When considering a location for a Japanese garden you will no doubt be constrained by the type of area you have - you may be really lucky and have unlimited area in which to create your garden sanctuary, but generally, most of us are not that lucky. A popular spot to build a water garden is in the back yard, near a deck or other sitting areas.
Perhaps the simplist way to get started with planning a Japanese garden is to build the garden around a water feature: a garden pond or container water garden if there isn't enough room. If you choose a pond, keep it on the smaller side, and keep it simple.
First, pick a spot spot for your water feature and then build a garden pond (or have one built) or create a container water garden. Keep in mind that moving water is part of the Japanese garden style. Integrate a small waterfall to add the soothing sound of moving water in your garden area.
Place plants and other items around it - maybe enclose the area with a fence, hedge or screen planting of tall evergreens?
Look for unusual items that will be placed in our Japanese garden. Answer these basic questions:
- Will there be fish in the garden? Will they be humble goldfish, which will only require a small pond or other water feature, or expensive Koi that will require a larger body of water?
- Will there be a wooden bridge over your pond or over a stream that connects two ponds?
- Dining area? A parasol or umbrella for shade?
- Sitting area?
- Does the site provide easy access for bringing in boulders and other materials? If not, then consider using smaller, one or two man boulders verses ones that way a ton or two.
- Is there a need for privacy? If so, will a wooden fence or bamboo screen be used, or plants?
Then review these other items for consideration:
- Furniture - dining, parasols, benches, lounge chairs, chairs
- Wooden bridge
- Stones for path(s) or patio - should be real stone
- Boulders/Rocks - should be real stone