Redesign your garden to create a tranquil and inviting environment

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Do you find that your backyard landscape is not as inviting as you would like? Are the plantings uninspiring and requiring more maintenance than you have time to take on?

A garden should not be a space that is too labor intensive or is not a peaceful and enjoyable space. Here are some ideas taken from Japanese landscape design for turn your garden into a tranquil and inviting environment.

Choose suitable plantings

Japanese residential gardens are often limited in space. To deal with this challenge, you will often see a lot of vegetation to create different areas that are almost like small outdoor rooms or spaces for privacy and contemplation.

It is important to choose plants that are suitable for your particular climate so that you aren’t spending more time maintaining the garden and less time enjoying it. If appropriate, look for regional wildflowers, such as irises and lilies that attract butterflies. Look for shrubs and small trees that will produce colorful blooms, such as azalea, wisteria, lilac, and dogwood. Add some shade plants that will protect you from the sun, the gaze of neighbors, and outside noise.

Include some hardscapes

Hardscapes are surfaces that are not vegetation, such as gravel sitting areas and natural stone paths. These surfaces are clean and require little maintenance. Rounded gravel can be attractive and easy on the feet. Winding natural stone walkways are a great way to transport you from your home into the garden.

Add subtle LED lighting

While you are considering hardscapes, think about some ground level LED fixtures to light up your path or sitting area. You can also nestle lights into the plantings to highlight the greenery at night and create a stunning shadow effect as the light passes through leaves and branches.

Consider an active water feature

Water is very relaxing, especially when it creates background sounds. It is recommended to shy away from still water that might attract mosquitoes. A motorized water fountain or rock wall water fall can be cooling and surprisingly tranquil.

Water is very pretty when the sunlight reflects off of it. If you have the space, a koi pond is amazing as the colorful fish swim in and out of the light.

Provide attractive furnishings that blend in

You will want areas to sit or lie down, whether that be for meditation, a nap, reading a book, or having a conversation with a friend. This can be as simple as a wood bench. Or, you could have large rocks that you can sit on. A hammock strung between two trees is a perfect addition for ultimate relaxation.

Try to add elements that aren’t overly colorful that might require painting. Bamboo or teak benches are easy to take care of. Natural rope hammocks blend in nicely.

Final thoughts

There is little more relaxing than a private garden on a warm summer day. Because outdoor space is at a premium in Japan, you can take a cue from the landscape design aesthetic attention to detail from this culture. Try some of the ideas above and begin to recreate your personal garden.