruff, that is my understory on a side area, along with astilbe, the new shoots have to be anti-deer sprayed and sprinkled...
     
  24. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    Oh, Janet, that is awful. Especially having hostas be destroyed. Do they like Solomon's Seal. The I have in my memory garden is the Variegated Crinkled leaf one. I really love it. Do the deer like Coral Bells or hardy geraniums? You live in a beautiful place, at least I think so from visiting Victoria some years ago, actually too long ago. I would like to go visit there again as I didn't see all of Victoria and the Buchart Gardens, we missed the light show as we didn't know there was one. My MIL asked my husband if we saw the lights? What lights?

    My brother and my husband's sister lives in Tacoma and surrounding areas. I will have to get a trip planned. Also, I would love to see the Oregon Garden, I think that is the name. It is real close to Portland.
     
  25. WillandLynn

    WillandLynn Member

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    Hiyas Janet,
    I live not too far north of you and I have become fascinated with Japanese Gardens and their different manefestations. Do me a favour and please get some pacific-northwestern variation on an Acer Palmatum http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acer_palmatum . I had enjoyed a Bloodgood variety Japanese maple for 2 years then saw a Lionsmane variety in Canadian Tire in Nanaimo, watched the delivery man from the nursery load it off the truck. Bought and sold, I have 4 varieties now and is a must have... the "waterfall" variety would work well in your water areas:) Japanese Gardens Rock! :) lol
     

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