Author(s): CHESSHIRE CHARLES & RAMSAY ALEX
Creating a Japanese garden is not just a practical exercise, but also a spiritual one. An authentic Japanese garden is full of ancient symbolism and magic; it is a visual feast as well as an aural and tactile experience. Some of the most dramatic Japanese gardens are large spaces with interconnecting teahouses, ponds, bridges, waterfalls, pathways, fencing, expansive dry water features, large trees, and elaborate planting. And yet the principles of this gardening style can also be flexibly applied within more limited spaces such as a hard-landscaped backyard or a small courtyard garden. This exciting new guide offers clear, practical advice on how to create your own Japanese-style garden. The first chapter gives the historical background to these gardens, tracing their origins from the Chinese Tang dynasty to the Zen Buddhists. The second chapter looks at influences in terms of elements of the natural landscape, Zen gardens, architectural features, and the way that Japanese gardens have been interpreted in the West.The next chapter, Choosing a Style, is a brief introduction and visual overview of the five main Japanese gardening styles: pond gardens, dry gardens, tea gardens, stroll gardens and courtyard gardens. A chapter on materials and equipment follows, introducing all the tools of the trade and the various materials available, from rocks and gravel, pond liners and fountains to fencing and ornamental features. Classic Features of the Japanese Garden breaks down the standard features with instructions on how to use and construct them, with step-by-step sequences that include how to move rocks, and create a tsukubai reservoir. Creating the Styles then looks at the composition andkey themes of each of the five styles in turn, and then for each one presents the planning and construction of a sequence of three project features, resulting in a final garden composition in that style. The plant directory that follows gives a detailed evaluation of the various types of plants with advice on flowering habits, key growth stages and hardiness. The final section explains the care and maintenance of the Japanese garden with a calendar of care reference table. Over 700 color photographs include specially commissioned photographs and illustrations that show both the practical processes and an impressive selection of Japanese gardens throughout Europe, Japan, and the U.S.A., from the Tully Japanese garden in Ireland and the Japanese garden in Augsburg, Germany, to the Ryogen-in Zen garden in Kyoto, Japan, and the Japanese tea garden at the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, U.S.A. Whether you are motivated to develop a stroll garden with a pond, arbor, and an established tree system in a large natural space, or a small dry garden with a pathway, raked gravel, and minimal plants and rocks, A Practical Guide to Japanese Gardening is your essential companion.