Small asian garden ideas

We handpicked for you an impressive collection of ideas and visions all inspired from the Eastern philosophy that explores the connection between nature and human beings. We will commence with the brightest and most mesmerizing examples of traditional Zen Gardens, and we will explore the key elements which compose such gardens. We will also introduce to your attention some contemporary Asian Garden Ideas which can be applied in the back yards of modern houses. Some impressive public spaces inspired by the Zen philosophy will also be explored. And we will finish this article with Mini Zen Gardens’ ideas that can be introduced into the interior decor of any home.


Traditional Zen Gardens ( Japanese Rock Gardens or Dry Landscapes )

Historically the original Zen Gardens are created by the Buddhist monks as spaces for solitude and meditation that simultaneously represent the human’s admiration for the beauty of nature. An inspired demonstration of the link between aesthetics and philosophy. Their origin of the gardens can be traced back to the late 14’ht century, and in the beginning, they were small secluded spaces into the monasteries borders composed mainly of gravel, rocks, and stones arranged in such a manner which closely represents a natural landscape scenery. The water impression was achieved through wave-like patterns in the gravel, and the rocks and stones were representatives of mountains and hills. Because of the lacking of water elements in this type of gardens they were also popular as Japanese Rock Gardens or Dry Asian Landscapes. This concept was developed and upgraded through the years and new elements – lakes, bridges, lighting and art installations were introduced. Today a Zen Garden is a collective term for all interpretations on the subjects that explore the inspiration of the Asian aesthetics, philosophy, and admiration for Nature.

Because such gardens originally come from the Buddhist temples in Kyoto, the Zen gardens were with relatively small dimensions and surrounded by buildings and belt walls. Initially, the Zen garden was created only for the purpose of observation, and that was from a special place outside the garden itself. Often that was the veranda on which the eldest monk of the monastery was meditating. With the time the gardens were extended, the place of meditation was introduced inside the borders of the garden, and even specially arranged stone paths were composed so that the Zen garden can be explored form the inside.

Although those gardens are thematically based on the natural landscapes the purpose of them is not so much to create an exacts replica of Nature more like they are aiming to compose a meditational space in which one can contemplate the meaning of existence. The essential elements in one Japanese Zen Garden are gravel, stones and in some cases moss. Such a garden is created to be felt not observed. The presence of living elements is minimal. There are no plants or lush vegetation, no objects created by humans. Although the Japanese Zen Gardens use the same basic components, each garden is unique in its compositional layout. There are not two similar gardens in the world – each carries different emotion, meaning and charge.

Elements of Asian Gardens

Through the years under the influence of different interactions between the Asian cultures the Zen gardens – originated in Japan – are supplemented with items from China and Korea, which leads to the emerge of a specific Asian style in the art of gardening. Many specific elements exist and used together, in combinations or singularly create the emanation of the so-called Asian Style Gardens оr Zen Gardens. Let’s explore the primary key groups of such elements…

Rocks & Stones

The rocks and stones compositions are maybe the most important elements used in the Asian art of gardening. They exude power and stability combined with tranquility and timeless sensation. With their rough amorphous structure, they’re often used as a counterpoint to the soft vision of the sand and water elements – a contradiction that incites a deep reflection.

Raked Sand and Pebbles

In the stylized landscape composition of the Zen gardens the water premises – like seas and rivers – are represented through spaces of waved gravel. A multitude of carefully formed shallow furrows and patterns symbolize the waves and the movement of water which introduces the dynamics of it into the composition. Most commonly used are the crushed white or beige granite which is carefully shaped with specially designed rakes. Precisely those lines and waves of granite and gravel are amongst the most common and characteristic visual elements of Zen garden design.

Koi Fish Ponds

The water is also an essential component in the Asian gardens. From fountains with troughs, through streams and cascades, to lakes with bridges – doesn’t matter the form in which this element is introduced, it brings character and charisma. The water goes “hand and hand” with the stone – representing the ying-yang dynamics they contradict and supplement each other in one continues harmony.

The famous Koi Fish add color and vitality to any water premise. They adapt equally well in big lakes or in small ponds in your backyard. As genuine pets, they get well accustomed to human presence and can be trained to take food from hand. Gorgeous and at the same time easy to maintain the Koi Fish becomes one of the trademarks of Asian culture and garden design.

Stone Lanterns

And because one of the main aims of the Zen garden is to create a well-balanced and harmonious environment for meditation the man-made features are avoided in the garden design. The exceptions to that rule are the Stone Lanterns (also known as Pagoda Lights). They vary in forms and sizes, in detailing and decoration. Created to accustom the oil lamps and the candles the pagoda-shaped Stone Lanterns are arranged in special places throughout the garden and serve simultaneously as a lighting source and as art accents.

Stepping Stone Pathways

“Don’t leave anything to chance” is an important principle when it comes to Zen gardens design. Cautiously selected pats on which one can explore and feel the gardens spirit are one of the essential key elements in Asian gardening. Arraigning walking paths through the usage of Stepping Stone Pathways is essential for the right configuration of the design. Those pathways can lead through gravel, moss, grass and even water premises inviting you in this way on a step by step journey to discover the beauty and the spiritual secrets of a Zen garden.

Stone Bridges

Another characteristic element is the bridge. It can be used in the gardens of mixed Asian type to cross the bodies of water or in dry stone gardens to create a dynamic composition of pathways in different levels. Natural materials are required for its creation, most often wood or stone. In the Japanese rock gardens, the bridges are composed mainly of one large rock piece that connects two hills. It can be used not only as a passage but also as a bench on which one can sit and relax.

Arched Chinese Red Bridges

The red arched bridges are a unique trademark of the Chinese gardens. They are small in size and traditionally are composed entirely of wood. Their arched high point is usually the highest place in the garden that allows the best view of the surrounding beauty.

Stone Water Basins

The Stone water baths originate in Japan where they are traditionally used as a place to wash and clean before initiating a tea ceremony. Called tsukubai – literally “stopping basin” they are composed in such a manner that one must bow to use them. In this way, apart from the trivial purples of cleansing they also provoke certain humility of spirit and attune one with the spiritual aim of the tea ceremony. In today’s garden design the stone water baths bring more decorative value to the garden’s decor.

Zen Garden Gates

The Zen Garden Gates ( torii ) have mainly a decorative and symbolic function. Sometimes thy even lack the gate’s portals for closing – just a simple wooden frame in Asian style greets the visitors of the garden. Their symbolic presence serves to outline the borders of the garden and to create the spiritual sensation that once stepped under this arch one enters a different world.

Moss Gardens

Because of its endurance under extremely harsh conditions, the moss often is the only living component of the Japanese Zen gardens. Viewed as a clam and unpretentious plant the moss needs the only shadow and moist to thrive. In the mild and humid Asian climate, the moss is widely spread. Its colors hues vary in a broad color range- from deep green to yellowish and can be successfully introduced in water gardens as well in dry arrangements.

Statue of the Buddha

The statues of Buddha are another element of the Asian Zen gardens design. It is often used in its broad variety of cultural and artistic shapes. It represents a combination of human and nature elements, spiritual and artistic expressions. The statues are often placed in secluded meditative space deep inside the gardens. Another characteristic Asian statue introduction the Zen gardens are the dragons – they are very specific with their appearance and rich cultural meaning for this part of the world. Made from stone, ceramics or metal the Eastern statues in the garden carry particular Asian spirit into the design.

