Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The Japanese are a creative people, , TE, werwrwe ppppppppppppppppppppioneering several interesting art forms such as the bonsai and the origami. Japanese art often centers on simplicity and refined artistry. It comes as no surprise then that one of the most popular garden styles comes from the Japanese culture. With the current trend of modern minimalism, the Japanese rock garden is a great choice for a modern-look landscape.
Often called a Zen garden, the Japanese rock garden is a stylized, miniature area, a concept reminiscent of the art of bonsai plant arrangements. There is more to the sheer beauty in a Zen garden’s simplicity; rock arrangements and gravel designs all have a deeper spiritual meaning. A carefully composed arrangement of rocks, plants, water features and raked sand or gravel are made to form a landscape. To create your own Zen garden, it’s important to become acquainted with these different elements.
Sand and gravel represent water bodie, and raked designs are reminiscent of water ripples while the light color symbolizes calmness and purity. Gravel is preferred, particular for outdoor gardens, because of its resistance to different weather conditions and easy maintenance.
Rocks and stones are the primary centerpieces in a Japanese rock garden. They represent mountains, islands and other land formations. Rugged mountain rocks or volcanic rocks are used to evoke a mountain landscape, while smooth rounded stones are used to signify shores. Japanese art is partial to asymmetrical arrangements, even with rock garden designs. A common rock arrangement is a grouping of three, with one taller rock at the back and two shorter ones on each side. This represents Buddha and his two attendants.
Plants and trees are usually verdant without any flowers, but you may also opt for one with seasonal blooms. Trees are small and well in proportion to the garden size. Plants are shaped and pruned according to the garden style. Associated with long life and the overcoming of life’s challenges, trees are a significant part of Zen gardens.
A water feature is another element of a Zen garden, although not all gardens have them. Flowing water represents calmness and serenity. For a low-maintenance garden, you can just use sand or gravel to represent water instead.
To create your own Japanese rock garden, start by deciding on the location and size of the garden. Next, plan the layout of the garden, with the different elements you want to include. Sketch the layout for a better idea of your garden’s proportions.
Clear out all plants, grass and weeds in your chosen garden area. This is an important step, since you wouldn’t want any weeds poking out of your serene garden gravel. It’s also necessary to create a distinct garden edge, preferably asymmetrical. You can achieve this by lining the edge with stones.
Consider the different elements and what they stand for to create a sensible garden design. For instance, trees don’t grow in the middle of the 'ocean' so avoid planting them right in the middle of the sand or gravel. Trees are better arranged beside rocks. Plants and rocks should be arranged first before you add in the gravel, so these 'land forms' will appear submerged under the 'water body.' - Aislinn Kee