- Ideological component of the Japanese style
- Types of classic Japanese gardens
- Japanese garden zoning issues
- Color solutions
- Small forms
- Mini gardens
- Tsubo garden
- Tea garden
- Rock garden
- Bonsai garden
The article is devoted to one of the most distinctive and striking styles of the ethnic direction of landscape design – the Japanese garden. To create it, it is necessary not only to study the style and principles of landscape design, but also to comprehend the philosophical and spiritual component of park art in Japan.
The ethnic direction of landscape design is a way to give the site an individual and unique look, to create for yourself and your loved ones the atmosphere and entourage of your favorite ethnic group. Many ethnic gardens conflict with the existing ecosystem. The result of serious efforts and material costs is the creation on the site of a reduced copy of any part of the world with its own laws, concept, color.
The ethnic style of landscape design is multicolored, diverse, unpredictable, like the ethnic groups themselves inhabiting the Earth, however, some general principles of building ethnic gardens can be distinguished:
- All elements of landscape design and architecture must correspond to the chosen style. This applies to everything: structures, fences, small forms, a reservoir and plants. That is why it is quite difficult to remake an already equipped site in an ethnic direction..
- It is important to align the landscape itself. For example, a Scandinavian or Alpine style would require rocks and mountain slopes. That is why designers are advised to build on the natural features of the site, and not vice versa..
- Thought-out small forms and household items of the chosen ethnic group are a way to bring all the elements together, to create a national color.
- Each country has its own national colors. Using them helps to make the style recognizable..
- Plants of the chosen part of the world are the logical completion of the stylistic image. They should be well-groomed and blooming. You should not try to breed those plants that categorically cannot live in our climate, in this case it is worth considering the design of a winter garden, where heat-loving plants can survive the harsh winter.
- The use of only natural, natural materials is a prerequisite for the creation of any landscape design in ethnic style.
Ideological component of the Japanese style
The Japanese believe that the garden is a kind of reflection of the owner’s soul. That is why every detail in it has an important symbolic meaning..
Denial of the spiritual component, careless attitude to the concept is an unacceptable mistake when arranging a Japanese garden. No stylized furniture, household items or senselessly drawn hieroglyphs can breathe the spirit of Japan into the site, and make the style recognizable. And although this is a general rule for all ethnic gardens, the Japanese style is especially sensitive to the degree of philosophical reflection and the embodiment of traditions and beliefs in landscape design..
Of course, for the device of landscape design in the Japanese style, a deep study of Zen philosophy is not required, but it is important to know the basic principles of this worldview, as applied to landscape design:
- Harmony and spirituality.
- Symbolism, sacredness of each element.
- Naturalness. The style does not tolerate any elements and decorations that are not inherent in the surrounding nature.
Types of classic Japanese gardens
Classical Japanese gardens are divided into types. This division has a serious spiritual and symbolic rationale:
- tea ceremony gardens;
- gardens near the residential building;
- abstract gardens.
Each style has its own distinctive features, but in modern landscape design, mainly the last three types have found their application..
Japanese garden zoning issues
A very important feature of the Japanese garden is the “controlled scale”. He should not create the impression of tightness, isolation. And while it may seem that minimalism and small size are exactly what distinguishes the Japanese style from most ethnic gardens, this is absolutely not true. The Japanese style is much more “powerful” and voluminous – even a small area should symbolize the whole world.
There are several general zoning rules inherent only in the Japanese style:
- Rectangular or square plot shape.
- Smooth transitions and lines.
- The center of the composition is either a pond or stones. In this case, it is necessary to observe the “void zone” – leaving the space around the central elements available for viewing from any point in the garden.
- Asymmetry and uniqueness, oddness. Not a single element of the garden, not a single zone can be paired, have analogues in proportions and sizes.
The Japanese garden is almost monochromatic. The variegation, bright colors that usually distinguish ethnic style, in this case, on the contrary, introduce dissonance and distort the style. The natural color scheme in all its shades is the main and only possible color scheme. Green, gray, brown should become predominant.
Pure white color, which is the color of mourning and longing among the Japanese, is highly undesirable to use in the design of the site.
All paths in a Japanese garden must have arbitrary shapes and smooth curves..
Strict geometry and corners are excluded. In this case, the width of the tracks does not matter. They are paved with flat cobblestones or natural wood is used. A certain “neglect” and “aging” of the source material is allowed. Gravel or sand paths, on the other hand, are kept in perfect order, equal to the rake.
The Japanese style suggests peace and privacy. Therefore, a high stone fence is quite acceptable. High stone walls, in addition to their functional purpose, will serve as an ideal background for the overall composition.