Japanese Maples

Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) is a deciduous tree that can reach a maximum of 6-8 meters of high and is characteristic for the territories of Japan, China, Korea and East Mongol. Its broad leaves have a distinctive pattern with five or seven peaks. The coloring of the trees can vary, but the most desired are the ones that have bright red colors.

Precisely because of its spectacular colors and attractive silhouette the Japanese maple is a common choice for the art of Bonsai or the design of Asian landscape. Like with a brush of an artist the masters of Zen gardens add bold color spots introducing the living Japanese maple trees in their composition.

Contemporary Zen Backyards

In this part of the article, we will explore exciting examples of how the aesthetics of Asian Gardens can be translated in modern sets and homes. Because of the smaller spaces of today homes, the modern designers often need to combine contemporary and ancient garden elements, which is not an easy task at all. So we will elaborately explore how the elements of the traditional Asian garden design (which e viewed in the previous part of the article) can be set in concrete places, in what combinations and how they can compose the unique spirit of Zen Backyards in a contemporary setting.

Characteristic for the Asian gardens is the purposely introduced asymmetric. For example – if a path is laid – is never fallowing the straight line of the shortest way – it goes meandering in-between the most visually impressive spots of the garden. The landscape is composed in such a manner that there is never a panoramic view of the entirety of garden – it needs to be explored and enjoyed from the inside to be truly comprehended.

This modern home is located in Singapore, and its fresh lake-garden is laid in the middle of the L-shaped house arrangement. The open premises of the interior allow constant and direct view toward the splendid inside of this unique garden. Compositional approach characteristic for the Asian gardens is applied in this landscape, and it uses visual contradiction between the water and the islands floating on it. Additional exotic emanation comes from the trees and plants that grow on the islands and from the lighting installations arrangement.

This Contemporary Zen Backyard is again dominated by the water presence and adorned by luscious plant life. Casually spread the red splashes of the Japanese maple trees are contrasting dynamically with the bright greens of the oval – shaped coniferous plants. Granite blocks in zig-shagged arrangement form the walking path that leads you through the water body. The overall Zen sensation of the space is enhanced by the presence of ancient Stone Lantern accent, the bamboo fence and the garden shed designed in Asian style.

In this example, we observe the traditional for the dry rock gardens gravel base shaped with circles and waves. This solution is not only very visually attractive but is also quite practical because the gravel prevents the growing of unwanted plants. Stepping Stone Pathways, a small rock fountain, and a wooden fence complete the sensation of one contemporary Asian-themed backyard.

Stylish backyard with urban emanation that uses elements from the Asian Zen gardening in its configuration- Stone statues, river granite for the base of the tree, bench for meditation and walking paths that lead throughout the garden despite its limited size compose this cute little space for relaxation.

Again here in the foundation of the composition is the walking path – solid rectangle blocks are laid in the center of the composition. White gravel in the lowest part of the arrangement symbolizes the water, and the stone walking path is raised one level above it like a bridge that crosses a river. The straight lines of the wooden platform act as a framing of the composition and are juxtaposed to the organic and oval shapes of the rocks and plants.

This is one modern interpretation of Zen garden from Australia. Its robust geometrical shapes, a cascade of terraces and plant types are revolving around the contrast of shapes and materials. With two distinctively visible zones – the flat square space covered with water, grass and smooth surfaces and the oval explosion of greenery – the space offers dynamic contradictions and variety.

Check out the fallowing gallery of Zen Backyards that shows more elegant combinations between traditional Asian gardens’ elements and modern vision and style.

Indoor Zen Garden Ideas

This garden is located at the entrance of a contemporary Korean house. The high bamboo installation visually defines the staircase leading toward the inside of the home. The stone pathway laid in gravel bed brings us towards the other part of the house. A stone cascade decorated with small green plants and moos becomes the focal center of the garden.

The Zen space can be moved entirely inside the home even like in this case on the second floor of the house. The obstacles in front introducing such a space into the interior composition can be significant but if everything is carefully planned and cleverly executed the outcome is spectacular.

Another unusual solution is found by the architects of this building. The Asian garden is situated in the middle of the house surrounded by glass walls with an opening above and in this way the bamboo is free to grow high and to receive natural sunlight and rain irrigation. Another plus side of this bright house is that the natural sunlight penetrates freely the interior of the home. A harmonic interaction between interior and exterior based on the principal of ying and yang.

Breaking the borders of ordinary visual perception this Dry Stone garden penetrates the interior in a dynamic and unexpected way with its aquarium-like glass structure. Suitable for its provocative style for office spaces where the out-of-the-box thinking is welcomed.

Zen Inspired Public Spaces

Sometimes the forward thinking architects borrow the elegant aesthetics of Zen gardens and giving it a modern read integrate this style into public spaces and city landscapes. Let’s check together some inspirational examples of cleverly arranged relaxing spaces inspired by the East.

The first project is Roombeek the Brook located in Enschede, Netherlands. An existing water premise is turned into modern Zen garden with irregular patterns of rocks that slow the movement of the water and bring tranquility and charm to its surrounding. The smooth stone blocks laid asymmetrically throughout the water body are inspired by the traditional Stepping Stone Pathways but give that concept a contemporary read.

As a part of Urban Stories exhibition – Milan 2013, the installation Naturescape by Kengo Kuma is a modern and provocative interpretation of the traditional Japanese garden. Cascades and layers of smoothly shaped stone waves are combined with water premises at their lower points, and clusters of bamboo planted midst gravel islands.

Sunken Garden in Beijing is created by Plasma Studio and presents us with contemporary urban stylistics that is influenced by the Chinese Shouzou gardens. This city park is impressive with its 3G projection, with the multiple hidden pathways and spaces that create a secluded sensation in which one can harmoniously reconnect with nature.

Here are some more spaces for relaxation located in business buildings the architects of which had used elements from the Asian gardens to create a unique atmosphere:

Mini Zen Gardens

If you enjoy the eastern stylistics and the ideas presented to you in this article, but you have no space to create a full-scale Zen Garden in your home – do not disperse – the solution is simple as a miniature zen garden.

Multiple varieties of desktop zen garden can be purchased online and bring the Asian harmony and charm into your home, office or even presented as a gift for a loved one. If you have the patience, ingenuity and steady hands, you can create your dry mini garden by fallowing these simple instructions.

DIY Mini Zen Garden

For the creation of the dry desktop zen garden, you need only a shallow ceramic pot, some sand, and stones. If you prefer a living plants composition –some soil, some unpretentious plans, and moss or even bonsai will do it. Full instructions on how to make a mini zen garden you can find here.

Here is one charming example of how a miniature garden can be placed even in a glass jar. This creates a fairytale-like atmosphere and extravagance but it’s more complicated task to set up and maintain such a garden.

As a conclusion, we advise you to look out for the emerge of the Zen gardens in the creation of homes and spaces in the upcoming interior design season of 2017-2018. Because in the storm of globule events and the stressful and intense everyday life we realize more and more the necessity of some tranquil and harmonic space for meditation, inspiration, and re-charge.

If you’re looking for the best gardening design then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve gathered different varieties of garden styles to help you in designing your garden. With the most suitable plants and accessories, you can easily obtain a relaxing atmosphere. Gardening adventure can be fun! You can choose to do it by yourself or hire a landscape architect to do it for you. Water fountains, small trees, pathways, colorful flowers are just some of the elements that are truly a bliss. After having a long day at work, you can easily relax in your green haven. No matter what your personal taste and lifestyle are, there is always a gardening design made just for you.

100 Most Creative Gardening Design Ideas

1. Small Gardens

Originally posted by gardendesign

Making the most out of smaller spaces can be a baffling task. Nevertheless, this is the perfect time to get creative.

