Photography courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Garden/Antonio M. Rosario is a website that I frequent this time of year, however Spring hasn’t really Sprung in Eastern Canada.

Judith Adam wrote these wonderful helpful tips for creating a Jananese-inspired garden in  Remember its never to early to start planning – especially if you live in Eastern Canada because the summer season doesn’t last long!



Garden style: Japanese gardens
Japanese gardens are examples of naturalism married with domestic purpose. Drawing on a cultural appreciation for woody plants (both coniferous and flowering) combined with elements of water and stone, Japanese style creates landscapes that invite outdoor living. From an emperor’s walled pleasure garden to a modern tea house, the Japanese aesthetic focuses on uniting the human spirit with a natural world of evergreen plants, spring petals and blazing autumn foliage. Constructed seating areas and gazebos provide opportunities to sit, contemplate and relax.

Photography courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Garden/Antonio M. Rosario

For inspiration, visit the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York City (shown above), which boasts a collection of wisteria, cherry trees and peonies, signatures of Japanese style.

Common elements

  • Wooden beam and bamboo construction
  • Archways, foot bridges, benches, gazebos, paths
  • Water features, ponds, small lakes
  • Broad, flat natural stone paths and floors
  • Pine, cedar, spruce, Japanese maple
  • Flowering shrubs


Suggested plants
1 ‘MT. AIRY’ LARGE FOTHERGILLA (Fothergilla major ‘Mt. Airy’) 1.5 x 1.5 m, Zone 5. Sun to part shade; scented bottle-brush white flowers in spring, rounded leaves turning to apricot and red in fall.

2 ‘BLOODGOOD’ JAPANESE MAPLE (Acer palmatum var. atropurpureum ‘Bloodgood’) 6 x 5 m, Zone 5. Sun to part shade; deep burgundy-red leaves that turn scarlet in fall.

3 ‘NANA GRACILIS’ HINOKI FALSECYPRESS (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana Gracilis’) 1 x 1 m, Zone 5. Sun to part shade; dwarf specimen conifer; dark green fan-shaped sprays.

4 ‘OLGA MEZITT’ RHODODENDRON (Rhododendron [Mezitt Series] ‘Olga Mezitt’) 1 x 1 m, Zone 5. Suntopart shade; large clear pink flowers in spring, small glossy green foliage turns mahogany red in fall.