Simplicity and Elegance: Using Japanese Style in Your Garden

Designers of Japanese gardens are adept at selecting elements and planting carefully, and staging scenes to be viewed from specific vantage points. With these tips you, too, can invoke this serene, precise style.

Excerpted from Garden Design
  • Stepping Stones Meander Along Moss Carpet

    Tranquil Moss Garden

    The uneven and meandering stepping stones stand out against a soft emerald carpet of moss. Exquisite views are created to be admired along the way.

  • Eclectic Stone Pathway

    Gravel and Stones

    In this contemporary courtyard, carefully chosen rocks and stones form a sculptural route across gravel and moss. The vertical lines of the trees offer a balancing contrast.

  • Jewel Like Japanese Maples

    Reflections of Fall

    Japanese gardens are highly staged, with precisely positioned plants, intricate pathways, water features and views beyond the landscape. Here, Japanese maples shade the banks of a pool. Stepping stones offer access across the still water.

  • Contorted Specimen Pine Provides Focal Point

    Miniature Landscape

    Sculptural courtyard gardens focus on a few carefully selected stones or trees. A traditional arrangement of interior, veranda and garden presents a staged sequence of space. Here a contorted specimen pine provides a magnificent focal point.

  • Modern Steel Deck

    Geometric Space

    This modern design uses horizontal and vertical steel panels to form a transparent deck and unified boundary, through which the stems and foliage of plants emerge. Curving stone steps provide an enticing route through the garden. Subtle layered planting follows the rhythm.

  • Rocky Waterfall

    Falling Water

    The placement of vertical and horizontal rocks is key to the success of waterfalls and dry gravel systems alike. This three-step cascade produces a calming water sound. Balance is an important attribute of the Japanese garden, emphasized here by this delicate sculpture of flat stones, and echoed by the low hedges and ground cover beyond.

Excerpted from Garden Design

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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