2. Gardening Designs Small Gardens

Originally posted by goodhousekeeping

Don’t be afraid to break the rules and use brilliant gimmicks to turn your modest space into an amazing oasis.

3. Small City Garden

Originally posted by houseandgarden

Planting roses can isolate the patio from the lawn.

4. Small Space Garden Design

Originally posted by greatindex

A small garden is like an extension room. It’s a place for entertaining and relaxing.

5. Garden Designs Ideas

Originally posted by shelterness

Even if you are not living in countrysides you can still have a fabulous garden in your own backyard.

6. Urban Garden Designs

A city garden is not only for planting but also for playing, relaxing and entertaining.

7. Garden Designs And Layouts

This is a combination of indoor and outdoor styles since it includes some shelving units.

8. Garden Designs For Small Spaces

Urban gardens are a popular trend all over the world. It promotes a better environment and healthier lifestyle.

9. Urban Gardening Design

Even if you don’t have a yard, you can still enjoy having a garden. Bring nature into your home by growing colorful flowers on planters.

10. Small City Garden Idea

This design can be easily obtained by taking care of your lawn and your flowers. This is the best place for enjoying some quiet time.

11. Fascinating Garden Design Ideas

You can create your own garden fantasy with a little effort and some creativity.

12. Best Gardening Designs

A rooftop garden embellished with a mirror.

13. Wildlife Friendly Garden

This type of garden can easily attract birds, insects and even small mammals.

14. Botanical Garden

Wildlife such as birds and butterflies can be exciting to have in your garden.

15. Enchanting Garden Design

Excellent gardens must not only look good but feel good too!

16. Pleasing Gardening Design

Create simple paths and structures that are easy to navigate.

17. Adorable Outdoor Space

Patios and decks are excellent for entertaining guests. Make sure that it has enough room for dining and socializing.

18. Mesmerizing Garden Idea

Always ensure that you have wide pathways so that people can pass comfortably.

19. Small Garden Landscaping Ideas

You may not be lucky enough to have a bigger outdoor space but this doesn’t mean that you can’t get creative with what you have.

20. Modern Garden Design Ideas

In today’s modern world, it is important for us to develop a love for nature.

21. Eco-friendly Garden

Eco-friendly solutions can take your gardening tasks to a higher level.

22. A Garden of Flowers

The fragrance of flowers can produce positivity on the environment. Gardens wouldn’t be complete without the unparalleled beauty of various flowers.

23. Unique Planters

You can save some money by growing plants in tin cans.

24. Splendid Gardening Design

With some designing skills, you can turn your tiniest lawn into an enjoyable place to relax.

25. Garden Designs With Railway Sleepers

Railway sleepers are very useful for your gardening design. It can be used for creating retaining wall, garden steps, garden paths and others.

26. Inspiring Container Gardening Design

You can dress up your garden using gorgeous containers.

27. DIY Gardening Design

If you have a limited space in your garden then hanging your plants can be a perfect idea.

28. Dish Gardening Designs

Dish gardens are trending these days since they can add a unique accent to your garden. Additionally, you can combine different plants in one container.

29. Raised Bed Gardening Designs

Raised bed gardens offer you several benefits. For instance, you can customize the soil that you’ll use to match the needs of your plants. A wheelbarrow can also be repurposed as a planter.

30. Container Flower Gardening Designs

Container gardens come in various shapes and sizes. Best of all, if offers infinite possibilities to gardeners.

31. Landscape Gardening Designs

Renovating your landscaping can increment the value of your property.

32. Affordable Landscaping

With timber garden beds, you don’t have to spend too much for your landscaping design.

33. ‌Inspirational Garden Design Ideas

Whether you are a skilled gardener or a first timer, you can create your own inspiring landscaped garden.

34. Garden Design For Small Gardens

From water features to tropical plants, there are a lot of ways that you can transform your tiny outdoor space to make it look amazing.

35. Rocky Garden Design

Gardens are more appreciated through its details such as stone accents, intriguing edging, and interesting patterns.

36. Zen Japanese Garden Design

Your garden design should suit your lifestyle, regardless if it’s small or large.

37. Drought-Tolerant Gardening Design

Succulents and perennials blend well together.

38. Rain Water Features

The rainwater in this pond serves as a water source and a water feature too!

39. Design Ideas For Your Small Garden Home

Surround your deck or patio with plants to create a natural oasis.

40. Arbors and Pergolas

Frame a view with pergolas and arbors. Although you can also use shrubs, small trees and any types of garden art.

41. Fascinating Garden Designs

A beautiful flower bed that incorporates yellow daffodils, purple carnations, red geraniums and others.

42. Perennial Garden

This flower garden can give you years of fun. This is because you don’t need to replant perennials.

43. Flower Garden Designs

If you want to have a perfect garden then you should consider the shape of your garden as well as the variety of flowers.

44. Inspirational Garden Ideas

You can turn your small outdoor space into an ultimate living space.

45. Urban Oasis

Be sure to utilize any spare space and always pay attention to all the details.

46. Garden Designs Without Grass

An astonishing garden can be achieved by combining different elements.

47. DIY Garden Design

Don’t be afraid to show your creativity when designing your garden.

48. Shade Garden Design

Incorporating a unique object in your garden provides a whimsical feel.

49. Terraced Garden

Even if you have a sloping yard, you can still create numerous mini-gardens and grow an array of plants.

50. Amazing Urban Garden

With the right kind of soil, you can grow different types of plants in your garden.

51. Retaining Wall Garden Ideas

Retaining walls can greatly contribute to your curb appeal.

52. Slope Garden

Slopes are particularly challenging. However, you can turn it into a stylish garden by planting them with the right plants.

53. Attractive Gardening Design Ideas

Be the architect in your own backyard. The possibilities and the combinations of creating a beautiful garden are endless.

54. Simple and Colorful

Make use of your old buckets by filling them up with colorful flowers.

55. Gardening Design with Water Features

Water features are truly amazing!

56. Low-Water Succulents

Succulents are capable of storing water in their leaves so you don’t need to water them regularly.

57. Cottage Garden

This garden creates a romantic setting. It contains a combination of lovely bloomers and plants.

58. Contemporary Garden

This type of garden has a simple design that works well in smaller spaces.

59. Balcony Garden

Modern gardens are usually composed of hard landscaping. Built-in planters and raised beds are typically constructed into the garden.

60. Fabulous Garden Design

A garden must have a striking focal point. Anything will do including a water feature, planter or a sculpture.

61. Lighted Garden Design

With the right lighting, your garden can come alive at night. It provides a different look to your garden.

62. Tropical Garden

Even if you don’t live in tropical places, you can still create your own essence of the tropics.

63. Best Tropical Garden

When creating a tropical garden, keep in mind that tropical plants need a decent amount of water as well as good fertilizer and mulching.

64. Zen Garden

Zen gardens were originally built by Buddhists monks. This garden is intended for meditation.

65. Backyard Garden

Growing your own vegetables can be fun and economical too!

66. Eco-Friendly Gardening

An eco-garden is an ideal habitat for birds and butterflies.

67. Classic Garden

Classic gardens never go out of style due to its simplicity and elegance.

68. Garden Ideas for Small Yards

Creating a beautiful garden can be possible even if you have a small yard. Just choose the right flowers to plant and add amazing elements to complete the design.

69. Bonsai Garden

Collect different varieties of bonsai and plant them in assorted planters to create a Bonsai Farm.

