Saturday, November 6, 2010

Natural Inclinations of Japanese Gardening

The uniqueness of Japanese gardens is its attempt to mimic the nature. This is why those who are engaged in this hobby use trees, shrubs, rocks, sand, ponds, and flowing water to design something that resembles nature.

Japanese gardening exists in different form, Zen and Shinto being its largest part. This kind of hobby meets the contemplative and reflective state of mind. It can be said that this type of gardening is far more meditational and soul soothing than western types of gardening. No wonder this Japanese form of arranging their gardens is gaining popularity all over the world.

If you are planning to delve into this type of gardening, you must remember and understand the three basic approaches to this hobby, namely reduced scale, symbolization, and borrowed views. Reduced scale is the reproduction of nature on a smaller version. This involves actual scenes from nature including mountains, rivers, trees, and landscapes.

Symbolization is the reproduction of nature using representation. One good example of this approach is using white sands to stand for the ocean, or using green moss to represent tall grass. The key to this approach is the gardener’s saturation of nature. This does not necessarily require representing the scene in smaller scale although it can be done.

Borrowed view approach involves using the ocean or the forest as background but in the end will play a very important part of the garden. The background is actually an important part of the garden.

Normally, the basic elements of Japanese garden include rocks, representing spirituality; gravel, representing the course of water and to define the surface; stone, setting the boundaries; and water, representing balance. Water can be in the form of a pond, stream, or a waterfall

Plants in a Japanese garden usually include bonsai plants, which are large trees in miniature form. Their size ranges from five centimeters to one meter. They are kept small by pruning, re-potting, and wiring the branches and even the trunk.

“Just like Japanese gardens, good things in life may come in little packages.”


  1. I really enjoy reading the posts here. Being a gardener myself, I learn a lot about this hobby. Will you please focus on gardening first, as I am about to renovate my backyard garden in two weeks. I hope you will grant me this favor. Thanks in advance.

  2. Thanks Xean Avery. I will consider your suggestion.