Japanese Garden

Discussion in 'Garden Design and Plant Suggestions' started by greenboy, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. greenboy

    greenboy Active Member

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    Location:
    Hazelton PA, USA
    I want to make my garden more Japanese, and I pretty good Idea how to do it, the problem is I don't know the names of the plants commonly use in Japanese gardens, I wonder if someone out there have a list of Japanese or web site where I can purchase plants to "Japanise" my garden. thanks, GB
     
  2. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer Contributor 10 Years

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    Location:
    PERTHSHIRE. SCOTLAND.UK
    Most, if not all will probably have an Acer. Common name Maple.

    Japanese gardens are not just about plants. Water,stones and gravel etc all have deep meaning, which contribe to the peace and tranquility.

    The attention to ever detail is the key. Many have immaculately raked gravel in a swirl pattern. See 3rd link.

    Have you visited a Japanese garden? Butchart gardens have one. Take pics of the plants you like, post them in id forum and someone will tell you what they are.

    http://images.google.com/images?hl=...&q=japanese gardens&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/chelsea/show_gardens/echo.shtml

    http://www.gazebo-victoria.com/cms_images/Butchart-Gardens-Japanese-Garden-01.jpg
     
  3. greenboy

    greenboy Active Member

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    Years ago I took a BIology class in college with a Japanese professor, he made the class as difficult as calculus, but I learned something with him,he told me a "perfect Japanese garden is never finish, it should be a small space and you should work a little every day for the rest of your life", The only problem I have with JG. is every thing have a significance or related to the Shinto Religion. Enjoy the video below.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90CyQRI6JXQ
     
  4. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    Boise, Idaho USA
    Hey Silver Surfer, love the photo links, they are great!
    Welcome, Green Boy! Japanese Gardens are great! Now I'm going to check out your utube link.
     
  5. ScottWales

    ScottWales Member

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    A few plants I've often seen in Japanese gardens (and planted myself), apart from the obvious acers, are Katsura (Cercidyphyllum japonica), Ophiopogon spp. (the black cultivars are especially striking) and the various Japanese dogwoods (Cornus kousa + vars).

    Perhaps more important is the use of stones and gravels in the garden. Large stones are often used to illustrate a mythical story or some archetypal image. Sounds weird, but I'd recommend getting some big rocks together and trying to instinctively "pose" them into a setting with a strong pry-bar. Good exercise and you might be strangely pleased with what you come up with.

    My partner bought me a book called "Serene Gardens" last christmas and it's now a firm favourite. It's an excellent Japanese garden primer with a slightly contemporary bias.

    best of luck

    Scott
     
  6. greenboy

    greenboy Active Member

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    I know what you mean when yuo mean, the japanese culture is changing and this is affecting the gardening too. Also now everything is very graphic, yesterday I was in State College, and I went to a coffee shop and I found a book about bonsais from 1966 and let me tell you was so different to our bonsais books today. Yeap I know what you mean.
     
  7. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Maine coast, USA, zone 5
    Thanks for the video link!

    I think you've got the right idea, to "Japanise" your garden -- that is, to bring a Japanese feeling to your existing garden -- without trying to make the whole thing strictly Japanese. It's an ancient and complicated gardening tradition, but you can certainly bring a Japanese touch to a Western garden by following the suggestions made by Silver Surfer and ScottWales. Or just by training your eye to appreciate such Japanese concepts as "occult balance" or asymmetry, and using the basic forms of plants, stones, water, moss, dwarf shrubs, bamboo, and other elements to create a serene and pleasing composition.

    I've got a very nice and mostly accidental "Japanese" combination in a corner of my back yard, centered around a wooden sculpture carved by a friend of mine out of leftover teak from a boatbuilding project. The carving sort of looks like a tiki god, which of course is Polynesian rather than Japanese, and it stands on some 4x4 cedar posts, laid sideways, which were scrap wood from building a deck. On one side is a medium-sized bamboo, Phyllostachys bissetti, and on the other side is a yellow-and-green variegated dogwood, Cornus kousa. In the background (and still very small) is a Japanese maple, Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium,' which has unusual large filigreed leaves rather than the typical fan-shaped leaf form of A. palmata. In the foreground is a dwarf cedar and a ground cover of some tiny-leaved ivy.

    There are no flowers in sight, except for the white spring bracts of the dogwood and, in due course, the very subtle flowers of the maple. But it looks good all year, in part because of the evergreen elements and also the strong presence of the sculpture, which looks especially cool standing out in the snow. It's also cool right now with brightly colored leaves from tall mature red maples lying around. Strictly speaking there is nothing truly Japanese about this, but it somehow feels that way.
     
  8. 2annbrow

    2annbrow Active Member

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    Location:
    North Bend OR US;Oregon coast, just N of Coos Bay
    One typical trait of "Japanese gardening" is to utilize whatever plant material grows well in your area. It's like chefs use whatever is fresh & in season. Hardscape, water, and sound are also important. Even the tiniest space can support a little "streamlet" now - try putting as natural-looking a fountain as you can find inside a bigger bowl of rocks. And the principle of "heaven, earth, man" is often used: eye-catching items arranged at three heights. For instance, a taller evergreen, a broad-leaved evergreen shrub, and a large flat rock in front of all three. Japanese landscaping in confined spaces often uses the principle of "borrowed landscape" too - my neighbor has a huge maple which I have "framed" between my own evergreens. I lived in Japan as a teen, and really enjoy the "klonk" of a bamboo windchime; it sounds much like the "deer-scarer" water dripper sometimes used for ceremonial handwashing next to a teahouse.
     

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