It is easy to recognize the Japanese garden style and many people are attracted to the atmosphere of calm that this style evokes. While an outsider will not have the knowledge and skill to create an authentic Japanese garden, there are certain elements that can be used to create some of that special ambience. This article by Lauren Dunec Hoang which comes from the Houzz website explains some of these design principles.
Many people are drawn to the minimalistic beauty and unmistakable feeling of calm in Japanese gardens. Drawing from centuries of tradition, a stunning natural landscape and a culture rich in ceremony, authentic Japanese gardens can be very difficult to re-create outside of the culture. Instead, look for inspiration from the design principles of balance and restraint and from some of the traditional elements of Japanese gardens.Softscape
Much as a Japanese brush painting captures the essence of a landscape scene in a few brushstrokes, Japanese gardens emulate the natural world in a stylized way. Inspiration for plant choices, color and form comes from the country?s native forests, lush streambeds and towering mountains. Dark stones, bright and deep greens, and earthy browns and sandy tones are the most common colors, but many gardens also have one or two accents of red or other vivid hues. Further imitating the natural landscape, traditional Japanese gardens often include a subtle change in topography, such as mounds to symbolize hills, or depressions for valleys.Hardscape
Most Japanese gardens make use of naturalistic building materials like large steppingstones, bamboo, hardwoods, gravel and sand. Contemporary landscapes may combine the traditional materials with more modern ones like concrete and concrete aggregate.
Pathways, courtyards, planting beds and other garden elements are laid out to promote balance in the landscape. Unlike classical European gardens that favor symmetry, Japanese gardens often achieve balance through asymmetry. For example, if a large boulder is placed on one side of a pathway, a tree is often placed on the other to promote balance of form.Garden Elements
Teahouses. Traditionally, a Japanese teahouse surrounded by a naturalistic garden is a sacred space for conducting a tea ceremony. Although the ceremony itself may not be a part of your tradition, most of us can relate to the appeal of an outdoor room designated for peace, calm and reflection.