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Popping Dianes post back up to the top so some lovely members can help ber.
Bump re spam
Its very small, Diane. If you lift the turf and put gravel over a membrane to keep the weeds down. A large artfully placed stone? You can draw rings in the gravel with a rake. maybe an acer dissectum in a pot?
You won't have the space for all the elements of a japanese style garden, but maybe you could try one or two to give a feel?
Going off at a bit of a tangent, but I'm currently reading this book http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/02/books/review/the-garden-of-evening-mists-by-tan-twan-eng.html?_r=0
and apart from being a really engaging novel, it's giving me real insight into the theory involved in creating an authentic Japanese garden.
Oh, we seem to have three threads on this
I've replied on the other thread. In a garden this size, a Japanese courtyard style would suit best and would not include any grass. Once a seating area is made there's be so Little garss left anyway it would be a pain to mow and maintain once the rocks, gravel, usual lanterns and water feature went in, let alone the plants.
It could work out very calm and restful though. Nice project.
Here are some pictures I took of a Japanese style garden in Tallinn (Maakri/Tornimae). It is a similar size to your garden. Key is low growing
plants and careful use of landscaping. Note the use of different size stones to create a landscape of rivers and mountains.
Hi Diane - lots of good replies and advice already. With such a small area I'd agree about not having grass at all - the planting will give you enough greenery and it wouldn't be worth trying to maintain. One bit of advice I'd give is - don't make the mistake of only using small plants because it's a small space. Use bigger plants and make statements with them and it will actually make the area look bigger. You can see the effect in some of blairs' pictures. Repeating the same plant will unify the space too.
There's lots of plant choices readily available depending on your aspect. Is it sunny or shady? For low growing prostrate plants try junipers,saxifrages and thyme to give the effect. Don't be frightened of having some height to contrast with the lower growing plants as well - Acers are the obvious choice, but conifers, azaleas, rhodos and dwarf pines give evergreen height and shape and won't require too much maintenance other than keeping them to the height you want.
One of the key ideas in Japanese gardening is to use 'borrowed views' so although you have only a small space, you may be able to devise a planting scheme which will open up 'borrowed views' of areas outside your own garden - this will make the whole space seem bigger.
Another way of 'borrowing a view' and increasing the space is to have a reflection of the sky - so a pool of still water will do that