Japanese Garden: Unique Way to Embrace Nature

Gardening enthusiasts adore the idea of Japanese garden because of the calmness and beauty it brings to property. Shops, buildings, restaurants and other commercial establishments incorporate Japanese garden to their landscape. If you want to have your own Japanese garden at your backyard, then you have to consider some elements.

First, you have to grasp the true meaning of nature. It means you have to design your garden as natural as possible and not to add things that could destroy its natural beauty. If you try to add water features in your garden, you should think of one that naturally occurs in environment like a waterfall.

You must also have the concept of balance. One purpose of Japanese garden is to recreate the real nature into the small garden you have. Rocks can be your mountain, ponds could be the lakes and sand could mean the ocean.

You should be careful when choosing your elements in the garden. You must not lose the concept of nature and balance.

Ma and Sabi/Wabi (Space and Time)

The spaces or Ma are important aspect of Japanese gardening. You must consider the elements that surround the space.

In and yo (yin and yang in Chinese) is applied in this concept. It might be hard to understand at first but it is an essential part of Japanese gardening.

Another important concept is the Sabi and Wabi or the element of time. Wabi is essence of the uniqueness of something while Sabi is the character strengthens by time.

The time and space elements are essential for Japanese garden. As the season changes, your garden must reflect the characteristics of each season. Japanese gardening last until winter unlike the Westerners who stop gardening at the end of fall.

During spring, the garden must show a relaxing effect by offering new blossoms. In summer, the green color and the sight of the pond reflects the true essence of summer, the dramatic effect of yellow or orange flowers during fall and the white snow that dominates the garden during winter.

Spring and winter are two of the most essential growing season in Japan. Snow blossoms or Sekku in Japanese is the snow on braches and the Snow lantern or Yukimi is a snow lantern used in Japanese garden during winter. Winter is the most important part of gardening as it is the sleeping time of the garden.

Garden borders

If you want your garden to be the real escape from reality, then you have to separate it from the real world. In order to achieve it, gates and fences are essential

These borders represent deep meaning for a Japanese garden. These separate you from the worries and problems. The fence encloses you and your garden away from the real world while the gate is where you leave your problems and deal with them once you exit the garden.

This is the concept of Miegakure or hide and reveal. The fence is put up easily and with the use of plants, it hides what is inside the garden. You can have a small part of the fence to be cut down for people to have a look at your garden.

You can also make use of sleeve fences or Sode-gaki to have a view of the garden from the house. Through these borders, you can lose track of time and yourself within your garden.

Three Basic Japanese Garden Styles

All the concepts above are applied to these three styles. You can either choose from the three to incorporate in your backyard.

Hill and Pond Garden (Chisen-Kaiyu-skiki)

This style is greatly influenced by Chinese. A space or water feature is surrounded with gravel and hill. This is to show the mountainous areas and vegetation in the area. Stroll gardens make use of this style.

Flat Garden (Hiraniwa)

It is inspired by the flat spaces used by palaces and temples for ceremonies. This is a good place to mediate by yourself and make use of the appropriate plants to create a relaxing effect. Courtyards commonly use this style

Tea Gardens (Rojiniwa)

This style focused greatly on functionality. The dewy path or Roji is the focal point of the garden style with the gates and pond. Plants should be chosen carefully for country look of your garden

Formality should also be considered when using either of the styles. Hill and Pond Garden can be formal (shin), intermediate (gyo) and informal (so). Shin style is used in palaces and temples while Gyo is for residence. The So is for huts or retreats and tea garden is one informal style.

One should embrace the concepts of Japanese garden in your backyard. You may not have used all the techniques but the important thing is you have achieved serenity and a natural garden that is your true escape from the outside world.

Flagstone: The Best Material for Pavement Landscaping

Flagstone has been widely used today as a material in flooring outdoor areas – usually the garden, patio and driveway. With a number of flagstones available, varieties can be confusing so this article will mainly discuss what you should consider in choosing flagstones as the main material for your garden pavement. The colors to choose and design that would suit your garden style will also be discussed.

The good thing about flagstones is its ability to fit in whatever design – either rustic or contemporary. Also, it never goes out of style so you are assured that your driveway or garden is always on trend.

Fit it in

The color and design of the flagstones should jive with your house design. It is always important to make sure that everything works together as one. Uniformity is relevant to create focus and not overdo it. Before anything starts, complete designs, colors and flagstone sizes have been conceptualized.

Simple Considerations

There are simple yet reasonable factors that you should think about to get the right flagstones for your outdoor flooring venture.

  • Price – You must think about your budget since prices vary for these flagstones. They are sold in ton or pound and not by pieces.
  • Thickness – this might not be given enough attention but inappropriate thickness can result to loss of time and money. Thick flagstones are also known as lay-down because they can directly set on soil without any mortar while thin flagstones are used the other way.

Informal or Formal

For rustic or informal style of design, choose flagstones that have rough edges with assorted shapes that complement each other so it will have a great overall look after the installation. On the other hand, formal setup means polished and fitted stones. Usually, stones are cut with a saw to have simpler edges.

