Japanese Garden Design. Zen and the art of Garden Maintenance.

Japanese Garden Design
The design of the Japanese garden evokes the feeling of peace and tranquillity. These gardens are not only beautiful, but they are practical too. The gravel allows rain to seep into soil and nearby plant roots thereby saving you water.To get the full impact of the colour contrast of the Japanese Garden, you probably need to be in or around Mount Tamborine, but there are still some aspects of Japanese Garden design we can enjoy in the warm climate of the Gold Coast. Japanese garden design made a strong influence on landscape design and landscape architecture in the early 1900s in California, so there is no reason why it would not work in South East Queensland.

A Chokushi-Mon or Gateway
A Chokushi-Mon or Gateway. Built in 1910, this one in the RHS Kew gardens is based on the Gate of Nishi Hongan-ji in Kyoto, Japan.

 
Often the word Zen is associated with Japanese gardens. Zen is a school of east asian buddhism. In modern times, Zen has been identified more with the secular arts of medieval Japan. These include the tea ceremony, ink painting, and gardening.
Raked Pattern Gravel with Rhododendron ‘Mothers’ Day’ and he Japanese anemone (Anemone x hybrida).
Raked Pattern Gravel with Rhododendron ‘Mothers’ Day’ and the Japanese anemone (Anemone x hybrida).

 
Much of the zen doctrine is based on mediatation, so is not surprising that traditional Japanese gardens are designed for peaceful contemplation. Whilst the primary focus of an Oriental garden is nature, there are elements of a Japanese garden that also symbolize the natural elements.An example of this is the stone lamp and other items of Japanese Garden decor.
Japanese Garden Design with Racked Pattern Gravel with rocks, grasses and low shrubs
Japanese Garden Design Pattern Gravel with rocks, grasses and low shrubs. Designed by Professor Fukuhara of Osaka University using adapted garden styles from the Momayama period.

 
Ornaments, plants, rocks stones and water are the main elements used in Japanese Garden Design. The elements are often arranged asymmetrically in an enclosed space. Rocks are placed in groups or individually to highlight their colour, form and texture. Nearby shrubs create contrast in both colour and texture with the rocks. Simple and natural paving materials including natural slate paving, exposed aggregate, gravel or stones. Straight lines and edges such as footpaths and decking can be softened with ground covers and low shrubs. Japanese garden decor is often incorporated into the garden. These include Koi ponds, stone lanterns, bamboo water spouts, rain chains, waterfalls and stone basins. Larger gardens sometimes incorporate an arched bridge as a design feature.
Japanese Garden Design Zen Path
Curvilinear Japanese garden design in this natural stone zen path with gravel and a stone lantern.

In cooler climates, plant selection will often include cherry trees and maples which put on a fantastic display of colour in the Autumn. The one aspect most often associated with Japanese gardens in the sub-tropics however, is the pattern gravel. These are raked stones, sand or gravel in wave patterns. Compared to a lawn, these beautiful spaces will save on water and maintenance. Flowers and Australian native plants, especially ground covers, can also be incorporated into the design. In this way, you can create a Japanese Australian design fusion.
Japanese Garden with raked Checkerboard pattern gravel.
Japanese Garden with raked Checkerboard pattern gravel.

 
 A serene pond full of beautiful koi carp is part of the Japanese Garden in Holland Park in London. Featuring stone lanterns, Japanese maple trees and the odd peacock.
A serene pond full of beautiful koi carp is part of the Japanese Garden in Holland Park in London. Featuring stone lanterns, Japanese maple trees and the odd peacock.

Colourful contrasting foliage is an essential part of Japanese Garden Design. Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) are small, deciduous trees grown for their graceful habit, autumn colour and beautiful foliage.
Colourful contrasting foliage is an essential part of Japanese Garden Design. Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) are small, deciduous trees grown for their graceful habit, autumn colour and beautiful foliage.

The Japanese Maple or mountain maple (Acer palmatum) is a small deciduous tree indigenous to forested areas in Japan, Korea and China and as far south as Taiwan. The species can grow to 9m over a period of fifty years. Most cultivars will stay small making them ideal for your small garden. Colours like this also help to bring out the best in all of your plants.
Japanese maples grow well with well drained sandy loam soils that are slightly acidic. As with most plants, some organic matter will help. Avoid planting them in alkaline soils or in soggy or dry conditions.
Bamboo and Stone water feature. Kyoto garden Holland Park.
Bamboo and Stone water feature. Kyoto garden Holland Park.

 
Tranquil tiered waterfalls adjoining the Koi filled Pond. Kyoto Garden Holland Park.
Tranquil tiered waterfalls adjoining the Koi filled garden Pond. Kyoto Garden Holland Park.

For more information on our garden design services go to https://redslandscaping.com.au/design/
For more of our gardening blogs go to https://redslandscaping.com.au/blog/

Click here to take a look at our own Gold Coast landscape construction and garden maintenance projects.

For information on the Mount Tamborine Japanese garden to http://tmbotanicgardens.org.au/japanese-garden/
 

© Copyright 2018 Red’s Landscape Gardening – Landscaping Gold Coast professionally