The Japanese garden is an ancient art form for the Japanese people. It is based on religion, philosophy and symbolization, whilst representing and catching the essence of nature no matter how small the area is.

Many Japanese people believe that meaning exists beyond what can be described in words; they use the garden to look back and reflect upon themselves, meditate and rest.
It can be a difficult garden style to reproduce in Australia, but with the right soil preparation and aspect it can be achieved.


Key Features

  • Water is an essential element – water features such as a pond with brightly coloured fish
  • Plants are usually arranged in odd numbers of 3, 5 or 7
  • Japanese Maples, soft grasses, Lotus, Bamboo, Cherry Blossoms and Camellia
  • Natural rock, sand, pebbles, blacks, reds and dark browns
  • Bamboo or brush fences, or even a small bridge over your water feature
  • Simple ornaments such as lanterns, statues or a gazebo amongst the foliage



Anywhere from Low to High maintenance depending on your location and the preparation of the soil. Japanese style plants are from a climate very different from Melbourne. They often need protection from the harsh summer sun and a rich, soft, well draining soil – the opposite of Melbournes hard clay or, in some areas, sandy soils. These gardens are suited for small, sheltered backyards and can be achieved surprisingly well in small inner suburban blocks



Secateurs, pruning saw (particularly for bamboo!), loppers, trowel, hand fork, gardening gloves, watering can