If you followed me through the A-Z blog challenge, you saw a few examples of Japanese gardens. If you'd like to create your own that you can enjoy every day, here's how to do it.
The basic principle of a Japanese garden is to create harmony. Everything has to balance. Keep this in mind when you design your garden. Things you will need are rocks, Japanese trees, a water feature (if you don't have a water feature, use raked sand or crushed white stones to represent water), stepping stones for pathways, decorations (like stone lanterns), furniture (like stone benches), and bridges.
1. Position rocks. Arrange them in groups of three. These represent heaven, earth, and mankind. (note: if you have a pond, the pond and rocks should be placed assymetrically)
2. Plant trees and make them look like they've grown in with the rocks. Trees should be grouped in odd numbers - 3s, 5s, and 7s. To balance your plants, plant tall plants next to bushy plants. Trees to consider are pines, junipers, Japanese maples, and cherry blossom trees. If you have a small space, bonsai trees work well. Other plants that work well are azaleas, iris, bamboo, lilies, and daisies.
3. Install a water feature. The Japanese word for gardener means, "he who makes beds out of streams." So water features are very important in a Japanese garden. If you are unable to use water, use raked sand, as shown in the picture, or gravel. These can represent streams and water features.
4. Create a pathway through your garden. Use gravel and stepping stones. Place a stone bench along the way, so you can stop and enjoy your garden.
5. Finally, complete your garden with decorations. Some you can use as focal points, others you can have partially hidden, to be something to discover as you walk through the garden.