Simple Style: The Subtle Appeal of Japanese Gardens

If you think less is more, a Japanese-style garden may be for you. Renowned for their calm and contemplative properties, Japanese gardens are actually a diverse lot unified by a couple of key characteristics.

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Visual Wonders of Japanese Gardens DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

The Japanese garden is often perceived in the West as a single garden style, when in fact there are many different approaches, some of which are based on tradition or have spiritual meaning. although the diversity of Japanese gardens' makes precise import challenging, you can easily interpret some of your favorite elements with just a little bit of knowledge of the style.

At their heart, most Japanese gardens share some key characteristics. Balanced asymmetry is favored over perfect symmetry, for example. Layouts achieve harmony through careful, contrasting placement of objects and plants of various sizes, forms and textures - rough with smooth, vertical with horizontal and hard with soft. Minimalism is key here; even the smallest garden area is left uncrowded, and the space between objects is considered essential to the overall design.

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Excerpted from Garden Design

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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