London (change)
11 messages
10/02/2014 at 07:03
Hi everyone i am new here and very new to gardening . I would love any help given . I have a small garden aprox 16ft by 12ft. I want to try and designe a japanese style garden from scratch. My garden is just lawn and fencing at the moment so any ideas or help would be wonderfull. I like the idea of japanese but have little room for decking but i would like to add a sitting area if possible . I also would like plenty od plants to fill the rest of area as if at all i will only have a small area of lawn left. Any ideas or plants for garden would be fab . Thanks for reading and any help or ideas would be wonderfull. Thank you from a very novice but very willing Diane
10/02/2014 at 07:17

Popping Dianes post back up to the top so some lovely members can help ber.

10/02/2014 at 08:07

Bump re spam

10/02/2014 at 08:55

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?


10/02/2014 at 09:19

Going off at a bit of a tangent, but I'm currently reading this book

and apart from being a really engaging novel, it's giving me real insight into the theory involved in creating an authentic Japanese garden. 

10/02/2014 at 09:35

Oh, we seem to have three threads on this 

10/02/2014 at 09:37

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.

10/02/2014 at 10:55

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.


10/02/2014 at 13:33

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.  

10/02/2014 at 13:47

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 

10/02/2014 at 22:08
Hi thank you all so much for your advice and i will take it all on board. And i am starting to get a few ideas already. I have decided to sketch out a plan . In pencil as i am sure i will change my mind a few times but at least now with all your help things are seeming more possible in a garden the size of mine. I have decided that i wont be having grass , like mentioned the plants and scrubs will give me plenty of greenery. I am going to look around a few garden centers to give me some more ideas of colour ect. I will post photos as i go along see if i am getting it correct. Thank you all once again for help on plants, photos and information . Fingers crossed Diane . Xx
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