Monday, 13th July 2020
GARDEN Article
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This Month's Magazine
The world of the Japanese garden

The world of the Japanese garden

Love Japanese gardens but have a Mediterranean style house?

Do not despair - with the use of bamboo screens and oriental styled lattice you can make an opening for the creation of a Japanese garden.
There is a growing trend in Spain towards timber construction houses and this teams up beautifully with Japanese style gardens. A Japanese area can be created in a garden as a special feature, it affords a space of peace, tranquillity and a place to relax and feel at one with nature.
The art of Japanese garden makers consists in using the natural elements represented by water, stone and plants in an intuitive, subtle style, learned through the study of beautiful examples over many centuries, they have made landscape gardening a great art by observing and imitating the beauty of nature. The Japanese have an exquisite sense of proportion and balance, placing trees and shrubs as focal points that give vital strength and meaning to a landscape. Further more, they use ornaments and accessories as accents in the garden. They know how to make use of space as a forceful part of design balancing an empty piece of ground with a well planted area.

This is an important aspect of a Japanese garden. The ideal is in the form of a pond, sometimes coming right up to the veranda or the over hanging deck of a modern house. Water may be placed in a hollowed out boulder or in a traditional stone water basin that may reflect moonlight or sunshine. If the water is in the form of a large pond, a small island is a perfect feature, connected to the shore by either a curved bridge or a stone slab or even a series of stepping stones.
Stepping stones across the water give a dynamic impact when they follow a balanced flowing line. Large rocks should be placed along the edge of the pond, some placed higher and some lower with some showing beneath the surface of the water. Pebbles can be used on one side of the pond; these can be spread around artistically, flowing into the pond to give a natural effect.


If it is impractical to have water in the garden, one should use the dry river bed method, filled with pebbles or sand and banked with rocks and suitable plants.
The width of the stream should be varied to create interest. Japanese yew, azaleas, grasses and moss should be used extensively. 
Evergreen plants of all kinds are valued in Japanese gardens because they give the garden a permanent structure that is always peaceful and pleasing. 
Deciduous trees and shrubs are also prominent for their beauty and flowers or foliage, with flowering cherries highlighting the spring and colourful maples becoming spectacular both in autumn and spring. They are often planted near ponds because they cast dappled shadows over the water.
The great thing that makes a Japanese garden different from the average garden is the western world is that it has atmosphere. Imagination is an essential requisite of the gardener in Japan and his aim is to stimulate the imagination of the visitor. Quite a challenge! Why not have ago?

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