70. Cinder Block Garden Ideas

With cinder blocks, you can have an instant compartment for your plants.

71. Herb Garden

The best place for creating your herb garden is near your kitchen. However, it can also be placed in other locations as long as it gets a good amount of sunlight.

72. Patio Garden

Tall plants can also function as a privacy screen.

73. Gardening on Slopes

Gardening on slopes can be a huge challenge, however, the result can be uplifting!

74. Charming Planter

Mosaic tiles are not only for bathrooms but also for planters.

75. Piano Planter

A piano is not only for playing sweet music but it can also be repurposed as a planter and a waterfall.

76. Trough Flowerpot

Aside from using a trough, there are still other things that can be repurposed into flowerpots such as a toolbox, bath tub and others.

77. Chinese Gardens

After having a long day, wouldn’t it be nice to relax in a quiet place with a beautiful scenery?

78. Small Backyard Design Ideas

You can make the most of your small yard by using space-saving embellishments and gardening ideas.

79. Hillside Landscaping

Most often, hillside landscaping requires a lot of work compared to a flat garden.

80. Mediterranean Garden Style

This design can be seen mostly in mansions and large estates.

81. Great Landscape Gardens

If you want to create a good looking garden then you should add something aside from plants and flowers.

82. Unique Garden Design Ideas

If you can’t handle the design by yourself then you should hire a pro to assist you.

83. Landscape Gardens

The first thing to do when creating a landscape garden is to determine the type of plants and flowers that you want to have.

84. Flower Garden

When it comes to flower gardens, it’s important to have an excellent soil preparation.

85. Beautiful Landscape Garden

Planting any kinds of plants in your garden can make it look overcrowded. Start by having a plan.

86. Gardening Design with Paths

A garden path can entice guests to visit your garden.

87. Eco-Friendly Gardening Ideas

An eco-friendly garden can slow down climate change.

88. Evergreen Garden Design Ideas

Incorporating evergreens to your garden can create a huge impact.

89. English Cottage Gardens

A cute garden with flagstone floor, a wooden gazebo and colorful flowers.

90. English Garden Design

Creating an enchanting English garden isn’t actually hard. Try to select a mixture of flowers that blooms in different seasons so that you can enjoy a year-long harmony of colors.

91. Container Garden Ideas

Plants in containers are less intensive than those which are grown in the yard. It gives you the opportunity to display your creativity.

92. Indoor Garden Design

Indoor gardens can provide you a sufficient amount of oxygen inside your own home.

93. Balcony Garden Planters

A lot of people may be living in apartments, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t enjoy gardening on their own balcony.

94. Stacked Planters

When creating a balcony garden, you can save more space by stacking your planters to enjoy growing a range of plants.

95. Great Ideas For Gardens

There are different garden ideas to choose from if you want to revamp your yard. You may choose an edible garden design, flower garden design and a lot more.

96. Patio Jungle

Spice up your outdoor space by adding an array of planters and plants.

97. Purple Garden

The gardener did a good job in spreading the assortment of purple in these container pots.

98. Raised Bed Garden Designs

This is the best solution if you are dealing with soil which is tough to dig or is not capable of growing plants.

99. Courtyard Gardens

When choosing a pro it’s best to ensure that he understands your needs and ideas.

100. Courtyard Design

A cozy courtyard garden is the best place for entertaining visitors or just for relaxing.

Top Things To Consider For Your Gardening Design

If you want to remodel your outdoor area then you must have a garden design. In order to turn your dream into reality, you need to compromise some factors such as the area of your garden or the climate in your area. There are also some important things that you need to discuss with your garden designer. First and foremost, contemplate on who is going to use the garden and regard their own needs. Garden themes are the key. There are a lot of designs that can inspire you. Nevertheless, they might not be suitable for your budget. Choose a garden style that is appropriate to the shape of your garden then decide what products you desire. Be aware that your dream garden cannot be completed overnight. The time of completion will depend on the design and the intricacy of your garden. Most often it can take a while. For bigger projects, most likely it can be accomplished for a month or more.

Regardless of what gardening design you’re considering, you can always explore budget-friendly options. If you can save money on the hardscape then you can spend it on the soil enhancement. This is the key to a successful landscape garden design. There are different ways to reduce your garden budget and most often it only creates a little impact on how your garden will look like. You can also create a secret garden that is solely yours. A garden of flowers is not only refreshing but inspiring too. There is a dairy farmer in Japan that plants pink flowers in order to make his blind wife smile again. Did you enjoy these images? Let us know your thoughts on these gardening designs.

From a simple penchant for yellow flowers as a child to becoming a full-time gardener, nature advocate, and garden designer, I am extremely happy to finally have a platform for me to successfully spread knowledge and expertise in the garden. After highschool graduation, I took many courses related to garden design to feed myself with more knowledge and expertise other than what I learned from my mom growing up. Soon as I finished courses, I gained more experience through internships and most especially, garden shows! I also tried to join as many garden design competitions locally. For any garden design inquiries, ping me!

For centuries Chinese gardens have been a source of inspiration for other landscaping ideas. Originating thousands of years ago, these gardens were once popular among royal families, and used as a place to escape from the business of the outside world. These days, having a peaceful place to escape is more important than ever. After a long day, everyone could use a few minutes to just sit in a quiet space and relax. So when it comes to beautiful and peaceful scenery, Chinese gardens have always delivered a calming look that most people just can’t seem to get enough of. Now popular all around the world, elements of Chinese gardens can be found in people’s yards, and often add a unique touch to the area around them. Although most people don’t go as far as to replicate an entire Chinese garden, many have found ways to borrow the pieces they love the most to create something that is beautiful and serene. Using inspiration from Chinese gardens for landscaping ideas can help your backyard transform into a beautiful and peaceful sanctuary. Here are 20 landscaping ideas inspired by Chinese gardens.

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Elements of a Chinese Garden

Oriental gardens have an allure of peace, tranquility, meditation, and mystery because they are specifically composed to create such. What are the elements used to create this atmosphere in an oriental garden, and how can they be copied in our own backyard?

Following on my last post on QAQ’s ‘Bamboo’ decorative screen feature, I wanted to take a look at oriental style gardens–specifically, Chinese style gardens, leaving the Japanese style garden for another day–because there are specific differences that make each give a different sort of feeling when you walk through them. Chinese gardens are a little more bold and colorful; a bit more ornate; whereas Japanese gardens are more restrained, less ornamental, and more conducive to Zen meditation.

There are three main elements of a Chinese garden that have representational meanings to encourage a meditational stroll:

  1. Water – Represents the constantly changing flow of life and of nature
  2. Stones – Represents strength, endurance, and stability
  3. Plants- The beauty and texture that gives life its meaning

Japanese gardens have these elements but express them differently: typically, Chinese gardens will be centered with a large, ornate building as a focal point while buildings are less important in a Japanese landscape, and may even be hidden from the garden path views. Stones are larger in a Chinese garden, and again, serve as focal points. A larger variety of plants and flowers are used in a Chinese garden, and in a less tightly manicured fashion than in a Japanese garden. However, there are many more similarities than differences between the two styles, as both incorporate these key elements:

  • A Welcoming entrance – A round ‘Moon Gate’ or ‘Torii’ gate, or two potted, manicured ‘bonsai’ trees
  • Bridges – Rounded arches or as zig-zagging, flat platforms
  • Tea houses and private pavilions
  • Lanterns – hanging or in stone statues
  • Statues – though never too dominating as used in Western gardens
  • Moss – for the less sunny areas between pathers, rocks, and statues
  • Garden gravel
  • Meandering pathways for easy contemplation
  • Water – a water feature, a pond, a creek

The plants and trees specific to a Chinese style garden are:

  • Bamboo – Bamboo -used as railings, fences, and as a plant, and representing flexibility in life
  • Pine – representing endurance
  • Lotus – symbolic of spiritual purity

Other plants you’ll often find there are: magnolia, azaleas, chrysanthemums, olive, and spirea Now, get ready for some beautiful eye-candy! These Chinese flowers are colorful and exotic, and simply stunning!

