Planning and Planting a Japanese Garden in Edmonton

Discussion in 'Japanese Gardens' started by Helen Scarth, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. Helen Scarth

    Helen Scarth Member

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    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    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!
     
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Esteemed Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Helen, I'm going to assume you are aware (but perhaps you are not?) of the Kurimoto Japanese Garden at the Devonian Botanic Garden southwest of Edmonton.

    The Devonian should have a list of its accessions in the Japanese garden. I'm not certain of its policy on sharing that information, but it would be well worth your time to contact them as a start.

    Regarding maintenance, I'll have to leave that to those with horticultural expertise, though I suspect you'd generally be looking at dwarf conifers.
     
  3. Dee M.

    Dee M. Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Western Washington
    One think I've heard is that Americans tend to over plant and over complicate a Japanese garden and that we aren't severe enough in our pruning. One plant suggested as a cold hardy substitute for Japanese maple is 'Trost"s Weeping' Birch. I think some daylilies and iris would look good too. A water feature is a must, or at least a dry stream bed as a suggestion of water.
     
  4. terrestrial_man

    terrestrial_man Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    California, USA
    Here is a link that I think may be of pertinence as it is an
    outstanding Japanese style garden somewhere in Quebec (I suppose). This garden is still in the process of being created and was done entirely by the husband and wife team! It is in French but it is workable and they do know English so feel free to contact for additional info as needed.
    http://www.clovis-rdf.com/
     

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