The Elements of a Relaxing Japanese Landscape Design

Beyond simple lighting and rose gardens, many homeowners prefer to inject a particular style into their landscape design. And one of the most popular designs is the Asian-inspired Japanese garden. Japanese gardens are beautiful and can add a relaxing oasis to any home.

Homeowners who work long hours or deal with high stress situations need a place of solace. Imagine coming home from a chaotic day at work and sitting next to rolling ponds, tranquil water features and an overall peaceful atmosphere. The elements of a Japanese garden incorporate the materials found in nature and arrange them to enhance nature’s beauty. With a Japanese-inspired garden you will feel the relaxation nature provides while seeing your garden in its most natural form.

Whether you want to create a full-blown Japanese landscape design or simply add a few elements, any additions will help to create a more tranquil atmosphere.

Here are some elements of Japanese landscape design:

  • Water features – Water features are a major part of Japanese design. Fountains and Asian-themed water features will add a zen-like feel, and nod to mother nature by using natural elements in their best light.
  • Hills – Use soil or gravel to create small hills or mounds and surround them with foliage
  • Paths – Crate a path in between the mounds and take it around your entire garden. The paths can be defined by any element whether grass, soil or stones. The paths are meant to create walkways for your visitors and also lead to features in your garden.
  • Contemplation gardens– Contemplation gardens represent zen areas that act as places of refuge. People should feel a sense of peace and relaxation when they enter your zen area. Keep bold colors out of the mix and use serene, calming hues. Foliage should be minimal so weed pulling is not a factor. Whatever makes you feel calm while keeping the space easily maintained will create the perfect backdrop for your contemplation garden.
  • Rocks– Rocks are an integral component of Japanese garden design. They form the structure of the garden and keep the natural elements intact. Gear boulders and rocks into the ground so they stay in place and maintenance is minimal. Use smaller stones as elements to lead the eye to different areas and pebbles to line the bottom of your water features. Use stepping stones to form walkways and the path that leads to your contemplation garden. The characteristics of the rocks are also important. Smooth surfaces are generally not used on higher surfaces like hills and mounds and rougher stones would not be placed in streams. Smooth stones work perfectly in flowing streams or ponds and mimic the gentle waves of the water.

Your Japanese garden should be your oasis into a calm and inviting place. Remember to keep the foliage to a minimum and concentrate on using natural elements to create walkways, walls, hills and streams. Every time you use a man-made element you depart further away from the true ideals of the Japanese garden. Use your creativity and the beauty of the earth around you to give life to a relaxing oasis and a cherished element of your home’s landscape.