Specific Chinese Garden Flowers:

The easiest to grow–and for that reason the most common–of these beauties are the magnolias and wisteria.

Now, as we are a decorative screen company, I can’t help but suggest beautiful garden screens to evoke the Orient in your garden or home, so I’ve curated what I consider the most oriental of all QAQ’s screen designs…

To see a Chinese garden in Australia, visit the Sydney Chinese Garden of Friendship at Darling Harbor which is a superb and beautiful example of a traditional Chinese garden.

Hope you have enjoyed this little foray into Chinese gardens. Please leave a comment if you have, and if you can suggest where any other Chinese gardens may be within Australia!



Elegant Chinese Garden Design Inspirations for Beautiful Backyard Designs

Chinese garden designs blend the nature with elegance. Impressive oriental garden design ideas give great inspirations for peaceful and beautiful backyard designs. Chinese garden design ideas reflect the Chinese philosophies and cultures. Chinese gardens make significant pieces of Chinese history. Five thousand years of gardening has yielded some of the most amazing and beautiful garden designs in China.

Chinese garden designs have been influenced by several dynastic periods which added new ways of looking at gardens since the concept was established as an important part of an emperor’s official residence. In the beginning Chinese gardens were designed as homes for animals used for hunting and for the emperor to rest. Chinese gardens are elegant, impressive and peaceful places to rest and renew energy.

Later Chinese garden designs included little palaces, pavilions and rooms on little islands in a pond. Gorgeous plants and flowers, used in moderation, beautify tranquil Chinese garden designs with amazing rockeries and meaningful garden stones. When considering an oriental garden design style, think of elements and features that reflect or seek to imitate natural surroundings. A Chinese rock garden design is an excellent way to interpret the natural landscapes and create a peaceful small world right in your own backyard.

Chinese garden design

Chinese garden design with a koi fish pond

If a western garden design style or European style rock gardens emphasizes control over the nature, oriental garden design ideas demonstrate people ‘s ability to tame the nature to man-made design. All garden design style create beautiful places, and you can get inspired by various garden designs and incorporate different ways of gardening into your backyard ideas.

Chinese garden designs are built to produce something beautiful in cooperation with the nature and with less ornamental details. Your Chinese garden design is created with simple elements and must also be simple. If you want something lasting, you should use strong, old stones, which should be set up in layers, Chinese garden experts suggest.

Chinese garden design inspirations for beautiful backyard ideas

First you need to pay attention to the nature and shape of the stones. If you cannot find a stone with suitable furrows, be patient, because the Chinese garden stones should be set up with due respect to their furrows. If they are too deeply furrowed, they may fall apart. If they have big hollows, it is best to place them high up.

11 Feng Shui garden design tips and backyard landscaping ideas

Creating beautiful backyard landscaping inspired by oriental garden designs

Japanese rock gardens, landscaping ideas, oriental garden design

Stones provide the backbone of the entire oriental garden design. In former times the most beautiful old stones for Chinese gardens were so-called flower-stones. Nowadays, even if the stones are clumsy, they may be piled up in layers, and one can find good stones even in the wildest mountains. Stones are not like grass and trees. Once they have been taken out they are not replaced by a second crop. Human beings look for profit and reputation, and overlook the importance of creating something for a remote future.

Unique pebbles patio designs, Chinese rock garden design ideas

Creating a Chinese rock garden design with meaningful stones is a wonderful idea for tranquil and beautiful backyard designs. Any outdoor living space can be transformed into a small Chinese garden showcasing oriental garden design style and philosophical principles.

Feng Shui home with pets

Beautiful Japanese garden design and landscaping ideas for small spaces

Rocks in Japanese gardens, building a rock garden, backyard designs

Large backyard designs allow to incorporate a few stone and rock features for great Chinese garden designs which are tranquil, natural, and simple. Stones represent mountains in the natural landscapes. Oriental garden design feature stones placed on horizontal terraces and on hill slopes to reflect a more naturally occurring situations and create more realistic natural landscapes.

Beautiful oriental garden design

by Ena Russ

Elements of the Chinese Garden


Water occupies an important place in the Dream Lake Garden. Water, which forms the Earth’s arteries, symbolizes both life and the feminine principle of the universe (yin). Its flat surface works like a mirror and seems to increase the dimensions of the surroundings. Water is essential to the representation of nature as a whole, and its horizontal line counterbalances the effect of the mountains. Water is one of the dominant, unifying elements of this garden.

The lake is 60 meters long by 40 meters wide. Reflections, along with the bridges spanning the water’s branches, serve to make the garden appear even larger.

In some places, rock comes into contact with water; near the falls, large rocks emerge from the water. Rock and water are opposites: the water is yin, the rock yang. They are opposites, but they are linked, since they are two elements of a whole. From contrast and complementarity, harmony is born.


If water represents the earth’s arteries to the Chinese, stone, for them, is the skeleton. Stone is omnipresent in a garden and is perhaps the most distinctive element; it is to the Chinese garden as flower beds and lawns are to Western yards.

The grey rocks in this garden come from Tai Lake (500 metric tonnes imported from China), and the yellow ones from St. Hélène Island (set in the middle of the St. Lawrence Seaway, across from Montréal).

Rock was used as an isolated sculpture, chosen for its resemblance to whatever element or image one wanted to evoke. Heaped together, stones could form more complex mineral landscapes and recreate real mountains.


The 2.5 hectares of the Chinese Garden contain more than 200 varieties of perennials, 50 of aquatic plants, 15 varieties of bamboo, 4 of annuals, 160 of shrubs and approximately 100 varieties of trees.

In a Chinese garden, look neither for the lawns of the English garden nor the precise lines of the French garden.

Chinese gardens favor plants and trees that tradition and history have imbued with symbolism. Designers prefer more natural-looking perennial flowers over annuals.

The Scotch Pine (Pinus sylvestris) is a very important plant, representing longevity and the struggle for survival. Because it stays green, it is, along with the bamboo plant and the apricot tree, one of the “three friends of winter.”

The magnolia tree has traditionally represented wealth. It is also the emblem of Shangai.

In China, the azalea (Rhododendron spp.), together with the primrose and the gentian, is considered one of the “three famous flowers.” The azalea bush and the cuckoo bird are said to be brother and sister since, in April, the bird sings its mournful song on the flowering branches of this plant. There are approximately 800 species of azalea in the world, most of which come from China.

The tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa) is from China. It embodies aristocracy, wealth and social status. It is the queen of flowers, paradoxically representing both female beauty and, the yang, the male principle. It may be one of the first flowers ever to be cultivated simply for ornamental purposes. Initially reserved for the emperor, then the richest classes, it eventually became accessible to all and was grown throughout China. Marco Polo, upon discovering Chinese peonies at the of the 13th century, called them “roses the size of cabbages.” The plant’s bark and roots are used in medecine. The plants generally bloom profusely in June.

A chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum x grandiflorum), also from China, produced the large-flowered specimen we see today. Once used for medicinal purposes, this plant is now appreciated for its ornamental value and serves as a flavoring in certain types of tea.

