Hi all! I'm Vince from Sydney... I'm new to this forum. I hope I'm sending this to the right place, "introduce myself". I Always had a great fascination towards japanese gardens and recently moved from an apartment to a house with a backyard. I'm slowly transforming this 'ozzie' backyard into a japanese garden. I have a very low budget but I'm determinaed to do it! It has been a year since I started. I knew nothing about difference styles of Japanese gardens (Stroll garden, pond and hill garden, tea garden, dry garden, courtyard garden...) I found a place here is sydeny which sells granite water basins for a resonable price and another in Melbourne which sells cast lanterns that are not kitch! I hace already a plum tree, a japanese maple and a cerry blossom. I begun to use mondo grass and recently I read about a japanese gardner who is using local plants on his design. So I begun to use "dichondra repens" for ground cover, since moss is almost impossible to grow under the Australian sun. Cheers everybody,
I'm happy to hear that you're learning from this thread. Although it's taken a few twists and turns it accurately represents one novice's quest (me) to design something that works for me. I know I need to re-engage in the conversation here, but I haven't had as much time as I'd liked to research the next stage of the process. I need to find more inspirational photos. Unfortunately the ones I'm finding on the internet don't quite match up with the ones in my mind. ;)
The work-in-progress drawing you refer to was drawn with the idea that water from the SE corner waterfall would make its way to the pond. Then, the winding stream would follow the very slight elevation drop towards the SW corner and perhaps a bog area. It was around this part in the design process where it became clear that I was jumping ahead a few steps. I'm putting that idea on hold for the time being until I can get a few other ideas worked out in a more logical order.
Perhaps a better way of saying would be that I'm looking for the inspiration first, then decide if and where a pond/stream/bog is appropriately placed to convey the meaning of the overall design.
When I started I didn't know anything about Japanese garden other than appreciate their aesthetic beauty. Now that I have the opportunity to create one I have leraned a little bit about it.
My first step was to read the available books:
"Serene Gardens" by Yoko Kawaguchi; "A practical guide to japanese gardening" by Charles Chesshire; "The Hidden Gardens of Kyoto" which I don't know the author but you can get them from Amazon. Also from Amazon I got the 11th Century "Sakuteiki", english translated!!! They have helped me quite a lot!
In my humble garden I don't have the space nor the budget for a pond, however, I have suggested the presence of water by creating (Still working on it) a dry water strem. In the "A practical guide to japanese gardening" by Charles Chesshire, he gives an excellent step by step how to create a dry waterfall. I was inspired by him to do my own. I also got to intorduce water with a Water basin, gravel and pebles, a cast stone lantern surrounded by plants such as "baby panda bamboo", "Liripope" and "mondo grass", and a real granite water basin. On the "Serene Gardens" by Yoko Kawaguchi, there is an excellent instruction on how to make a traditional tsukubai arrangement. As per photos, I go to google earth, look for Kyoto and check on the many temples ans shrines around that city. there are plenty of photos to choose from and get inspired. Flickr also has plenty to get from. Just save on a file on the desktop. Don't use them commercialy because some a have copyright issues, but for personal inspiration they are great! My garden is nowhere near completion... Last week I found a place with great rocks big enough not to break my back... I have to wait until I get some extra cash to get them. They are aroung AU$50 dollars each... I making my garden on a shoe string budget. Sometimes, just like in a dinner party, the preparation, planing and dreaming about it are more fun than the final product. The antecipation can give great pelasure!
Thanks for your reply, you are the first to contact me! Cheers!
Sorry about my spelling... I meant stream... English is a second language to me. I'm originaly from Brazil and learned english much later... Cheers!
Welcome Vince, I too had a shoestring budget, glad you are enjoying the planning. The challenge of building a garden on a shoestring is really good, it makes you think, plan, and find materials that will work for your space.
Thanks for your comments! Indeed, when resources are few, you become more creative.
When we are speaking of shoestring budgets and limited resources, you are not alone here. Once I've seen somewhere photograph of a small Japanese garden in front of shop in Kyoto. Garden was about 10 sq ft with very few elements in it. So small garden with very little involved components but with very strong feeling. The feeling we are all looking for, and I agree with you, looking after the feeling sometimes brings more joy then feeling itself.
Welcome to the forum