New Japanese inspired garden-suggestions

stevegaApril 25, 2006

I have recently moved into a new house and have several areas for gardens. There are some large rocks in one area so I have begun to create a Japanese style garden in that area (a triangle 40'X30'). It is largely in the sun.

So far I have a rock for sitting, an elevated serpentine flowering cherry, 2 mugo pines, a Jane Kluis pine, some ilex crenata for mounding, repens junipers and some small sedum for color. I would very much like suggestions on improvements in rock/plant placements. I can move all but the large flat sitting rock.

Would it make sense to add japanese maples (or plums) just outside the border to provide shade?

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kal2769(Zone 8)

In my town there is a lot similar to yours that has three large bloodgood maples growing as understory trees arranged in a triangle. I would place them 9 ft apart in an obtuse triange shape with the longest side opening onto the garden measuring at apx. 15-20ft. If you are planning on making this an investment then I'd suggest spending a good amount on the tallest, (middle), maple. The two on either sid may be smaller and less expensive. In this way the three tress appear to be one HUGE tree. I have seen large healthy bloodgood maples at Lowes for relativly inexpencive cost.
I would also consider a water feature.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 10:12PM
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Thank you for your input. I had good luck with bloodgood maples in my previous house 50 miles away.
I'm not sure where you are suggesting I put the 3 trees. Would they be in the lawn such that the sitting stone would be midway in the 15-20' opening? That would provide shade to the garden.
Or are you suggesting that the maples be placed behind the serpentine cherry (understory to the large oaks)as a backdrop/border?
I think that Japanese gardens need water features whether actually wet or symbolic. I am waiting to see if the repens juniper or sedum cascade over/around the rocks enough to symbolize water. Also I am worried about the sun and algae growth. Suggestions on type and placement would be most welcome,
Thanks again,

    Bookmark   May 5, 2006 at 3:08PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)


I've been looking at and trying to find locally, a sport of bloodgood, "Shaina" for my garden. It stays relatively small -- 5' x 5' and is mounding. I'm looking at it for color and think it might work for you, too, and it would be a great addition to what you've done already. I'm also thinking a Kousa Dogwood, such as "Wolf Eyes" would be an great understory tree.

What I've done in my garden is include "Asian" elements and plants: Siberian Iris, Tree Peonies, Azaleas, Rhodos, etc. What I'm finding that pleases my eye and continues a calm ambiance, is groupings of the same plant. My garden is 85' x 30'. I'm fairly new at this and am poking along trying different things, adding and subtracting as I go along. It's all an experiment and I'm having fun. Good luck to you on discovering what you like and what pleases you!

I usually hang out over in Perinneals and I'm no expert anywhere. If you're looking to strictly follow Japanese style gardening que's, these folks are great.

If you're interested, below is a link to my garden pix.


Here is a link that might be useful: Asian Inspired Garden

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 6:58PM
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