Sweet osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans) evokes autumn, the season when it blooms. It is said to be princely, elegant and eternal. It is also associated with the moon because, according to the legend, that is where a hare prepared an elixir of life in the shadow of the sweet osmanthus leaves. The creamy white flowers give off a subtle yet long-lasting scent similar to jasmine and are used in tea, wine, medecine and perfume.


Botanists consider bamboo a giant grass, or graminae. Extremely supple, it bends in the wind without ever breaking. It is the Confucian symbol of the true gentleman. The hollow bamboo stem grows in sections joined by hard, thick joints; its leaves are narrow, delicate and pointed. There are more than one thousand species of bamboo, ranging in height from less than one metre (3 ft) to more than 30 metres (98 ft).

Bamboo shoots are a part of the Chinese diet. Bamboo is also a favorite food of the panda, the black and white mammal that is China’s emblem. Bamboo is also widely used throughout Asia to make an array of objects for daily use. The seven buildings in this garden were constructed using lightweight yet strong bamboo scaffolding.

Some plants from China you will see in the garden:

  • Manchurian Apricot (Prunus mandshurica)
  • Flowering Almond (Prunus triloba)
  • Bamboo (Phyllostachys spp.)
  • Peking Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster acutifolius)
  • Manchurian Golden-bells (Forsythia manshurica)
  • Maidenhair Tree (Ginkgo biloba)
  • Fragant Plantain Lily (Hosta plantaginea)
  • Primrose Jasmine (Jasminum mesnyi)
  • Chinese Lilac (Syringa x chinensis)
  • Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)
  • Chinese Matrimony Vine (Lycium chinense)
  • Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)
  • Manchurian Walnut (Juglans manshurica)
  • Fragrant Olive (Osmanthus fragrans)
  • Tree Peony (Paeonia suffruticosa)
  • Buddhist Pine (Podocarpus macrophyllus)
  • Chinese Pear Tree (Prunus ussuriensis)
  • Spirea (Spiraea thunbergii)
  • Oriental Thuja (Thuja orientalis)

Chinese Garden Design: Tips For Creating Chinese Gardens

A Chinese garden is a place of beauty, serenity and a spiritual connection with nature that provides busy people with much-needed respite from a noisy, stressful world. It isn’t difficult to understand the ever-increasing interest in this ancient art form. Let’s learn more about how to create a Chinese garden of your own.

Chinese Garden Design

Three major elements of a Chinese garden traditionally include:

  • Water – representing living, constantly changing nature
  • Stones – indicating stability and strength
  • Plants – which provide beauty, texture and meaning

Architecture such as pavilions and teahouses provide a place for reflection, conversation and refreshments.

Chinese Garden Plants

Chinese gardens contain a variety of plants chosen to provide beauty for each season. Chinese garden plants may include trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and aquatic plants. Bonsai plants are also common.

Bamboo is an important plant that symbolizes flexibility. Similarly, pine trees represent endurance and lotus symbolizes purity.

Other plants often found in a typical Chinese garden include:

  • Magnolia
  • Azalea
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Olive
  • Spirea

However, plants are often chosen for their form, balance and texture rather than showy blooms or bright colors. Every plant is carefully chosen for its beauty and meaning.

How to Create a Chinese Garden

Creating Chinese gardens isn’t all that difficult to do. Select a space for your Chinese garden, then make a sketch of your plans. Your garden should be compact, asymmetrical and pleasing to the eye.

Clear existing vegetation and create a water feature, such as a pond or stream, which is often the focal point of a Chinese garden. Plant a stand of bamboo, but be sure to steer clear of invasive varieties, which can overtake your carefully planned Chinese garden. Select other plants that will provide color and texture for each season.

Other features may include shapes that refer to elements in nature, such as a curved walkway. If possible, provide an architectural element such as an artificial mountain with a pavilion. Many Chinese gardens are enclosed by walls.

Chinese vs. Japanese Gardens

Japanese gardens were initially influenced by Chinese gardens and both are peaceful, tranquil places to connect with nature. However, the two styles have several differences.

  • Chinese gardens are usually designed around an elaborate, decorative building that occupies a relatively large area of the garden.
  • The buildings are placed above or adjacent to a pond or other body of water. While Japanese gardens also contain buildings, the buildings are simple, lack elaborate ornamentation and are often partially or fully hidden from view.
  • Although rocks are elements in both styles, Chinese gardens often feature stones as a dramatic focal point. Japanese gardens generally use smaller, more naturally-appearing rock features.

Asian Landscape Design

Eight dos and don’ts for designing an Asian garden Genevieve Schmidt Swipe to view slides

  • This Japanese maple is highlighted successfully by the low groundcovering plants at its base.
  • Statuary and colorful plantings can be used to create a focal area from a bare wall.
  • This courtyard sets an inviting scene from inside the home.
  • A side yard can become a place of beauty with careful design.

Asian Landscape Style Guide

Use this design sheet to help you create the perfect Asian landscape. You’ll get ideas for color, décor, materials, plants and fabric. It is a great starting point for any landscaping project.

Asian Landscape Style Guide (PDF)

View all Landscape Design Style Guides

Plants for an Asian garden:

Japanese maple
Flowering cherry


Groundcovers & perennials:
Asiatic jasmine
Star jasmine
Mondo grass

The Asian landscape is known for a meditative feeling of serenity. Stone and natural elements invite contemplation, while carefully-shaped plantings show our human interaction with the land.

AJ Shepard, a landscape architect with over 35 years of experience, enjoys the influence of the Asian style because of its calming nature. He’s traveled extensively in Asia, so his knowledge of the culture informs his design sense. Here, he shares his tips for creating an authentic Asian landscape.


  • Do incorporate art pieces into the Asian garden. “Art makes an important focal point, and adds another layer of interest to the garden,” explains Shepard. However, use pagoda towers and other overtly Asian sculptures sparingly. “Softer and subtler Asian elements can set the scene without visually dominating the space.”
  • Do plan garden views by looking out your windows. “Use the sightlines from the house to place focal points or set a soothing scene to enjoy from indoors,” says Shepard. “This creates an outdoor space you’ll feel invited to explore.”
  • Do create meandering paths. It’s believed that straight pathways allow malevolent spirits to go directly into the house, while a zigzag pathway hinders their movement into the living areas of a home.
  • Do choose iconic Asian plants to set the tone. Plants like flowering cherry, Japanese maple, ginkgo, bamboo and mugo pine provide just the right atmosphere in the landscape.


  • Don’t select white flowers for an authentic Asian garden. White flowers are thought of as a funeral flower in many Asian countries. Chrysanthemums in any color have a similar meaning.
  • Don’t fill the entire space. “Less is more,” says Shepard. “Think of your landscape as having positive and negative space. Focal points such as Japanese maples or statuary are most dramatic when placed among low, carpet-like plants.”
  • Don’t feature a Buddha’s head statue. If you want to honor the Buddha in your garden, choose a statue that depicts the entire body of the Buddha. Otherwise, the effect is that of defacing a deity, and can seem disrespectful.
  • Don’t neglect outdoor lighting. There are many styles of lights that work well with an Asian theme or a Craftsman-style home. You can light a pathway, direct light onto sculptures or art, or use lighting to enhance a beautifully-pruned tree.

In any landscape, think about how you can create a space that people want to go into the garden to explore. As Shepard points out, “one of the best things a designer can do for you is to take an under-utilized area and make it part of the garden, either by making it functional or even into a focal point.”