Garden Pathway

Though patio installations are more rigid compared to garden pathways, style is important. Usually, they are laid in a mosaic manner or end to end arrangement for narrow pathways.

In addition during installation, do not forget to walk in them to feel if they are easy to walk on and whether their gaps are comfortable for normal strides. If you are planning not to use mortar, make sure to cover the spaces in between them with low grasses or mulch.

Step by Step

Apart from using these flagstones as flooring for pathways, they are also conveniently installed for steps. Flagstone stairs create an organic look in the garden making it more stylish. They create each step secured and stable – usually lasts for a long time.

The Drama

A garden has to keep a drama to be remembered. Colorful and great arrangements of flowers are given, but adding drama into it adds fascination. Design your focal point with flagstones – combine various shapes to create a masterpiece. A structure can add thickness and texture to the entire place.

Seats and Tables

Staying outside is more fun if you have seats and tables installed. Usually, steel or wooden fixtures are placed outside for a normal garden setup. To make it interesting, why not stack flagstones to your desired height and cap it with smooth capstones to sit on. This way, you are creating your own seats and tables uniquely.

It can be a bit tricky, but if you able to surpass the challenge there is no doubt that you will get attention from your family and visitors. You can go with the same flagstones that are in your patio for a monochromatic appeal but if you want to have distinction, choosing different colored flagstones are fine.

Flagstones are the most common material today, price and installation wise. So, it is just your creativity that will make you different from the rest.

Garden Idea: Sensible Landscaping Edging Proposals

Edging your landscaping design adds crisp on the visual appearance of your garden and is functional at the same time. This is where practicality meets imagination. Edging is a great way to give borders to the growing flowers in your garden. Also, this is an effective way to distinguish your beds from the lawn/yard and can fill up spaces left undone.

If you are still in doubt on what tricks to do for your landscaping edge, this article will discuss different styles and materials to be used for the project.

Concrete Garden Edging

Concrete edging lessens your work, so there’s no need to mow or eliminate weeds. It can also be a great pathway from your door leading to the garden. The uneven level of your landscape is no hassle as you can create varying heights depending on your chosen style.

Rock and Brick Edging

Installing rock or brick to separate sections in your lawn is easy and stylish. These are aesthetically pleasing and are cost-efficient at the same time. In rural areas, these rocks are free which makes it the perfect edging material to be used.

  • Diagonal Brick Edging Design – you can use old mismatch bricks installed in domino effect. Dig a trench and install each brick solidly on the soil one after the other. You can create a diagonal effect, all leaning in the direction.
  • Classic Brick Edging – this can be almost similar to diagonal edging. The only difference is the uniformity of the brick shape. This is also the best option for those who are in a limited budget, its widely available and the cheapest. Always take note that you have to minimize the spaces in between and set it evenly to avoid heaving.
  • Field Stone Composition – landscape edging using field stones is the most common choice in rural areas. Make sure to choose medium-sized stones so it won’t hinder the plants growth but not too small to look like just scattered stones – voiding its purpose.

Cobblestone Edging

This is perfect in creating a landscape shape to your garden. This is usually square cobbles combined with granite for great contrasting textures. You can create different styles using these cobblestones. With regards to installation, it is easy to align just like the typical brick edging.

Plants over Plants

This can be a fantastic style in any landscaping. Low, heaping foliage is the most appropriate plants to use in this fantastic edging technique. Use only one choice of plant species for uniformity purposes and to avoid confusion as much as possible. Some perfect plant selections include sweet alyssum, Artemisia, corabells and bouncing bet.

Reusable Bottles for Edging

Looking for a cool and funky way to infuse edging in your garden? Recycle used colored glass bottles for landscaping edging. These bottles will do the magic for you. Neck down, bury these bottles one after the after. Keep no spaces to avoid weeds from growing in between and for turfs to migrate on your beds.

One-of-a-kind Edging

Think of something unique and different from the usual edging materials, a basket weave is a perfect choice. How does it work? Install the basket weave in an upright position all around your garden beds. This is a unique style in blocking weeds from migrating on the beds. In addition, you can paint the weave basket with your choice of color, adding effect aesthetically.

Landscape edging design is essential if you want to add impact to your garden. Ways and stylish materials are mentioned above to help you out in your next edging project. You don’t have to spend too much to be able to create a unique garden edging – imagination works!

Oasis Landscape: An Escape to Paradise

The weather is warming up and summer vacation is finally here. While some may be planning their getaway, some prefer to have a “staycation”. It was found in a recent poll that about two-thirds of homeowners would like to sit at their patio and have some barbecue party with their family than head out and eat at a restaurant.

landscapingThis is the reason why creating an oasis in your backyard is such a trend these days. Most homeowners want to create an outdoor living space where families can gather together, relax and have a good time.

Oasis landscaping is the art of transforming your backyard into a beautiful outdoor oasis. You don’t have to spend too much money on remodeling your landscape because there are simple and easy ways to do it yourself. So here are some tips in order to have an outdoor living space that is both functional and aesthetical:

Consider your Home Style

It is really essential that what others experience inside your house is also what they should experience outside of it. You should have a full understanding of the architecture of your house so you can create an outdoor room with a similar ambiance.

