How to create a Japanese-style garden

How to create a Japanese-style garden

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An excellent rest in silence can be provided by a garden created in Japanese style. The fashion for oriental-style gardens has remained unchanged for many years. He always helps to achieve the desired peace. Ornamental grasses, flowering shrubs - lilac, mock orange, spirea, rhododendrons are appropriate here. On the shore, among the stones, there are ground cover and creeping forms of plants (ferns, conifers).

Such a garden is appropriate for rocky areas on the Karelian Isthmus, where there are so many stones. They are often accompanied by wet places created by underground springs, springs and streams. An open mirror of water among the stones on the site is a gift from nature. You are in luck, as a body of water always adorns any site. The banks of a reservoir or stream can be decorated with island beds, mostly simple or decorative.

But it is better to give preference to a few plants. Well-groomed and well-formed plants with lush growth and abundant flowering always delight gardeners. You can create beautiful designs from wild and cultivated plants. The judicious selection of plants that thrive in humid conditions will ensure consistent comfort. Plants such as Japanese spiraea (Litl princess) in the foreground, geraniums and various ferns thrive here.

Some distance from the coast, there are rhododendrons with beautiful splashes of their bouquets and elegant irises, Japanese maple, mahonia, marsh calla, marigold, bright red rosewood, arizema with luxurious leaves, lysimachia, monarda, hosts are irreplaceable. The correct selection, planting and placement of plants will ensure wonderful flowering from early spring to late autumn. For a lush planting company on the banks of a reservoir and a stream, you should prepare a soil of sand, clay and fertile land with a layer of at least 20-25 cm and provide an approach to plantings and water.

A comfortable path should be solid, flat stones, sand, or turf. I suggest using the scheme of a rocky island with a flowing babbling brook. Stone is an important element in the construction of this garden. In rocky areas, there is no need to bring it from the quarry. The stream flows among the stones. It is only necessary to carefully decorate the banks with them, clean the bottom of the stream, arrange small waterfalls on the path of the stream, which enhance the murmur of water.

On the banks of the stones, there is also an important role - they keep the soil from crumbling, play the role of mulch. Such a rocky garden looks not only due to the plants, but also thanks to the beautifully laid stones. Plants planted among the stones adapt to the harsh conditions. Planting pits with fertile soil are prepared in advance. Until the key plants grow, there will be a lot of free places.

Ground cover crops can be planted on them: saxifrage, gentian, rejuvenated, scilla, crocuses, styloid phlox, thyme, sedum and all kinds of mosses. In the center of the composition, you can install a vase with ampelous flowers, or place an armchair or bench, which will allow you to enjoy the peace and murmur of running water. An integral element of oriental design is the bridge over the stream.

Here are some of the plants that can help you create an oriental rocky garden.

1. Japanese Spirea Little Princess is a fast-growing shrub, unpretentious and blooms profusely with pink or red flowers in flat inflorescences.
- 2. Blood-red geranium forms lush compact bushes up to 50 cm high. Carmine-pink flowers appear in the middle of summer. Drought and frost-resistant plant.
- 3. Magonia is an evergreen shrub that blooms in spring with fragrant yellow flowers.
- 4. Japanese maple is a low tree with beautifully colored foliage.
- 5. Rooting euonymus. Evergreen shrub on a support. Very decorative. Frost resistant.
- 6. Rhododendron - an evergreen shrub with beautiful lilac-purple flowers, Katevbinsky variety.
- 7. Evergreen rhododendron - R. Smirnov's grade. The flowers are purple-pink. Winter-hardy.
- 8. Ledebour's rhododendron. Semi-evergreen. The flowers are purple-pink. Winter-hardy.
- 9. Female fern (kochedzhnik). Low grades create extremely beautiful almost spherical shapes or graceful feathery curtains.
- 10. Irises are moisture-loving (bristly, marsh, smooth) with violet-blue flowers with bright golden-yellow stripes. Frost resistant.
- 11. Kochedzhnik with light green graceful feathery leaves, collected in a spreading bunch up to 100 cm high. Shade-loving, hygrophilous. Winter-hardy without shelter.

Also read:
• Japanese garden in the genre of haiku
• Elements of a Japanese garden
• Three basic rules of the Japanese garden
• Japanese garden in the northern hemisphere

T. Barkhatova, florist


Depending on the characteristics of the site, it is possible to create a garden in flat and mountainous terrain.

Reanlsey's Garden - an example of a planar composition. For this design, you need sand, small stones and moss. On the sand, draw with a rake the transverse stripes-waves - they will symbolize the water area, the "dry pond". Spread out moss and stones randomly.

For hilly terrain, sand, pebbles and large structural stones are useful. Place the large elongated stone vertically - this is your mountain peak. Make the flat cobblestones the slopes of your hill.

