A Japanese garden: modernity assured

The influence of Japanese in the West is undeniable. Kimonos have reached clothing stores (or, at least, pieces of clothing inspired by them), it is very difficult to find someone who says they do not like sushi, and tea is gaining ground over coffee in many establishments. So it is not surprising that in gardens we also find this Asian presence. Japanese gardens are very special: they have a centuries-old design base with very good taste, which is why in many areas of Europe they have been replicated (in Germany, for example, in cities like Berlin, Bonn and Hamburg it is very easy to find them).

The purpose of a Japanese garden is not only aesthetic: it seeks to create a mood and an atmosphere that gives you the feeling that time stands still, that you should only dedicate yourself to your interior, to reflect and nothing else. Below, we show you the best options to get a Japanese garden in your home.

Inescapable components in a Japanese garden

Before you ask yourself any question about your Japanese garden, you should know that the following components can never be missing: stones, sand and moss. They symbolize different essential elements in Asian cultures. First of all, the stones, which represent mountains and figures. They are usually the first decoration of a Japanese garden. Once the stones are placed, the rest of the elements are placed around them. Secondly, the sand (sometimes alternated with gravel), poured together with the stones. With small rakes, it is possible to make wavy lines or drawings in the sand (as in those small decorative gardens, in miniature, that we can have at home). The undulations in the sand symbolize the water, that fluid character of the Japanese garden. Finally, the moss, which reflects nature in combination with the stones, emulating the mountains full of trees. If you look closely, it gives the feeling that a Japanese garden is recreating, on a small scale, a large open landscape.

How can I organize my garden?

Once you know the three basic components of any Japanese garden, you can apply the following six tips to follow in search of your perfect creation. Take a closer look.

  1. Theme. Find the theme that interests you the most. There are several options, so it is not easy to choose one at first: Zen, Shinto or Imperial style are just some of them. If you are not convinced to apply only one in particular, it is possible to combine them to obtain a more personal style.
  2. Abundant or simple. Decide which of the two ideas you want for your garden and start placing plants (ferns, bamboo or Japanese maple), stones and water, which should not be missing.
  3. Basic decoration. Even in a Japanese garden, from which we might think we should do without almost everything, it is necessary to add some matching decoration, such as lanterns, stone stairs, bowls, fences, etc. Their arrangement is up to you.
  4. Seating corner. With several seats, with materials that combine well with this style, such as outdoor wood, and textiles such as cotton, create your particular corner to sit down to rest, relax and disconnect.
  5. Make small mountains of sand or gravel to create several levels in your garden! With this, you will give it even more charm if possible.
  6. Paths. The design of the promenade gardens, created in the 17th century and timeless, gives a lot of importance to water (with lakes and ponds) and to paths, surrounded by trees and plants for passers-by to interact with nature. So the paths will transport you directly to this style, closely related to the imperial palaces and very suitable for any time of the year.
  7. Benches. An overview of the garden is possible with a good bench. Therefore, its arrangement is also important.

Other styles: Roji

The Roji concept means, in Japanese, ground covered with dew. In turn, this is another well-known style of Japanese garden in addition to those we have already mentioned. Specifically, this one is very special because it is usually used for a fundamental purpose: the tea ceremony. If you want to incorporate it in your home, and not only to drink tea, it is also possible.

This garden has a very specific distribution: it is divided into an indoor and an outdoor garden. This, like all oriental elements, also symbolizes something: a clear separation of the interior and the outside world. It features a tea house in which, evidently, this ceremony takes place. Along with this clear division, a Roji shows other elements:

  • A garden entrance that will invite you directly to the tea ceremony and to go inside, have a good time, relax and get away from the mundane noise.
  • Japanese gardens have many paths, so the guest, little by little, leaves the outside world and goes inside.
  • There are also high hedges that enhance the contrast between indoors and outdoors. Never has the pursuit of contemplation been as enjoyable as in a Roji.

Forget the stress and hectic pace of modern Western life and travel, through your garden, to an ancient culture where peace and tranquility are its two main livelihoods. With these ideas, you will surely be able to reproduce it outside your home. Don’t think about it!

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