Japanese garden styles are a varied kaleidoscope of composition, design, history and features.
Opinions on the earliest recorded Japanese Garden vary, however they are thought to date back as far as the 6TH Century of the Asuka period when they first appeared on the Island of Honshu. Their design is said to have had their roots in the Chinese gardening styles seen by Japanese Merchants during their travels.
The Zen, Dry Landscape, Study, Courtyard Strolling and Tea Garden styles differ extensively in their elements, size, history, plantings and intention for the visitor’s senses. Each style takes its structure from a different period of Japanese History with the first authentic Japanese Garden originating during the Nara Period (710-794).
The elements of a Japanese Garden contain Rocks representing Mountains, Gravel that is patterned to represent water and various plant forms. Colder and shaded Gardens sometimes had a ground cover of moss as part of the Landscape. The modern Japanese garden with the exception of those in their purest form is now using alternatives to moss as a plant to cover the garden floor.
Zoysia grass provides an ideal ground cover for a Japanese style garden and is often used as an alternative to moss due to its ability to suppress weed invasion. Its slow growing nature coupled with shade and drought tolerance make it a perfect choice for these gardens. The Zoysia variety Sir Grange is extremely fine leaved and will clump if left unmown for long periods giving a desired look for the style of garden. It can be used alongside rocks and plants and due to its slow growth, can be easily controlled. Sir Grange is the lowest maintenance grass available as turf and can be purchased in small quantities.
When constructing a Japanese Garden where a grass ground cover is to be used, it is preferable to install a free draining 100mm sand base for the Sir Grange Zoysia to bed into.
Unlike other turf varieties the Sir Grange requires very little fertility once established which makes it the ideal ground cover choice for your Japanese Garden.
The Japanese Garden and its contemplative environment will provide your home with a relaxing outdoor area that will enhance your lifestyle.
There is a plethora of information available for the homeowner who wants to understand the elements and traditions of a Japanese Garden before building their garden. A web search for Japanese Gardens will provide a host of information to help with your design and knowledge of the key elements.