Walls covered with moss or lichen grown using a special technology look especially stylish. Also, outdoor fences can be adobe, bamboo or wood. It is only important to remember about the natural color, in case you need painting or whitewashing.
Internal fences only symbolically divide the site into zones. They should be straightforward and not obstruct an overall view..
As with all elements of the garden, small architectural forms are given great semantic and stylistic significance; only natural materials are used to create them – wood or stone. A very popular material often used by designers is bamboo. Arches, dividing fences, garden screens are made of it..
Small forms traditional for the Japanese garden include:
1. Stylized lanterns (most often stone). They are placed along paths, walkways, above benches and plant compositions..
In a small area, a large beautiful lantern can become the center of a composition, carrying a semantic load.
2. Pagodas, set at the highest point of the site.
Specialized shops offer ready-made pagodas made of various materials, but it is quite possible to build this ritual structure with your own hands from natural stone or wood.
Important: the pagoda must be at least 1.5 times higher than the lanterns.
3. Benches without backs and low garden furniture (only stone or wood).
4. Unique elements of Japanese style are internal wooden gates, which are built into the composition.
5. Wooden bridges are installed not only over water bodies, they can serve as a continuation of the path, performing a purely decorative function.
6. Gazebo in the Japanese garden – a place of solitude and contemplation.
It is best to position it so that it offers maximum visibility, but at the same time it does not distract attention from the center of the composition..
Instead of a gazebo, you can use an open terrace or build a closed tea house
While national style sculptures are a great way to style a garden in most ethnic gardens, Japanese style has its own nuances. Some landscape designers consider them to be alien to the traditional Japanese garden culture. In any case, the issue should be approached with all seriousness, if a decision is made to install a sculpture, then it should be stylized images of animals such as an oriental lion, turtle, crane.
Particularly careful should be taken to the installation of a statue of Buddha, as bearing a certain religious and cult significance.
8. Folklore elements will bring more believability to the overall style. For example, the Japanese water scarecrow “shishi-odoshi” made of bamboo.
The ideal solution for a Japanese garden is a pond. With its help, one of the main stylistic methods of style is created – mirroring..
The surface of the water should reflect the most beautiful pictures of the landscape, thereby creating the illusion of infinity. A very interesting stylistic device is the placement of a Japanese lantern near the reservoir. Sometimes it is arranged above water, so that its flame is reflected in the water..
Large boulders are widely used in the design of the pond. Very often one or more islands are arranged, connected by low bridges..
Also, traditional Japanese reservoirs include:
1. “Ringing” waterfalls, in which water falls from a great height, making a clear and loud sound and scattering splashes. Only natural stone should be used as material for the fountain..
2. Tsukubai – stone vessels with water built into compositions of plants and stones. Near the vessel, you can place a lantern, hang a bamboo ladle.
3. Kare-sansui – a dry landscape of pebbles and sand, imitating a reservoir.
In landscape design, very often the style of the types mentioned at the beginning of the article is used to create mini-gardens. Thus, not the entire site is drawn up in the Japanese style, but only part of it. This is a great way to create a corner of Japan on the site without changing the already arranged landscape design. Let’s take a look at some of the most common mini garden options.
In translation from Japanese it sounds like “jug”. In accordance with the name, it is set up in a very small area in a secluded corner of the garden. A stylistically recognizable, full-fledged Japanese garden is created on an area of several square meters.
The only thing that distinguishes a tsubo garden from a large Japanese garden is that it is better to plant plants of the same type for it. For example, only bamboo.
The place where the tea ceremony is held. The presence of “tsukubai”, a tea pavilion, a low bench without a back (matiaya) is required. The simpler and more modest a tea garden looks, the better. Nothing should distract from the ceremony. The main condition is cleanliness and tidiness..
The stone garden carries a deep philosophical load, therefore, it requires familiarization with the basics and principles. It is an odd number of stones (imitating islands), laid out in a certain order on the sand (imitating the sea). Requires careful maintenance and even watering.
It can be arranged throughout the entire territory of the site, or you can occupy only a very small, no more than a meter, piece of land with dwarf trees. In the bonsai garden, the most common trees are located in pots, which are grown by cutting the crown and roots in a special way. As a result of this “molding”, the tree grows dwarf, with the shape of the crown conceived by the owner.
The arrangement of a Japanese garden is not an easy task, requiring not only material costs, but also spiritual efforts. But as a result, the site will turn into a corner of pacification, peace, harmony with the world and oneself.