Japanese Gardening

Japanese gardens are a unique integration of elements to create beauty.

Characteristics of Japanese Gardens

In addition to trees and shrubs, Japanese gardening makes artistic use of rocks, sand, artificial hills, ponds, and flowing water. In contrast to the geometrically arranged trees and rocks of a Western-style garden, the Japanese garden traditionally creates a scenic composition that, as artlessly as possible, mimics nature.

Japanese gardens have 3 basic principles

Japanese gardening designers follow 3 basic principles when composing scenes. They are reduced scale, symbolization, and “borrowed views.”

  • The first refers to the miniaturization of the natural views of mountains and rivers so as to reunite them in the confined area of the Japanese garden. This could mean the creation of idealized scenes of a mountain village, even within a city, using rocks, shrubs and constructed “mini” hills.
  • Secondly Japanese gardening use symbolization. This symbolism involves the use of one object to represent another, an example being the use of white sand to suggest the sea.
  • Japanese gardening designers “borrow views” when they use background views that are outside and beyond the garden, such as a mountain or the ocean, and use plants and accessories to recreate them as an integral part of the scenic composition.

There are 2 general types of Japanese Gardens

  • Japanese gardens can be classified into 2 general types: the tsukiyama (hill garden), which is composed of hills and ponds, and the hiraniwa (flat garden), a flat area without hills and ponds.
  • The traditional Japanese garden has long been appreciated in the West for its unique and delicate expression. With a little creativity and planning you can create your very own Japanese inspired garden in your own backyard!