Bridge in Japan it is a symbol of the life path, therefore it is made from valuable species of trees. For a harmonious combination, lay out a stone path to your bridge. You can also lay stones on both sides of the bridge or plant a flower bed. Sitting on the bridge with a cup of tea, you can think about the main values ​​of life.

Japanese-style garden design - principles of arrangement

How to start a Japanese garden? You can and should start building a garden by acquiring the necessary knowledge. The most important rule is to perfectly integrate the garden into the surrounding architecture and landscape. "Tradition" is another key word that defines a Japanese garden, so projects should be based on the norms of Taoist philosophy. This thought speaks of the unity of man with nature, and the garden should be nothing more than a tool to achieve it.

In this type of garden, we must find space for all the elements of the Japanese landscape, including mountains, rocks, valleys, ocean, numerous rivers and extremely lush vegetation. Some of these elements may understandably be purely symbolic.

In a Japanese garden, everything has a purpose and a justification. It is based on religious beliefs and centuries of observation. This makes it versatile and has won the favor of architects around the world.

Why Japanese-style gardens are universal - colors and symbols in a Japanese garden
Colors and symbols are the basis of a Japanese-style garden. We must create the most beautiful view in the garden from the so-called front. It is here that it is worth placing waterfalls, wells, decorative stones and elements of small architecture. All this can be arranged so that the landscape is covered by a picturesque green hill.

Because it is the hilly terrain (natural or artificial), together with vegetation, water and stones, that make up the elements inextricably linked with Japanese Eden.

This garden also demonstrates its versatility at a completely simple and practical level. We can successfully create it both in large areas and in small personal plots. A Japanese garden can also be designed as a greenhouse.

Style types: Karensansui Japanese Garden, Chaniwa, Tsukiyama and Kayu-shiki.
Tsukiyama is a garden of hills. It consists of small hills, stones imitating mountains, ponds and streams imitating seas and rivers. The winding paths between them can connect the viewpoints created on the hills.

Karesansui is also called Zentei, Sekitei or Zen Garden. These gardens present the landscape in a somewhat abstract way. It is dominated by stone, slag, moss, representing mountains, islands, boats, seas and rivers. "Dry garden" and "dry river" in the garden are inherent in Zen Buddhism and are a frequent place of meditation.

Chaniwa is a tea garden, so there should be a tea pavilion with paths leading to it, with special stone bowls for washing hands and stone lanterns.

There are many more interesting articles from our friends on the site -


A Japanese-style garden is always a clear arrangement of details and accents. Do not think that something can grow there by itself: the choice of plants for this space is deeply symbolic, and their location should create an overall picture that you can appreciate not only being in the garden itself, but also looking at it from afar.

As a rule, the elements of the garden are arranged according to the reception of visual distance: from the largest in the foreground to the smallest in the distance. Thus, even if you create a Japanese garden on a meter-long patch of land behind the house, you will still get smooth transitions and overall integrity of the picture.

As for the general color combination, the main color of the Japanese garden is green. Its shades can vary from dark emerald to light green, thus creating a feeling of constant dynamics and inaudible "conversation" in the garden.

When choosing plants, give preference to evergreen shrubs and do not forget about symbolism: for example, a pine tree means longevity, and a plum tree means spiritual beauty. What is preferable for you? Maybe maple is a symbol of wisdom and knowledge?

Nivaki-style trees in your garden

The atmosphere of a Japanese garden is soothing. It resembles a living organism - everything looks natural in it and every detail has its own meaning. Trees with a special crown shape and different trunk shapes are one of the key elements. They create a mood and immediately give rise to associations with Japan. This molding is called "Nivaki". It may take more than a dozen years to create it.

The word "Nivaki" consists of two hieroglyphs - "tree" and "garden". It is sometimes mistakenly called Bonsai, but this is not true. The word "Bonsai" means "tree on a tray," and Nivaki is always rooted in the soil.

We decided to understand the features of Nivaki and how to implement such an idea on a plot of 10 acres in the Moscow region.

What plants are suitable for Nivaki

Nivaks are formed from deciduous and coniferous plants. Moreover, the older the tree, the more it is valued. The advantage is on the side of conifers - they are planted in groups or one plant at a time. Hardwoods are too sensitive to pruning and therefore rarely used. Typical Japanese plants (Japanese maple and Japanese maple, Chinese juniper, cryptomeria, etc.) are not suitable for our climate, so the choice of plants is very limited.

