Japanese Garden Design Ideas
This article will help you with some fascinating Japanese garden design ideas. You can use them to incorporate the Japanese impact in big or small ways when you plan your own garden. Anyone who has been to a Japanese garden would probably have experienced the serenity and peace it brings to the visitors. The traditional Japanese gardens were started as religious ones where the monks could go for meditation, and experience some spiritual awakening through nature.
The gardens were recreated as a symbolic form of an ideal landscape, with perfect form and harmony. When you would have visited any of the Japanese gardens, you would have always experienced calmness and peace of mind. No wonder, with the hectic and fast paced lifestyle of the modern world, these gardens have become very popular.
Key design concepts
The basic principles behind designing a Japanese garden are grace, simplicity, elegance and use of natural elements to create a space which offers tranquility and peace. The rocks and plants are placed in such a way that they look natural.
When you have a look at pictures of Japanese gardens, you will notice the absence of bright colors, which is purposeful so that one is not distracted from meditation.
The Japanese gardens are designed in such a way that you can sit, think and dream without any sort of disruption caused by bright spots. Unlike the western gardens, the Japanese gardens will have furnishings blended into the landscape. The western gardens instead have strong contrasts of colors in flowers, and their furnishings stand out against the background of the gardens.
Elements of a Japanese garden
The chief elements of a Japanese garden are water, plants and rocks. The Japanese garden design is very symbolic- water represents life and rocks often imitate the mountains in the landscape or gravel river. To symbolize ocean water and mountains, the Japanese gardens often design white gravel and rocks.
Another design element is the island. It symbolizes life. The island could be a real island in a water body, but rocks, smooth low mounds of plants or moss can also be used to represent an island.
Everything in the garden should have a natural touch, instead of having geometric forms of lines and shapes. The positioning of plants should look natural, and every placement should be given a thought. Japanese gardens have no symmetry, and therefore the focal point is off to one side rather than being the center. Japanese gardens are designed to represent nature, and they reveal it to the visitors as they walk by.
Colors are used very carefully in Japanese gardens. The main color is green. White may pop up here and there on the green background, but there are limited flowers or blooming shrubs in a traditional Asian garden.
Japanese gardens often make use of waterfalls and ponds. When there is absence of real water, water is shown by a stone basin or by white gravel. An oozing bamboo water feature is also interesting. The sound made by trickling water is soothing to ears, and relaxes you at the same time.