Enjoy a Soothing Japanese Garden

Love the simplicity of Asian design? Blend the elements of nature to create a peaceful, pleasing retreat.

By Denny Schrock

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Create a Centerpiece

    A teahouse creates a focal point in this Japanese garden. A stone path leads to the structure, which can be used for traditional tea ceremonies. Light filtering through the sliding shoji panels gives the building a golden glow.

Plan for Garden Views

    Throw open the shoji panels of the teahouse so that visitors can see the surrounding garden. The entire structure sits on an elevated wooden platform for better ventilation, adequate drainage, and great views.

Add Zen Garden Serenity

    A Zen garden with boulders and raked gravel lies near the teahouse. Its stunning simplicity makes it a great place to sit and contemplate the beauty of nature.

Repeat Forms

    On the pathway leading away from the teahouse, a concrete sculpture tucked into a stand of bamboo repeats the arching rooflines of the teahouse and covered gates leading into the garden.

Make an Elegant Entry

    A side gate to the garden opens onto a serene, shaded corner screened by a bamboo fence and paved with large slabs of concrete inlaid with rounded black stones. Tufts of deep green mondo grass soften the hardscaping.

Step Right Up

    Concrete steps ensure solid footing on this slope. A sleek, contemporary landscape light at the head of the stairs provides safer footing at night.

Bridge the Gap

    Steppingstones create a path through a dry streambed of smooth river rock. The black rocks create the illusion of water flowing through the stream even when conditions are dry.

Set a Serene Scene

    Ferns bring comforting color to this shaded corner garden next to the house. Strong horizontal lines rim a central gravel courtyard, which creates the illusion of a pool.

Create Thoughtful Barriers

    A curved bamboo fence creates a secure barrier next to a rock retaining wall in a steep section of the garden. Dried bamboo canes are lashed together diagonally with twine to create the diamond pattern.

Pave Patios Creatively

    The patio employs a mix of irregularly shaped stones found in outlying areas of the property to present a pleasing juxtaposition with dark river rock inlaid in concrete. The stonework provides a solid surface for entertaining.

Just Add Water

    Water is an important feature in Japanese gardens. Here a bamboo fountain emerges from an azalea and provides the soft sound of trickling water as it drips into the hollowed out stone below. Spiky New Zealand flax contrasts with the rounded form of the water feature.

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