The modern Japanese garden is less about using traditional cultural symbolism and more about the art of bringing nature into your space. Today’s Japanese garden designs incorporate water elements, artfully placed rocks, and unique topiaries to create an environment that promotes peace, calm, and wellness. The careful balance of open spaces and lush greenery can be daunting for amateur landscape enthusiasts, but the truth is maintaining your Japanese garden doesn’t have to be hard. Our team of landscape experts has put together our top five easy ways to keep your space stunning.
1. Incorporate Elements of Japanese Garden Designs
Instead of throwing in shrines or curved wooden bridges every few feet in an attempt to curate the desired ‘Japanese’ look in your garden, try placing carefully chosen elements. A few universal design choices turn a bare garden into a ‘Japanese’ one, such as dense foliage extending into the background and stepping stone paths. Other elements are more obscure and a matter of personal taste, such as a Koi pond or a gravel garden. An easy way to maintain your garden is by setting up a base first, with simple foliage and open spaces. After you have your foundation laid, choose one or two accent features that speak personally to you. This act of choosing only a few specialty features allows you to incorporate elements of those signature Japanese designs without overwhelming the space.
2. Leave Blank Spaces
A key and often overlooked aspect of truly stunning Japanese gardens is that they frequently have plenty of open space. The combination of thick greenery and open spaces, sometimes decorated with steppingstones or wooden walkways, soothes any visitor. Too much space and the garden can feel dull, but too little, and it is overwhelming. A useful rule of thumb for placing open space is to consider where you will view the garden. Do you gaze out of the kitchen window at your garden? If so, keep the area between the window and the start of your greenery clear of other plants. Do you enter from a side gate? Leave the walkway from that gate to the garden relatively simple. Allowing the blank space between your viewing place and the garden itself permits you to enjoy the landscape without being overwhelmed.
3. Take Care of More Than Just Plants
Maintaining the overall aesthetic of your garden means also keeping up with rocks, platforms, and of course, water features: clean walkways and large rock formations with a power washer about once per year. You can rent a power washer or ask a Centerpoint Landscaping professionals to take care of it. Regularly treat your water features with a safe cleaning treatment to get rid of any scum or buildup. Remember to remove any fish or living creatures before and only return once the water is back to safe levels. By caring for these non-plant features, you’ll notice an overall better-looking garden.
4. Regularly Check On Your Watering System
When Centerpoint Landscaping has installed your Japanese garden, we will have already set up a proper irrigation system. Never neglect your watering system. Even if everything is working fine, you want to perform a thorough check of each part every six months or so. This easy tune-up includes inspecting joints for leaks, checking on water pressure, and testing the water. You want to regularly check on your watering system because even the smallest change in your irrigation could be detrimental to your garden’s health. Water leaks can kill plants or damage your home just as quickly as having no water at all will.
5. Outsource When You Need To
If you’re the kind of person who wants to enjoy their Japanese garden but not worry about maintaining it every day, that’s okay. Some people prefer to enjoy their garden from a distance. There’s no shame in not wanting to get your hands dirty; that’s why we’re here. Don’t be afraid to outsource your Japanese garden maintenance, whether you’re in over your head or just plain don’t want to deal with it. Our professional landscapers here at Centerpoint Landscaping are more than happy to assist with any part of your garden needs.