I am assisting a client for whom I designed a house - in SW Edmonton, Terwillegar - to design a formal Japanese garden. I am not a landscape designer but am a fairly knowledgable amateur gardener while my client is a complete beginner. The planting area in the back yard is about 42 feet wide x 20 feet long and faces east. It is a 'blank canvas' - no trees or plants of any kind - but it is bordered by a fence and neighbours' houses are very close (within 5 feet). The soil is good quality, with some sand and clay, and is well drained. The location of the property is near the top of a rise. We will amend the planting areas as required prior to putting the garden in. Also, the very back part part of this area is terraced to a height of about 10 feet (quite steep!) There will be a small formal deck area and no lawn and we will be incorporating stones and sand in the design. (1) Does anyone have any recommendations on plants and trees that thrive in this climate which would work in the Japanese theme AND which would not require extensive upkeep as my client (although enthusiastic and conscientious) does not have a lot of patience and does not want to spend a lot of time with maintenance (2) tips on ammending soil for the plants recommended (3) GOOD outlets where plants can be purchased. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!