Asian landscapes lend themselves well to this careful use of space. A bare wall can become the backdrop for a special piece of statuary, and a skinny corridor can become home to a carefully-curated selection of stone and plants. Having a series of garden “rooms” can create ample opportunities for the calm contemplation the Asian garden is known for.

Shepard Design Landscape Architecture – AJ Shepard (Marin, CA)

Asian Design Inspiration for Your Backyard

Do the elements of tranquility, simplicity and balance appeal to you? If so, an Asian garden, which reflects these characteristics, might just be the ticket. Discover how you can create a serene retreat at home with the following tips.

An Overview

The elegant beauty and serenity of Asian-style gardens emerges from careful selection and placement of natural elements such as stone, water and greenery. Design is driven by textural contrasts rather than color, which tend to be simple, rich greens and browns. Luxurious foliage is layered to enhance the movement of energy through the landscape.

Focus on Foliage

The base of any great garden design is evergreen color and structure. Start the Asian garden with texturally-diverse evergreen shrubs in varying hues of green. The dark needles of Yewtopia® Plum Yew contrast with the softer tones of Baby Gem™ Boxwood and ‘Lemon Lime’ Nandina, while the strappy leaves of ‘Soft Caress’ Mahonia provide the delicate look of bamboo without the maintenance headaches. Let fine- and medium-textured foliage dominate.

Build in Layers

Asian gardens mimic nature and incorporate the layered effect of woodlands. The Japanese maple is a cornerstone of Asian gardens, yielding height, texture and color. Other landscape trees and shrubs can be used to provide this upper structural layer. Empress of China® Dogwood provides evergreen color as well as canopy structure. Tall shrubs such as October Magic® Inspiration Camellia give height to the garden. The ground layer is also important. Again, incorporate multiple textures through plants such as ferns, spurge and Cleopatra™ Liriope.

Limit Color

A bit of discipline must be practiced when adding color to Asian gardens. Color is used sparingly so as not to disrupt the clarity of the garden. Color may be introduced through foliage and is often found in accent plants, such as the Japanese maple. Foliage color may also be used to highlight a focal point, such as a ground layer of Purple Pixie® Loropetalum or Flirt™ Nandina underlining a small statue. Flower color is typically fleeting, with seasonal bursts from peonies, azaleas or rhododendrons. The Southgate® Rhododendron Series offers hardy selections for bringing the Asian garden to life in the Deep South.

Sense of Enclosure

Many Asian gardens are enclosed by a wall, whether living or manmade. Create a wall of green around the garden with tall shrubs such as Bigfoot™ Cleyera, or for smaller spaces, the streamlined ‘Scarlet’s Peak’ Holly. Wood and stone are also used to create garden walls. Consider accentuating the Asian style with a horizontally aligned wooden wall or bamboo fence.

Less is More

This old adage is the key to successfully creating an Asian aesthetic. Design with a light hand, allowing the natural beauty of your location to shine through. Incorporate local stone in the form of gravel and boulders. Stone can be used to strike a balance between empty and filled space by replacing greenery under accent trees or shrubs. Limit the types of materials and plants in your design to avoid clutter. When designing an Asian-inspired landscape, remember to seek simplicity above all else.

It’s been almost two months since I’m working in Real Japanese Gardens. Few times per week we spend in the construction sites doing maintenance and planting. In this article I would like to tell you more about the most common plants we are working with. They are easy to care and can grow well outdoor. In Japan people prefer evergreen plants and less flowering plants. Let me share the list of the most popular plants Japanese use in their private gardens.

Japan is home to an astounding array of fern species. Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) is a common plant in Japanese style gardens. It is tolerant of a wide range of soils and climates. It’s the best option in partial or fully shaded areas where you may have trouble getting other plants to flower. In autumn the fronds turn reddish-brown and die back to ground level, with new fronds unfurling from the base in spring.

Mix of different varieties of Sedum. Perfect for rock gardens, walls, pathway niches, and containers; as edging for borders; or in sweeps on hillsides. An evergreen ground cover, it gives the effect of a moss-covered ground/hill. Sedums actually decrease work for a gardener as they increase in square footage. They are among the most versatile, drought-tolerant, and easy-to-grow perennials. Most creeping sedums prefer full sun but will tolerate partial shade. The leaves of evergreen species turn shades of red and russet in winter.

Many varieties of Acorus griminess (Sweet Flag). Semi-evergreen Japanese plant is best grown in very moist soil. Acorus gramineus when grow outdoor is easily grown in average, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. It can be used as groundcover, in erosion control, rain garden or as a water plant.

Ophiopogon japonicus (well known as mondograss, fountainplant, monkey grass), an evergreen, sod-forming perennial plant. It is providing an excellent ground cover. Ophiopogon japonicas is a low maintenance plant, suitable for a range of soils. It is very frost hardy and tolerates sun to semi-shade. White flowers in summer are followed by black berries. Can be used as a lawn substitute, to edge borders and paths.

Lysimachia nummularia, it is a low-growing, rampant, evergreen ground cover with rounded, golden yellow leaves. Grow in a moist, but well-drained soil; full sun or partial shade area. In summer it produces bright yellow flowers. Lysimachia nummularia is a moderately fast grower, is one of the most undemanding stem plants to grow. The plant is good as ground cover; near ponds and in bog gardens. This ovate leaved stem plant is best suited as a midground and background plant.

Microbiota decussate (also known as Siberian carpet cypress, Russian arbor-vitae), an evergreen ground-covering conifer that can tolerate minus-30 or colder weather. Easily grown in average, moist but well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best performance is in cool summer climates. Ground cover for banks and slopes. Specimen or ground cover for rock gardens, shrub borders or foundations.

Pachysandra terminalis (Japanese spurge), a Japanese native plant. It is a slow-growing, spreading evergreen perennial. The leaves may yellow in winter. It has white flowers in early summer. Use as a massed ground cover, low grouped element, or accent plant in the ground. Can grow in any soil, except very dry. It tolerates sun to full shade.

Helleborus (Christmas rose), evergreen perennial flowering plants. Not Japanese traditional plant, but widely used in modern and semi-west private gardens. Best grown in groups in a woodland or shady border. In Japan, flowers are produced in winter and run the gamut from white, green, pink, purple, cream, and sometimes spotted. Tolerates a wide range of soils and exposures and sun to part shade. Depends of individual species.

Aspidistra elatior, native to Japan and Taiwan. It is able to deal with any light (but not too much sun) and fully capable of dealing with poor light conditions. Aspidistra elatior is not a fast grower and It does takes a long time to grow to a salable size. It is widely cultivated as a houseplant, but can also be grown well outside in shade where temperatures remain above −5°C. The plan is tolerant of low humidity, temperature fluctuation and irregular watering.

Different varieties of Heuchera, low maintenance semi-evergreen plants. It is easy to grow and come in a range of different colours including pinks, oranges, greens, purples. Great for growing in borders, woodland, slopes, containers, and hanging baskets. Heuchera is not used in traditional Japanese style gardens. Well grown in fertile, well-drained soil in sun to part shade.

Abelia x grandiflora, the glossy abelia, wide range of flowering shrubs – mainly evergreen but one or two also deciduous types of Abelia widely available. The flowers are produced in clusters, white, tinged pink, bell-shaped. They prefer to be grown in full sun, but will tolerate light shade also.; well-drained soil. It’s perfect for growing in a mixed or shrub border.

