Japanese Landscaping

Japanese landscaping, like Japanese food, has been increasing in popularity in the last couple of decades, and more people are opting for Japanese gardens rather than the traditional Western posey-filled landscaping style. Although to incorporate principles of Japanese landscaping in a Western garden involves a sea change in the typical Westerner's concept of what mkes an ideal garden.

In general, Westerners treat nature as a kind of decoration. The main principle of Japanese landscaping is that a garden should be well-balanced in structures, foliage, water and rocks and should replicate nature. In a Japanese garden, you will not see creatures like garden gnomes or anything that does not exist in nature. According to Japanese landscaping, everything should be balanced, and a garden should be an enclosed sanctuary where one can relax and meditate. Typical kinds of Japanese gardens include the tea garden, the hill and pond garden, flat open space gardens and ponds and waterfalls.

An important part of mastering Japanese landscaping is learning how to grow and maintain bonsai trees, or "trees in a pot", which were originally developed by the Chinese, but which are seen in every Japanese garden. To create a bonsai tree, you need to plant a juniper or a maple tree and visualize your "scaffold branches" or the branches that will be the foundation of your bonsai tree. The other branches should be pruned constantly and repotted. Bonsai trees require a lot of care and maintenance, but are an essential part of Japanese landscaping.

Japanese landscaping also requires knowledge of which rocks are the best to use in a rock garden and how they should be arranged. Soft, porous rocks are superior to harder ones that ar less receptive to the growth of mosses and lichens which create a more natural rock garden. Plants used in Japanese landscaping are subtle and complement the rocks rather than competing with them. Ferns and begonias are good choices.

Koi ponds are a staple in Japanese landscaping, and they can be put together simply by using an inexpensive pond kit or they can be made out of stone. Koi, or Japanese carp, need constant care and attention, and any Japanese landscaping koi pond project will include filters and water testing kits to ensure that your koi will thrive in their environment.

Waterfalls are Japanese landscaping luxuries and should be attempted only when you have mastered the Japanese landscaping basics. However, a waterfall is a striking accent to your garden, and is bound to attract guests who want to relax and enjoy your natural sanctuary.