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Garden tree help

Started by cypher, December 07, 2011, 01:27:13 am

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two questions:
do you have an example of a Japanese courtyard garden that you would like to emulate and serves as an guideline for your design?

are there going to be stones installed anywhere? (not including the pond)                    thanks     edzard


Stones will be included in the paths. These are some of the pictures i found online to refrence from. More like courtyard style.


I was inquiring about garden stones, rather than pathway stones. Goes to show I guess, how easily some things are misunderstood.
And,..  I think I begin to understand where you are coming from, so to speak:

I missed the explanation that in your back yard you wished to recreate the idea of a street-scene, the major symmetrical central axis all-inclusive neutral walk to the temple or front entrance gate of a home or restaurant.  And this impersonal 'walk quickly corridor' is the main view from the inside of your house, basically, where you are is on the street, looking into someone's garden.

-- and that the 'court-yard' garden you think of, is not in the back yard, rather, is a front entrance garden of the Japanese home or temple, essentially a public place that gives instruction for a visitors method of approach. (and 'courtyard' means different things in different cultures)

Quite intriguing. I recollect a garden in Europe that was a recreation of a small village crossroads: 3 corners of recreated houses with over-hangs, complete with the central 'village gathering place for community drinking water' fountain with basin and a smithy off down a dead-end side lane. Very charming. Especially as one of the houses had a small cafe like setting on the curb pavement.

For improvements then I would suggest that a gate be added,.. though, on which side the water spigot should be is something you need to address.

(personally, and you have not asked for anyones personal thoughts, so I apologize in advance for offering mine:
- as you are insistent on that design, I would flip the garden design so that the entrance way pathway, would be coming from your back alleyway through a gate that would hide the blue tarp,.. this way you could enjoy the water feature from both sides....    but, my suggestion is not valid because it reverses the street scene you are trying to create)

1) I would improve the garden idea by suggesting that you avoid using the stone pathway setting that is in photo # 4 as it is a utility path that is rather dangerous and not very well crafted. (please note it is behind the chozubachi, not the 'best path' that would be in front of the chozubachi.)

2) that you avoid using the tsukubai arrangement in # 6 because it is missing some critical pieces, such as the 'front crouching' stone (etc), and, the Sen Ju Ji lantern should be avoided in such a setting.

3) in the last image, # 8, the first pavement/step stones are poorly set. I'm sure you would improve on that setting with the budget you have dedicated to replace pathway infrastructures, though I see the feelings created by the rest of the courtyard garden that would apply to your ideas.

4) personally, some of the replacement trees you have selected are messier than orange trees because they don't have a harder outer shell that obviates the opportunity for organic Bocce playing, but again, I don't have an orange tree and some people around here spend a lot of money on custom greenhouses to grow orange trees... we all have different values and that is a good thing, as this keeps the world interesting.         happy holidays..  best wishes to you and yours.. 


can you suggest any deciduous trees with nice color that i can use?


Cypher,.. as I mentioned previously I am not the best person to advise you on species selection for SoCal. The best way that I can assist you would be if you asked me what to do with the species suggested or you have selected to refine where and how to achieve your objectives on the concept plan you have outlined.

the only advice I could offer is with observation that orange trees grow well for you, therefore I would suggest research into what the origin is of the orange tree...
and base a palette from and around, what other species grow in areas where an orange tree is an Indicator Species..
Then you could ask me what and how to plan a garden around those species and arrange them in their native competition and patterns of growth for your optimal success and reduced maintenance.

(and it is not so much what species you use, as how they are planted with what forms of plantings that will sequester humidity.. are they in 'what' competition or proximity that makes a difference for growth as well as the 'feeling' you wish to have from your garden. For example maple trees do better with a massive stone by their roots for heating or cooling, moisture etc. You indicated that the only other stone in the garden, besides the pond is in the pathway, and that decision, essentially will not make maples a good candidate for your growing area.)

for example, and you have not asked, so I ask for your tolerance: the Yoshino cherry would not be a useable species as they primarily grow from one single trunk or, put another way, copses of cherries are not common to my experience.
My observation, again unasked for, is that to achieve the results shown in your precursors, you will need to plant species that can be kept with smaller trunks in relation to each other, rather than to have the pair of trees on each side of your path, or add stone, or  ?...

secondly, as an example, you have never stated that you wished a Japanese garden and therefore I need to wait to find out what it is you wish for from your concept plan.

How do you wish to 'read' your garden? How should others 'read' your garden?
Perhaps with your outlined concept plan we could start at the beginning of laying out a garden?


Have you visited the Huntington Japanese Garden.  You should be able to see many plants that work well in your area.  One problem,  the Japanese Garden section is closed for remaking of infrastructure until April. The adjoining Chinese Garden is open and you may be able to get plant lists from the library or the visitors center.


Edzard, i really do appreciate your help. I do wish to have a relaxing Japanese feel to my garden as i stroll through. I will use more bolders, gravel, stone and any other natural addition to it. Im not really aiming for the copses look or feel where im planting the prunus Yoshino or prunus mume. As you walk in the path from my patio, to the left (full shade all day long) will be some Japanese Maples (i heard in my zone, they do better in the shade given azalea conditions). To the right will be a autum gold ginkgo (they do very good in my area). Not really looking for the copses look either but was hoping to get some trees that keep small trunks or grew slowly where i would not see full growth of the trunk in my generation. ;) Hence the thought of planting a dogwood, magnolia or any small tree. But those Orange trees have to go. I rather have flower and leaf litter more that fruit. These oranges fall daily and they stink when they bust open. It makes my yard smell fermented.

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