Chinese / Japanese garden help needed

Discussion in 'Garden Design' started by MsPolly, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. MsPolly

    MsPolly New Seed

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    Hi all

    I'm hoping that you may be able to help me with some ideas for my garden. Firstly I have no knowledge of gardening so I completely new to this but very willing to learn. I know exactly what I want but have no idea where to start.

    So I have quiet a big garden space too big for me too look after myself so I want to take most of the lawn away and plant trees and flowers etc.. I really want A Japanese / Chinese style garden. So help on where to start and what I should include in the garden would be great. What are the names of trees and flowers etc I should add.

    I would also quiet fancy a vegetable and herb patch I know this is not really Chinese but I could maybe put it in a different part of the garden.

    I am really looking forward to your advice on where I should begin.

    Thanks
    Polly x
     
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  3. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    There are a number of key elements that make up Japanese gardens, the main of which is the presence of water - preferably moving water or at least a pond. This can look good if surrounded by stones and pebbles, especially if the pond blends into the rest of the garden. An informal irregularly shaped pond is important to get an authentic look. Add water-lilies and perhaps a stone Japanese lantern.

    More here: http://uktv.co.uk/gardens/item/aid/901
     
  4. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Hi MsPolly,

    I took a course from a Master Gardener last year who spoke about creating an Asian feel in your garden. Hopefully this info might help you plan yours.

    http://www.gardenstew.com/about8954.html
     
  5. MsPolly

    MsPolly New Seed

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    Oh thanks for those replies the advice is great. I am really beginning to have some nice ideas for my garden now. Because it is so big I was thinking I might start with the garden at the front of the house. It is not so big and not so much grass.

    So my thoughts were to perhaps but a fence up to block back garden. It will give me time to do it bit by bit. I will do the fencing like that around the rest of garden but instead of a straight fence maybe get a it curved so it will look more oriental. Then plant bamboos in front of it. I would like to have one nice feature tree at the front of the house any suggestions what would look good? and then maybe some small conifers. Perhaps take up all the grass and use the gravel / sand with some rocks like a gravel zen garden, does that make sense?

    Can I put the gravel around the trees I grow or do I need to keep the grass? That may sound like a silly question but I am new to this :)

    Polly
     



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  6. Earthworm

    Earthworm New Seed

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    Hi Polly,
    I'm assuming that being in Ireland, it's rather cold and frosty? Yes?
    Firstly, I think before deciding on what plants you put in, find out what plants will actually survive your conditions and make an exhaustive list so that you can draw on them as your garden evolves. There is nothing more dissapointing than spending heaps of money on plants that die. You can create a Japanese feel to any garden, anywhere, by thinking more about what the designers are trying to achieve and prewferably avoiding the cliches that can often accompany replications. I have built 'Zen" gardens in inland, arid' Australia that have used exclusively indigenous plants you would never find in a traditional Japanese garden. The results are successful by looking at the themes involved in replicating nsture rather than a style. This is what Japanese gardens are about (to me at least).

    And on vegie/herb gardens, many Chinese and Japanese gardens involved productive areas, (how else would they have eaten 500 years ago?. I don't belive that kitchen gardens need to be separated and hidden from view, subjectively they are as attractive as any other sort of garden. You can create little paths leading from a freeform pond through a cute gate that opens to a herb area, or anything you want, so long as you place the veggie/herb gardens in the best spot for best results, ie. good soil, sunny aspect, not too far from the door.

    Good Luck,
    Earthworm
     
  7. daisybeans

    daisybeans Hardy Maple

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    Hello Ms Polly. Good luck with this fun-sounding project. I hope you will share your thoughts and experiences (and photos!) as I will love gaining some tips right along with you!
     
  8. dooley

    dooley Super Garden Turtle

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    I think simplicity when I think of Japanese gardens. Also, think hard about the bamboo. There was bamboo at a place we lived in when we were in Arizona and it grows at a rapid rate there and spreads and it's hard to remove when it gets out of control.
    It does look nice if you keep it trimmed though.
    dooley
     
  9. daisybeans

    daisybeans Hardy Maple

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    In this area, bamboo can also get a bit invasive -- but our garden center suggests that if you want some in your space, you can keep it more contained by planting it in the container in came in, with the bottom cut out. Has anyone ever tried this? I have not.
     
  10. Earthworm

    Earthworm New Seed

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    A great book to look at is 'The Gardens of Japan' by Teiji Itoh. Very informative and inspiring
     

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