Hydrangea (hydrangea or hortensia).They can be either deciduous or evergreen, though the widely cultivated temperate species are all deciduous.The flowers can be white, blue, red, pink, light purple, or dark purple. Hydrangeas are very popular ornamental plants in Japan, grown for their large flowerheads. Hydrangeas thrive in a moist, but well-drained soil, in a cool, semi-shady part of the garden. They’re not only easy to grow but are also quite hardy and resistant to most pests and diseases, making it even easier to care for hydrangeas.
Varieties of Ilex crenata (Japanese Holly) is a small-growing, evergreen shrub with dark to mid-green/yellow, glossy leaves. The white flowers are followed by black berries. The plant grows in almost any conditions except water logged soil, prefers slightly acidic soil. It does well in shade or sun. The evergreen and compact habit allows it to often be clipped into cones, balls, spirals – it is a popular plant among Bonsai enthusiasts. Japanese holly is often used in foundation plantings, hedges, beds and borders, or formal gardens. Ilex trees and shrubs can be planted at any time when the ground is workable. Container grown plants are available for planting all the year round.
Rosmarinus officinalis (known as rosemary), is a woody, perennial shrub with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers. It prefers a light, sandy soil of medium to low fertility. However, rosemary will tolerate most growing conditions, as long as it is not waterlogged. Rosemary is one of the most commonly grown herbs in the gardens in Japan, but it does not belong to Japanese tradition style. The plan is well suited to container growing as well. It is very easy to grow.
Lavandula (common as lavender) is evergreen shrub, well known of masses of beautifully scented flowers above green or silvery-grey foliage. The flowers may be blue, violet or lilac in the wild species, occasionally blackish purple or yellowish. This drought-tolerant plant thrives in a sunny border, herb or gravel gardens. Most lavender can be grown in pots. It is easy to grow in the right condition. Lavender needs sun and well drained soil and dislikes wet, especially winter wet which it will not tolerate and this can causee the plant will die in parts or completely. Lavender is very popular among Japanese, however it is not used in Japanese traditional style gardens.

Lonicera nitida, a species of perennial shrub with creamy white, fragrant flowers followed by bluish-purple berries. It can grow on dry sandy soils as well as chalky soils but does not like waterlogged ground. This plant is often used by beginners in Bonsai Art.

Viburnum plicatum (or Chinese snowball), a semi-evergreen or evergreen shrub. It bears large blousy flowers, similar to hydrangea blooms. Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, acidic loams, but tolerates a wide range of soils.

Varieties of Farfugium japonicum (Leopard plant), evergreen plant is native to streams and seashores of Japan. The plant is very popular in Japanese style gardens. It is the best grown in organically rich, medium moisture soils in part shade to full shade; prefer moist soils that never dry out. Leopard plant often used as a groundcover or accent in a woodland garden, on the edges of streams or lakes, and in containers.

Equisetum hyemale (Horsetail reeds), an evergreen plant with tall, dark green stems horizontally striped with black.

It is evergreen even in the hardest weather and useful for giving winter interest to the pond, especially in a native pond. It prefers full sun, semi-shade or shade and damp soil.

The list does not include all Japanese traditional plants, only most common.
The pictures are used from the internet.

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Oriental Landscape: 20 Asian Gardens That Offer a Tranquil Green Haven

Crafting your own personal retreat that whisks you away from the mundaneness of daily urban life is increasingly becoming a part of modern home design. Some prefer to turn their bedroom into this reclusive and relaxing sanctuary, while others might turn to the family room, or even the attic with a loft bed. But for most homeowners, it is the patio and garden that offer the ideal escape and allow them to get away from the constant rush and unending monotony. And few do this better than Asian-style gardens, thanks to their Zen-inspired design that sets them apart from others.

Stunning Asian garden and deck offer a mesmerizing retreat at home

Asian-style landscaping, gardens and decks is what we turn our attention to today, and while Japanese design elements are always a big part of these gorgeous gardens, we consciously refrained from showcasing many Japanese gardens, having already shared them with you. Asian gardens go beyond mere aesthetics and attach symbolic value to everything used in transforming the landscape. From statues to water features, decks to carefully placed rocks, everything has a greater meaning and contributes to the visual balance. It is indeed a treat for the senses that you do not want to miss!

Classic and Timeless

The traditional Asian garden is a setting full of vibrant color, contrast, and a balance between various elements of nature. As a rule, a water feature or two is an absolute must in these exquisite gardens that have an air of timeless allure. This could be a simple fountain, a thriving koi pond, a smart reflecting pool, or just a small water feature that brings the sound of flowing water to the garden. Elements like the Buddha statue are another staple addition here, but this is not an absolute must. Do not forget color, though, as a wide range of plants that bring every shade ranging from fiery reds to mellow yellows adds another layer of richness to these evergreen settings.

RELATED: 25 Awesome Rustic Decks That Offer a Tranquil Escape

Traditional Asian garden design revitalizes the courtyard Stacked stone staircase becomes the showstopper of this Oriental garden Serenity and rejuvenation can be easily found in a relaxing garden like this! Wooden bridge gives the Asian garden that timeless Japanese style and Oriental vibe Private garden in Germany with Asian style

Contemporary Asian Gardens

While the sweeping and enchanting Asian garden looks undeniably amazing, not all of us have the budget or the space for something so spectacular. Add to this the constant care it needs, and the landscape design becomes an even more daunting prospect. A more sensible option for you might be the modern Asian garden that borrows from the ornate classics and tones them down to fit into the urban landscape. A wall of bamboo plants, a few colorful, flowering plants, a sleek water feature and a small section that contains the rock garden – this is all you need! If you have more space to spare, then a cool outdoor lounge, relaxing meditation nook or even al fresco dining can become a part of this garden.

RELATED: Natural Inspiration: Koi Pond Design Ideas For A Rich And Tranquil Home Landscape!

Bamboo, white flowers and a water feature turn this small garden into a showstopper Sunken outdoor lounge, dining and deck for the Asian garden Few gardens and decks offer a view as stunning as this in Paris! Asian patio and garden coupled with a smart contemporary home Urban homes can also enjoy the magic of Asian style gardens with the right landscaping

Striking the Right Balance

We did talk already about the balance of different natural elements in the Asian garden, and while this is essential, it is also important to consider how the landscape combines with your home. Traditional homes and those with rustic and farmhouse vibes tend to integrate beautifully with Asian gardens. Even refined contemporary homes work well with minimal Asian gardens where stone and sand take over from greenery. Make sure that your relaxing Zen-style garden feels like a natural extension of your home while giving it that unique flavor that makes it slightly different.

RELATED: Decorating with an Asian Influence

Mesmerizing entrance garden borrows from Balinese culture and motifs Create a smart outdoor living space and relaxing hangout with the tranquil Asian garden Colorful plants and flora give the Asian garden a delightful visual appeal Gorgeous Asian courtyard connected with the living area and the home office Bamboo is an essential part of the classic Asian garden

Creating Space and Setting Mood

Much like in the case of any interior or charming garden landscape, it is lighting that plays an essential role in setting the mood once darkness takes over. Asian-style gardens are now different in this regard, and proper in-ground lighting gives the already exquisite garden an enchanting makeover after sunset. Sliding glass doors are increasingly becoming the norm in modern homes when it comes to bridging the gap between the interior and the garden, and they feel apt here as well, while bamboo fences, blinds and shades give the outdoor lounge set in this garden a smart, Oriental appeal.

Small modern Asian garden and Zen retreat for contemporary Vancouver home Small meditation courtyard with Asian style Minimal Asian rock garden idea with a dash of greenery Elegant and small Asian style garden and courtyard design

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