The focus of Japanese style gardens centres on themes of harmony and meditation, using natural elements to effectively create a sanctuary away from the stresses of modern life. Whilst not entirely easy to recreate, with a little effort the effects can be striking and can be achieved in any size space.
The use of rocks is a key component to creating a Japanese-style garden. Rocks are typically placed sporadically in stacks to represent a mountainous landscape. In Japanese culture, mountains symbolise a sense of permanence and stability.
Koi Carp fish ponds are a common feature of Japanese garden designs, used to represent lakes or oceans. Ornamental features, often made of bamboo, with running water are commonly employed to symbolise waterfalls, adding a touch of tranquillity through the sound of the flowing water.
Green is the primary colour of Japanese style gardens, with low, easy to maintain evergreens and mosses perfect for this purpose. Whilst green is the predominant colour, it is common to see the placement of a few colourful flowers. Care must be taken, however, to ensure that the colours do not detract from the tranquil effect created by the greenery.
Ornamental bridges are a key feature of Japanese style gardens, whilst in more sizeable gardens, larger footbridges are often seen, symbolic of travelling between different worlds. Bridges were once typically red in colour but now it is more common to see light wood designs.
In Japanese culture, paths represent the journey through life and in a Japanese garden, create the added benefit of offering a practical way to explore your garden. Lanterns, usually made of stone, are commonly used to provide a source light.