The main point is your outdoor oasis must complement your house. Whether your home style is Victorian or ranch-style, it is essential that the yard reflects it.

Determine the Purpose

Once you understand the architecture and you have the idea of your landscape, then it is time to determine the activities that will be held in this outdoor oasis. If you want a place where families or friends gather together, then you can have tables and chairs set up covered in beautiful fabrics and a counter where food is served. You can also build some small stage for little entertainment.

If you want a solemn and quite outdoor room, then you can have benches around with pillows covered in fabric. You must sketch your entire plan.

Make it Greener

Green is, of course, the primary color for the garden so make sure green stands out. Make use of shrubs, trees and plants. You don’t have to completely redo your landscape.

Just make use of your flower garden around your patio or around a structure in order to enhance its appearance. Colorful flower beds are definitely a big plus for your landscape.

outdoor landscapingInstall Garden Fixtures

Garden fixtures come in unique designs and in different sizes. They are really inexpensive and you can easily install them on your outdoor oasis.

You can have string lights in different bright colors. You can also light up the pathway to your garden, pool or pond. You can also have them around the trees or branches. Well-placed lighting can also increase your home’s security during nighttime.

Make it a Fun Place

You can also create a playground for your children in your outdoor oasis. Just make sure there are no sharp objects that might harm them. Because your garden offers a relaxing and calming ambiance, it could be a perfect studying place for your kids.

Other Structures

Make use of stones and pathways to make your garden seem larger. You can also have water structures such as a fountain which is a relaxing sight for you and your guests. Then you can have lighting installed in this structure to make it stand out during the night.

Achieving an oasis landscape for your house is definitely easy these days if you have the right tools and a design in mind. Make sure to use the beauty of your plants and flowers in order to create an outdoor space that is entertaining and relaxing at the same time.

Low-Landscaping Tips: Less Time for your Garden, More for Yourself

If you find yourself tending to your flowers and gardens until the sun goes down or your water bills are continuously going up, then maybe it is time to step back and think about whether you spend too much time maintaining your garden and less time for yourself.

landscapingYou may have realized that you invite your friends, relatives and visitors to your garden to show off but for some unexplained reason, no one seems to notice your beautiful landscape or how gorgeous your flower gardens are. It seems the only one who can appreciate it is your pets that make your garden a good place for their private business.

It is really possible to make your garden attractive without straining yourself to maintain it. It is easy to have green surroundings, do a bit of work on the environment or make use of your green thumb abilities without having to spend too much time on your garden. If you plan to enhance your yard, then it is essential that you have a blueprint of what you have to do. An easy-to-tend landscape is the one that is properly planned at the very beginning.

Maintenance is such an overwhelming task for some homeowners, but is important to keep in mind that you still need to do those landscaping chores. You still have to sweep those dried leaves in order to keep your garden clean and beautiful. Spending even a bit of your time in planning your landscape will let you achieve a functional garden that doesn’t need much time and money.

Choose your Plants

This is the initial step when planning your landscape. It seems that homeowners tend to choose flowers and plants because they look beautiful on their garden. They buy them without thinking what their needs are.

Then, you find a good place for your flowers and soon after, they will bloom enhancing your landscape. But what if they start to die down and the leaves start to drop?

If you have researched something about the particular plant, then this would not be a problem for you. If you tend to continue considering what plants look good for your garden, then you will definitely lose the aspect of a low-maintenance landscaping.

Make sure to choose low-maintenance plants such as the variegated ribbon grass, peonies, winter king hawthorn and velvet cloak smoke tree that will make your home cool and hot according to conditions. Also these plants need little sweeping time.

Make sure you make your flower garden large or combine little ones into a big one to save you sweeping or mowing time. For the lawn, you can use an alternative grass such as clover since it is resistant to insects. It does well with the weeds as well so you don’t have to mow it often.

Consider the Climate

Climate in your area is essential in planning your landscape. This will determine which plants you opt to have in your garden.

If you live in warm areas, make use of xeriscaping or a landscape design that can withstand very hot or drought conditions. If you live in extreme cold temperatures, then you have to choose plants that can withstand soil which has too much water. You also have to consider the plants that are native in your area for they will surely survive even on their own.

Use Less Water

Water is a necessity for plants so you have to make sure each has enough to survive. Water is also essential to achieve a low-maintenance landscape. Make sure to choose plants that can tolerate drought rather than plants that consume too much water.

landscaping tipsYou have the option of having a rock garden rather than the traditional plant garden. You can have alpine rock garden and Japanese Zen garden where the focus is more on rock positions rather than the plants. So less time for mowing, weeding, sweeping and provides relaxation time for your alone-time.

Maintenance time is really unavoidable but certainly these tips will prevent your water bills go up and you don’t have to spend too much time tending for your plants. You will not only enjoy the beauty of all your efforts, but also you have time for yourself.