post-title How to design a Japanese garden 2016-07-14 15:09:00 yes no Posted by Categories: Family

How to design a Japanese garden

Posted by Categories: Family

Gardens play an essential role in Japanese culture – not only are they a place of relaxation, but also an oasis that encourages meditation and deep connections to cultural and spiritual symbols. Many people would like to achieve an authentic Japanese feel whilst designing their gardens, but the fact is that only a few succeed, usually because Japanese design traditions are different from Western ones and are not fully understood. And while stylish Asian garden furniture items can easily be found online, on sites such as, incorporating them successfully requires a bit of research.

Understand Japanese symbols


Before you buy anything, do some research to find what exactly constitutes Japanese outdoor décor, because many of the items that people associate with Japan are actually Asian or Chinese. For example, those red bridges with intricate ornaments actually pertain to Chinese culture, so unless you want a cultural mix based on stereotypes, you should take the time to read a few Japanese décor and gardening books.


Keep it simple


The main purpose of a Japanese garden is to become a Zen space suitable for reflection. Its beauty should come from simplicity, not flamboyant and flashy elements. Most of the time, you only need two or three types of plants and flowers should only be used sparingly. Focus on basic, simple lines, let moss develop naturally and don’t incorporate more than one focus element. For more privacy, add a bamboo fence.


Use stone lanterns


Once you have decided on the types of plants you want to add in your Japanese garden, it’s time to choose a few decorations. Again, in the spirit of Japanese culture, they have to be subtle and not overshadow the beauty of natural elements. Stone lanterns are the perfect choice, but you should use them with measure: place either one larger lantern as a centrepiece or several smaller ones.


Make a small pond


Last, but not least, you should try to incorporate a small pond into your Japanese garden. It’s low maintenance, inspires reflection and creates the perfect ambiance where you can relax after a hard day. If you want to add more details, you can consider small décor items such as small stone boats that float on the surface or bamboo fountains placed on the side. Make sure you also place some rocks around the pond and let moss develop naturally there. Some homeowners also go the extra mile and add koi fish into the pond, but this makes the garden higher maintenance, so don’t try this unless you have the time and resources.