From conifers for Nivaki in the Moscow region are suitable:

  • European larch
  • Weymouth Pine
  • Larch thin-flaked "Diana"
  • Mountain pine
  • Scots pine
  • Pine black
  • Thuja western
  • Norway spruce
  • Red cedar
  • Juniper pfitzeriana

Deciduous plants for Nivaki:

  • Bubble-leaf Vine-leaved
  • Rough elm
  • Willow "Globular dwarf"
  • Maple Tatarsky / Ginnala
  • Field maple
  • Hawthorn
  • Apple tree Sargent
  • Apple-tree hybrid "Rudolph"

Usually Nivaki in Russia is made from freestanding trees in the front area of ​​the site. If you follow the Japanese tradition, then the style of the entire garden should be different - there should be moss, stones, water. This can be hindered by the weather conditions of the Moscow region.

Nivaki Formation Styles

There are 8 basic Nivaki styles. Not everything can be used in the Moscow region and not on all trees - the age and characteristics of the tree itself play a role. The main feature - Nivaki is formed according to the "triangle" principle. Each subsequent tier of branches must be smaller than the previous one. Each branch is formed according to the same principle. All branches are horizontal and cannot be crossed.

Chokan. The peculiarity of this style is a straight single trunk, a triangular crown, the top of which is directed upwards. This option is easier to implement. This shape is well suited for pine, spruce, juniper, maple, plum, apple tree.

Kyoto form. Derived from the name of the city of Kyoto. Formed from the Cryptomeria tree - this is a purely Japanese tree. It does not grow in the climate of the Moscow region. In order to use the wood of this tree, it was cut off and shoots were rolled on the remaining stumps, from which the Nivaki was formed.

Kotobuki. The shape resembles the hieroglyph "happiness" (寿). The lower branches of the tree must necessarily cover the stone. Pine works well for this style.

Shakan. Tilted tree shape - A straight tree is formed at an angle to the ground so that it tilts over the water. Accordingly, they are planted closer to water bodies, taking into account the prevailing winds. Pine is also used to create this shape.

Moyogi. A tree with a winding trunk. The barrel should bend like a sinusoid and therefore this is a very difficult type of Nivaki to form. This is usually the centerpiece of a composition. Thuja is suitable for this style.

Kongay. A drooping tree with a downward trunk. Usually planted next to waterfalls. In this case, mountain pine is also well suited.

Small garden in Japanese style

Our reader from Dnepropetrovsk asks:

Hello! Do not tell about elements of creating a Japanese garden category of hiraniva ‘flat garden with the same relief’ on an area of ​​10x20 sq. m? I found the following elements of the "tea garden": tobiishi - a path of individual stone slabs. Along it are dim lanterns, then a tsukubai, and a bamboo fence designed to separate the roji (tea house) from the rest of the garden.
I would like to place a figurine of a crane (a symbol of longevity), but instead, my husband insists on a dry stream with a bridge. Could a dry stream be natural on a flat terrain? I suppose to plant a Manzhurian maple, a plum.

Landscape designer Victoria Roy answers:
The theme of creating a small kindergarten in Japanese style excites the minds of many of our fellow countrymen. I myself am not indifferent to their beauty and exquisite harmony. However, as with any design, there are many facets and ‘pitfalls’ here too.

On the one hand, in Japan itself there are many different styles, directions and philosophical interpretations of the garden as a whole, as well as its individual elements. And it is impossible to distinguish which one is the ‘correct’, the original, the more ancient. Gardens in Japan were also created by living people, on the one hand, they piously observed the traditions of the masters, on the other, they brought something of their own to each garden. Any garden is not a frozen stone sculpture, but a living developing organism. Contemporary Japanese masters do not deny the influence European garden styles plants imported from other regions are planted on their creations and even planted.

On the other hand, a European will never comprehend the full depth of the philosophy of the traditional japanese garden, ceremonies and symbols. And do we really need it? Since the time when European travelers began to visit the Land of the Rising Sun and bring home the beautiful products of Japanese craftsmen, many people have appeared who want to create something similar here with their own hands.

But in any case, it is a stylization, a rethinking adapted to our tastes and our mentality. And, importantly, to our climate, the style of our houses, the materials available, the range of plants that are sustainable in our zone, etc. It is not necessary to create a closed, separate, completely ‘Japanese’ garden. It can be out of harmony with the house, the style of the garden structures, the fence, even with people resting on the site. Better to take separate ones for yourself, liked items, the principles of placing stones, plants, decorative elements in the composition and bring all this to your garden.

By all the canons, I have not yet had to create a separate ‘Japanese garden’, but I use elements and principles in my work very often. For example, we made a cute winter japanese style garden, which is very popular with the hosts and their guests. I can say from my own experience that individual groups of stones with pebble or decorative gravel, paths from individual slabs, plants shaped like bonsai, as well as a 'dry stream' with a bridge in any garden natural style look wonderful. So I see no contradiction: on the bank of a man-made ‘brook’ a figurine of a crane may well be placed.

As for the assortment of plants that we associate with a Japanese-style garden, the list here can be quite extensive. First of all, these are, of course, maples and sakura trees.

Watch the video: How To Create A Japanese Zen Style Garden


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