Japanese gardens evoke the feeling of peace and tranquillity. These gardens are not only beautiful, but they are practical too as a visit to the Kew Botanical gardens shows. Professor Fukuhara of Osaka University designed this garden in 1996 based around the ‘Gateway of the Imperial Messenger’ or  ‘Chokushi-Mon’, which was a gift to Kew Botanical Gardens after it was displayed at the London  Japan-British Exhibition of 1910.

Chokushi-Mon. Kew Botanical Gardens

Chokushi-Mon. Kew Botanical Gardens. The ‘Gateway of the Imperial Messenger’ or  ‘Chokushi-Mon’ was a gift to Kew Botanical Gardens after it was displayed at the London  Japan-British Exhibition of 1910. In the foreground is a Platycodon grandiflorus or Chinese Balloon flower, an herbaceous perennial with blue bell shaped flowers in clusters . The plant gets its name from the swollen buds which resemble balloons.

Often the word Zen is associated with Japanese gardens. Zen is a school of east asian buddhism. In modern times, Zen has been identified especially with the secular arts of medieval Japan. These include the tea ceremony, ink painting, and gardening.

The 17 tonnes of aggregate or Zen gravel is raked weekly to maintain its patterns. Japanese gardens usually use a light colour of granite aggregate.

The 17 tonnes of aggregate or Zen gravel is raked weekly to maintain these patterns. Japanese gardens usually use a light coloured high quality granite aggregate.

 

Much of the zen doctrine is based on meditation, 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 symbolize the natural elements.

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.

Japanese Garden Design. Wavy Pattern aggregate 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. . Larger gardens sometimes incorporate an arched bridge as a design feature.

Holland Park Kyoto Garden

Japanese gardens often feature simple and natural paving materials including natural rock, natural slate paving, exposed aggregate, gravel or stones. Straight lines and edges such as footpaths and decking can be softened with ground covers. Japanese garden decor is often incorporated into the garden. These include Koi ponds, stone lanterns, bamboo water spouts, rain chains, waterfalls and stone basins. Many of these Japanese garden design features can be seen at the Holland Park Kyoto Japanese garden in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

The Kyoto Japanese garden was a present from the city of Kyoto to commemorate the friendship between Great Britain and Japan. This is a very tranquil garden with stone lanterns as design focal points, multi tiered waterfalls, Japanese Maple trees (Acer palmatum) In Autumn the colours of these trees are stunning.

 

Stone Lantern, Pond and Acer. Kyoto garden

Stone Lantern, Pond and Acer. Kyoto garden

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 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.

 

 

The use of contrasting coloured foliage is often a feature of Japanese Garden Design.

The use of contrasting coloured foliage is often a feature of Japanese Garden Design.

 

Tranquil Garden Pond

A Tranquil Garden Pond with vertical stones. In the background an elevated landform with light coloured flowers and small trees.

The origin of the Japanese garden design style is founded in the admiration and respect for all natural forms such as rocks and trees. The design  style of the Kyoto garden is one of the typical traditional design styles know as the “tour garden” style.  It is not just the original design which makes this garden Japanese, in the garden maintenance plan the trees are trimmed in harmony with their original natural shape.

A mossy stone wall with borders and blue flowers.

A mossy stone wall with borders and blue flowers.

 

Stone water feature in the style of a Ryoan Ji temple with rounded river pebbles a stone lantern. Fantastic use of foliage colours with white flowers.

Stone water feature in the style of a Ryoan Ji temple with rounded river pebbles a stone lantern. Fantastic use of foliage colours with white flowers.

 

A 3 tiered stone waterfall descends into a garden pond of Koi fish.

A 3 tiered stone waterfall descends into a garden pond of Koi fish.

 

The feature garden waterfall looks great from every angle.

The feature garden waterfall looks great from every angle.

 

Koi fish swim around a stone lantern on a stone in a tranquil garden Pond. Water features are a often a big part of Japanese garden design.

Koi fish swim around a stone lantern on a stone in a tranquil garden Pond. Water features are a often a big part of Japanese garden design.

 

Pink Magnolias are a great choice for Japanese gardens.

Pink Magnolias are a great choice for Japanese gardens. Also take a look at Kobushi Magnolia when designing your garden.

 

Naturalistic rock pavers with the garden pond shore paved with large round river rocks.

Naturalistic rock pavers with the garden pond shore paved with large round river rocks.

 

More information on Garden Design from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

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Contact us for Japanese garden design Melbourne

 

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More Information on Japanese gardens

Kew Botanical Gardens

Holland Park